22105   Addition

Why, when a family is cramped for space, the idea of adding square footage is all they can think of? Additions aren’t always the answer.  The typical new room generally hangs off the back of the house, often carving a traffic path right through existing rooms. Even more troublesome, additions may eclipse already dark rooms by adding more distance to daylight. I am not opposed to additions by any means.  They must be thoughtfully laid out – quantity of square footage doesn’t always present the best solution.


The owners focused on their cramped kitchen (A) complaining (as usual) of not enough storage space.  The eat-in kitchen was also the only access (B) to the backyard. They thought if they could just build an addition (C) to push the kitchen out further, it could solve all of their kitchen problems.  Little thought was given to what the former kitchen (A) space would become.

Lacking outdoor entertaining and cook-out space, they wanted to establish an outdoor space – out past the kitchen addition (C).

The living room (D) wan a nice size and proportion, but traffic, with groceries, went from the garage (E) went through a sliding glass door in the dining room (F) and across part of the living room (D) to get to the kitchen (A).

There was no family entry so, coats, books and other items were dropped along the path to the kitchen.  It seemed to me that the dining room (F) was in what was an old porch. If that is the case, continuing to use it would require checking the footings and the structural elements to ensure that it is sound.  Likely there are no heat ducts for the dining room.

The homeowners thought that when the contractor was there building the kitchen addition, it would be smart to square off the building by including an addition (G) to the garage (E).


My natural conservative approach to spending my client’s money made me really question if two additions were really needed. `The traffic from the garage really bothered me, so I gave the garage addition (G) more thought. What was needed was transition space, so I created a family entry (H) and a laundry room (I).  Next, I created a new kitchen (J) in what was the dining room, and opened it up to the living room (D). I have often written about not exposing the entire kitchen to the living room so that you are not sitting on the couch looking at the refrigerator, so appliance placement was important.  I added two skylights (K) to lighten both the kitchen and the living room.  I made sure that there was a new glass door (L) out to the new deck (M).

The former kitchen space (A) was repurposed into a great dining room with French doors (O) out to the deck (M).

The front hall coat closet (P) was converted into a closet for cleaning supplies, and a new, larger coat closet (Q) finished off the entry space.

MARCIA LYON is a professional remodeling designer and freelance writer, producing projects locally and several other areas across the US and Canada. Like Creating Spaces on Facebook! Reach Marcia at; or phone 515-991-1300.   Her website is


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