Bungalow Expansion

Alameda, California

This house was a very small mid-century bungalow with previous additions that resulted in a large but chaotic layout. The owners wanted to convert this SF Bay Area California  house to a super-efficient, and charming Craftsman-style, 6 bedroom home for their large family and work at home.  

We achieved the space increase by moving a few walls for a more efficient, organized layout, setting up spaces for overlapping uses, and making a small upstairs addition. Every bit of square footage was optimized to meet the goals of the project without making the house huge or adding unnecessary cost.  

Much thought was given to the entry sequence near the front door. A large flow-through mudroom with storage for each family member, and adjacent laundry, make it easy for children to be taught to keep their things organized and to contribute to household chores. A mail station and central home admin area at the mudroom help keep clutter down and minimize home management tasks. A garage door near the kitchen gives quick access to bulk items.   

After careful review of the floor plans and working with our client’s vision for the home, we decided the house had too much view to the street from the living room through large corner windows, and too little entry transition. After discussing with the client, we found  that the family did not feel comfortable using the living room without shades drawn. To add more privacy, we raised the window sills and brought the new windows in from the corner of the house, allowing plenty of light while adding a sense of enclosure in the living room. We enlarged the front porch to create a more graceful transition from the public to private space. We located the front door so that the circulation from entry into the house would allow for furnishing the living room with a sitting circle that is not intruded upon by people walking through the room.   

Sight lines through the living spaces were an important consideration in the design. The owners wanted more intimate-feeling spaces for living room, kitchen, dining and family room, but also wanted the living spaces to feel connected and to be able to easily watch their children. Being able to see the children playing in the yard while getting things done inside the house was also important. While largely working with the existing structure, we opened walls and rearranged the use of spaces to make a series of connected living spaces with long views through them.

A few arches echo through the house to frame spaces and soften the feeling of the rooms. After this transformation was complete, the owners are delighted with the character of this bungalow home. The remodeled house is now a contemporary Craftsman with classic materials and cool, consistent colors.

Photography: Kurt Manley 

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Alexandra Saikley in Alameda, CA on Houzz

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