A young couple with modern sensibilities were relocating from New York to sub-urban Philadelphia. They purchased a 40 year old home from the original owners that were retired and moving on to a condo with less upkeep. The design challenge was to turn ‘grandma’s house’ into a modern home on a tight budget.
The new owners preferred an open plan, but the basement stair bisected the kitchen and living room. The solution was to open up the wall as much as possible and make this visual impediment into a feature of the home. Clad in reclaimed redwood, the enclosure became a fulcrum unifying the two spaces.
As the first thing you see upon entry to the home, it works as a dramatic backdrop to the living room. On the kitchen side it cleverly hides vertical storage and becomes the cooking center, with a modern electric range top flanked by dual wall ovens. The volume also discretely maintains the existing basement stair with a flush mount door.
The existing stained oak floor in the living room was refinished and sealed clear to maintain the woods natural tone. Simple modern furnishings complete the look in this space.
In the kitchen, the warm redwood was counterbalanced with a green-grey cleft finish slate. The new cabinets are just matte white single panel to allow the rich floor and wall materials to carry the weight along with classic subway tile at the back splash.
The dining room benefits from the existing skylight, but was outfitted with new lighting, a reclaimed drafting table and mid-century inspired shell chairs. The slate floor flows into the adjacent sun room, which was brightened with new paint and modern furnishings.
The primary bedroom suite was also completely updated, with a pass-thru closet at the entry and new reclaimed oak flooring, replacing existing wood laminate. The new bathroom is clad in porcelain tile that echoes honed travertine. All new fixtures are highlighted by the modern freestanding tub.