The owners of this Italianate house in Piedmont had been contemplating and dreaming of doing this project for many years and hired us to bring their dreams to fruition. They are avid gardeners and have a beautiful garden just behind the house. The problem was that they had no connection – visually or physically – to the garden from their family room, which is where they spend most of their time. This was due to the fact that there was a powder room in the corner of the family room adjacent to the garden. We designed a new powder room off of the entry foyer, partially under the stairs to the second floor, and demolished the existing powder room. In its place we designed an ergonomically correct build-in breakfast nook surrounded by four new windows providing digest views to the garden from the kitchen and family room. We selected arch-top casements to bring the rear of the house up to the architectural level of the front of the house. We also added two pairs of french doors for direct circulation to the garden. Adjacent to the breakfast nook an existing brick fireplace surround was refinished with richly textured venetian plaster and a new stained oak mantle. A new stone slab hearth was added with a wood storage niche below. The kitchen was completely reconstructed with new cabinets, counters, backsplash and new appliances. In keeping with the owners’ eclectic style, the perimeter cabinets are architecturally integrated with the rest of the room by being painted to match the trip in the room and are topped with a honed Italian slate counter, while the island was constructed of stained cherry with turned legs and topped with an antiqued crema marfil counter for a furniture-like appearance. As a final touch we added a skylight at the top of the stair on the second floor to bring natural light into an otherwise windowless hallway. It features a L.E.D. strip light to make it an equally special feature at night as it is during the day.
Completed in 2012
Interior Designer: Brian Dittmar
Structural Engineer: Morris Engineering & Associates Inc.
Photography: David Duncan Livingston; Christine Davis.