A family affair

Renovations to the kitchen and family room of this 100-year-old colonial revival house have transformed it into a comfortable and welcoming living space
View of the living area, wooden flooring, white cabinetry, countertop, home, interior design, kitchen, room, brown, orange
View of the living area, wooden flooring, white cabinetry, stone built-in fireplace, large wooden beams in roof, tiled area in front of fireplace.

Often, the dilemma with renovating is whether to keep to the original character of the house, or whether to break away and create a different look. Getting away from the traditional approach provides more opportunities to make changes to suit your own family and lifestyle needs.

After living for 10 years in a 100-year-old, colonial revival home, architect Mark Fox of Gardner Fox decided it was time to update the kitchen and family living spaces.

"We wanted to change the house to more closely match our family's lifestyle," says Fox.

A small kitchen and family room were gutted, and this space became a large, new kitchen. An extensive living room, which flows seamlessly from the kitchen, was added onto the rear of the house. French doors along one wall of the kitchen and new family area open onto a sheltered, sunny, south-facing courtyard.

The additional space also includes a mud room for storing shoes, sports equipment, school bags and other paraphernalia that used to end up in the kitchen.


Exterior view of the entrance to the house, architecture, backyard, building, cottage, estate, facade, farmhouse, grass, historic house, home, house, lawn, mansion, neighbourhood, outdoor structure, plant, plantation, property, real estate, residential area, siding, suburb, tree, yard, brown
Exterior view of the entrance to the house, large lawn and trees, stone pathway up to steps and two white collumns on either side of the steps on the porch up to the door, French windows with shutters.

"In the new spaces, we have deviated from the formal architectural style of the rest of the house. We wanted this space to be more casual, fun and interesting than the rest of the house which is very formal," he says.

To make the space interesting and more casual, Fox has used rich, earthy colors and large French doors. On the ceiling of the new family area are heavy beams taken from a demolished 200-year-old barn.

"We also took care with the design and layout of the space, to ensure that once it was furnished it would meet our varying needs," Fox says. "For example, because the family enjoys sitting together and watching television, or playing card games, we have located the screen above the fireplace, and made space for a large coffee table."

Fox's company, Gardner Fox, took this renovation from inception to completion, and has worked on projects such as this for 18 years.

The company's comprehensive service includes architecture, contract management, construction, interior design and landscaping, with projects ranging from historic restorations to building contemporary homes.

View of the living area, large wooden beams architecture, beam, ceiling, daylighting, door, home, house, interior design, lighting, wall, window, wood, brown, red
View of the living area, large wooden beams in the roof, wooden flooring, red walls, French doors.

"Our goal is to provide a full service, so the homeowner finds the building or renovation process as simple and stress-free as possible. Because we have our own construction division at all stages from the design on we can advise clients on the likely costs, so there are no unpleasant surprises at the end of the project," he says.

One feature of the Gardner Fox service is its interior design facility. When the final drawings are being completed, homeowners are encouraged to spend time with the company's interior design team. Help is provided with selecting fixtures and fittings, to ensure design details throughout the house will be cohesive and consistent.

Once final plans are agreed on and council permits finalized, the company arranges regular meetings between the architect, interior designer and homeowners throughout the duration of the building project. In this way, any problems are dealt with quickly, before they have a chance to escalate.

All projects undertaken by Gardner Fox have a five-year, pro-rated warranty, which is backed by a full-time warranty service craftsman.

For more information, contact Gardner Fox Associates Inc, 919 Glenbrook Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA, phone (610) 525 8305, fax (610) 525 8977. Email: info@gardnerfox.com. Website: www.gardnerfox.com.

Apr 01, 2005
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