|The original Fixer-Upper|
The kitchen was approx 11' x 11' including cabinets and eating area. We had a three foot round table that sat in the middle of the floor and there was space for 2 chairs to push under it. The high chair we kept in the living room and moved in for each meal. When we had company we wedged everyone in on stacking stools and when it was time to take the pie out of the oven, someone had to move. As did the person leaning against the fridge. But hey, we were a close family and we lived indoors and it was ours and it was paid for.
Once our second child was out of a high chair we decided it was time to look for a new house. So we looked around at the listings, and realized that the market was such that for what we could afford to spend over and above our equity, we were going to be buying a 3 bedroom... fixer-upper. sigh. We didn't have the heart to start all over with several years of scrimping and work just to get another bedroom for our home. So we went back to the drawing board. I was inspired by a book by Sarah Susanka, "The Not So Big House", an architect who designs interesting, useful, and thoughtful homes, not necessarily monster huge mansions. Don't be fooled, this kind of craftsmanship and design would likely cost more than just building a massive box and covering the walls in gold leaf, and the floors in marble. But where would you like to live?
I put my design education and experience to work and did an analysis of time spent by each member of the family and discovered that a) the room we spent the most time in was the kitchen, and b) the area of the house that caused the most stress was the back entry. I decided that instead of spending a lot of money having a large house (OK even an average house would be a step up for us!), we were going to spend a modest amount of money and add on another 50% of the square feet of our home just in kitchen and entry!
|Drilling piles for the addition|
|Mommy! They're digging up Choc-ate!|
|The old covered deck|
|The new back of the house|
|The New House (first day of school the next year)|