Second-Level Cottage Addition

By adding a second story and rearranging the floor plan, a 1950s ranch developed some open spaces without losing its cottage charm.


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A new white mantel brightens the cottage fireplace, a cozy distance from a backless chaise
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New Space, Same Cottage Feeling

    A second-story addition and rearranged floor plan open up a dated 1950s ranch without compromising its cottage charm. Widening the opening between the living room and dining room improved traffic flow. A new mantel surround gives the fireplace a fresh face. Furnishings were selected to be comfortable and to withstand use by visiting friends and family.

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Staircase to New Second Story

    Interior alterations began at the front door, where the removal of a coat closet made way for a welcoming foyer. The new staircase features oak-stained handrails over painted spindles. The homeowner designed the new stairwell with a cathedral ceiling and a skylight, saying it adds a sculptural element that makes other rooms feel larger. The skylight beckons light into the living room.

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Room for Entertaining

    The homeowner loves entertaining, so creating more room for dinner guests was a high priority for her home remodeling. She captured 3 feet of space from what was formerly the downstairs bath and expanded the cramped dining room's square footage. Replacing a picture window with sliding French doors that open to the backyard further augmented the dining room's overall sense of space and allows for better outdoor entertaining. The semiformal room also has easy access to the kitchen.

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In the Kitchen

    Since the kitchen remodeling, a chocolate-brown tile backsplash now frames the windows and offsets classic off-white cabinets. Traditional saltillo tiles cover the floor. Decorative arches over the windows mimic the arch doorways and add a touch of whimsy to the traditional dentil moldings.

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Through the Arches

    A reshuffling of space allowed for the creation of an arched opening between the den and cottage kitchen, which helped eliminate traffic-flow problems.

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More Functional Sunroom

    The floor in an existing sunroom was raised during the home remodeling and a wall was knocked down in the adjacent den to create one, large functional space. Whitewashed knotty pine paneling and the addition of nonstructural ceiling beams further blend the two sunroom spaces, which look out to the gardens.

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Master Suite Retreat

    The new gable, which extends the house 14 feet, holds a dreamy master suite addition, including a separate den. A peaceful wall color and simple furnishings create a personal sanctuary after all the home remodeling.

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Bathroom Remodeling

    Fixtures mounted on the mirror provide reflective light in the master bath, which includes a space-saving shower/bath combo. A long double vanity accommodates multiple users.

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A Second Gable

    In an effort to infuse the exterior with cottage charm and transform its overall shape, the homeowner included a new upper level and a second gable to balance the original one. In essence, she added a little house on to the existing one. The changes took the 1,500-square-foot floor plan up to 2,700 square feet.

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Improving Flow, Gaining Space

    A second-story home addition and a fresh, open floor plan turn a typical ranch into a charming cottage. Thanks to the home remodeling, a hallway between the kitchen and den changes the overall traffic flow, a second gable houses a master suite, the new upper level includes two bedrooms and a shared bath, and a redesigned kitchen includes a pantry and a utility wall with room for a washer and dryer.

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