22107  Age in Place Addition

CREATING SPACES tm           by Marcia Lyon

There are still plenty of homes with owners who stay through one full lifetime, or even one or two generations.  That used to be the rule, but our population became more mobile and now, some families stay only a few years in a home. When they outgrow it, they shop for another. In the case where a young couple buys their first home and expands it as their family grows. Eventually the situation is living without grown children and the couple wants a home they can live in until they die.  At each stage, the home is modified.


The main house (A) was a small rectangle, with the entrance (B), living room (C), a dining room turned into an office (D), a kitchen (E) and a half bath (F), plus an upstairs (G) for the bedrooms and full bath.

As the family grew, these homeowners built an addition (H) 15 years later to need a family room. This gave them the space they needed while their children grew up. It wasn’t well planned out because the kitchen (E) became an interior room, and the new family room was long and narrow.

Fast forward to the time the original couple was older and wanted a bedroom on the first floor.  A look at their plan told them that they could not just slam a new bedroom onto their house without creating a Frankenstein.


We took advantage of the family room (I) space and converted the front of it into a master bedroom (J).  The closets (K) in the office (D) were modified to open on the bedroom side, and the office (D) was then closed off to make the office into a separate room.

To make a bathroom for the new master bedroom, we added to the existing half bath (F) to create a ¾ bath (L).

The other end of the former family room (I) was perfect for the new kitchen (M). This open kitchen has an island and two closet style pantries (N).  Notice the column (O) on the end of the island. This is extremely important because that was the corner of the original house and had to support the upstairs. There was an existing foundation in the basement that supported the column from below.

The family entry (P) became an open entry and added circulation space (Q).

The homeowners wanted a dedicated dining space beyond the stools at the island, so we did have to build a small addition (R) that resembled a sunroom. This delightful new space was light, bright, and with all sorts of views.

The postage stamp size deck (S) expanded to become an expansive outdoor entertaining room (T). It still serves the family entry door and is also accessed by new French doors in the living room (C) and a door from the dining room (R).

We talked about moving the laundry up from the basement, but the homeowners preferred to keep it in the basement.  All people that are older aren’t completely opposed to stairs!

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 archimeatus@gmail.com; or phone 515-991-1300.   Her website is http://www.creatingspacesdesign.com


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