Renovation / Grand Award
The clients for this drastic makeover dreamed of living in a Craftsman-style bungalow. But though their bland 1950s rambler lacked charm, they liked their existing lot and location too much to leave it. After consulting architect Charles Moore, who had designed a kitchen addition for the house some years before, they decided to let him remodel the unpromising rambler. "They started with a really pedestrian beginning," said a judge.
Savoring the challenge, Moore started by removing the 925-square-foot house's roof and gutting most of the interior, except for the 6-year-old kitchen. Then he pulled the front of the building three feet forward to gain a little more breathing room inside. “I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but for us that three feet was everything,” he says. “It got us more square footage for the public spaces.” He then re-arranged the first-floor rooms along a new axis, lining up the entry foyer, dining room, and kitchen in a neat, logical procession. The old master bedroom became a guest bedroom, and a former guest bedroom the new living room. He also created an inglenook—a classic Craftsman touch—around the home's existing fireplace. The new second floor holds a master suite, guest bedroom, home office, and storage areas.
While Moore and his clients aimed to capture a 1920s feeling, they weren't going for an exact replica of an old house. “We wanted to make a 2003 bungalow,” he says. The project's detailing, such as its coffered ceilings, simple moldings and millwork, and period light fixtures, fit into the Craftsman-style mold. Other components—the window-filled second-floor dormer, for example, and the visual connections from room to room—are decidedly 21st century. Though the new first floor actually contains more discrete rooms than the old one, openings like the pass-through from kitchen to dining room establish clear sight lines throughout the space. The color scheme, too, marks a departure from historical accuracy. With the help of the owners, whose backgrounds in graphic design gave them a good handle on color selection, Moore chose light neutrals, greens, and yellows to amplify the home's new look.
Moore feels the renovation's Craftsman influence contributed to its relatively moderate price tag of $160 a square foot in 2002 and early 2003. "There's a certain amount of economy in Arts & Crafts detailing," he says. "It's a very simplistic methodology of joining wood that was appealing to me and the clients." It appealed to the judges too. "They extrapolated the idea from the outside to the inside in a totally consistent way," said one. "It's amazingly deft—a wonderful project."