Reach for the Sky

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Moving a staircase and adding a skylight works wonders for lightening up a century-old row house.

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  • Transform the home’s interior from dark spaces into light-filled rooms; incorporate sustainable design elements; create a greater sense of spatial connection


The concept to “connect earth to sky” in this century-old row house was ably achieved by moving a staircase and crowning it with a new skylight.

The stairwell’s lack of solid walls — steel cables separate the space and extend to the metal frame above — allows light into the surrounding spaces. The overall effect is clean and simple, making better use of the floor plan. The house is also rich with sustainable design concepts including a tankless water heater, no-VOC paint, foam insulation, and more.

Judges’ comments

The judges were impressed by this clever design — how much simply moving the staircase benefitted the entire house, and noted how clean and well-executed the remodel is. —Mark A. Newman, senior editor, REMODELING.

Spec List

Bathroom plumbing fittings: Dornbracht; Hansgrohe; Jado; Hansa

Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Duravit; Kohler; Neptune

Countertops: Caesarstone

Dishwasher: Fisher + Paykel

Fireplace: HearthSense

Hardware: Omnia; Haefele; Sugatsune; Doug Mockett

HVAC: Carrier

Kitchen plumbing fittings: Hansgrohe

Lighting fixtures: Illuminations

Oven: Thermador

Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore

Range: Thermador

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Windows: WeatherShield