When I launched this blog, I promised to share our experiences with the agonizing and exhilarating experience that is home remodeling. So, for starters, this week I’ll show some before and after photos of our house and highlight a few of the design elements, particularly those that were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style homes of the early 1900’s.
|Before: Front elevation of the original 1950's rambler|
I chose the prairie style because it feels very modern to me, even after more than 100 years. And yet it is not so modern that my house would stick out like a sore thumb in our traditional neighborhood. I love the hipped rooflines, especially with multiple levels. And the deep overhangs not only look beautiful and extend the horizontal lines of the house, but they keep energy costs down by shading the house in summer. Frank Lloyd Wright was a genius when it came to marrying form and function, and I tried my best to follow his example. I also share Wright's affinity for geometry and incorporated compositions of circles and squares throughout the exterior and interior of the house.
By the way, getting that hipped roof and the deep overhangs made this remodel much more extensive. You can’t very well live in the house through construction if they have to rip your whole roof off! We decided it was worth it because we wanted to “pop up” and build the kids’ bedrooms upstairs, but man, we didn’t really know what we were in for. The demolition alone took five months. I was concerned about our impact on the environment and hated the idea of a teardown, so we were trying hard to work with the original floor plan and footprint. But ultimately (and ironically), we would have saved lots of time and lots of money by doing a teardown. So that’s my remodel advice for this week, keep your renovations simple (avoid lots of demo) OR, if your changes will be so extensive that you can’t live in the house during construction, get advice and budget projections early on to figure out whether a teardown is more efficient and economical.
|Before: The original painted brick fireplace|
|During: The fireplace survived demo!|
Thanks for looking!