IT'S NOT EASY BEING THE ODDBALL house on the block, something this former brick-and-block rambler put up with for more than 50 years. But thanks to a very sensitive remodeling, this little charmer can now proudly mix with its nearby historic Craftsman bungalow neighbors.
The program for this project was tightly linked to aesthetics, function, and budget. The owner had lived in this plain blue box for eight years, making modest changes—new windows, a kitchen addition, a coat of paint. The changes helped to lessen the stark contrast between his house and the Craftsman homes in the neighborhood, but they didn't go far enough. Enter architect Charles Moore, who was called in to execute the bungalow style both inside and outside; double the square footage by re-organizing the first-floor spaces and creating bedrooms on the new second floor; and fit within a budget that forced the total reuse of the existing structure, including those replacement windows and that new kitchen wing.
The existing front wall of the house was pulled forward 3 feet to maximize the existing front-yard setback. A 6-foot-deep porch that stretches across most of the front elevation was added, pulling the house closer to the street to match the setbacks of the other houses on the block. The front rooms were turned into new public spaces, with the old living room becoming the inglenook and entry foyer, while the old front bedroom was transformed into the new living room. The stairway was repositioned on axis with the new front door but set deep into the house adjacent to the reconfigured dining room. The former kitchen, once open to the dining room, now looks onto the public spaces through a pass-through.
At the top of the new stair is a short, efficient hall with a twin window view to the rear yard. Off the hall are entrances to the master bedroom, the master bathroom, and a second bedroom. The new master bedroom, located on the centerline of the front of the house, fills the entire front dormer with three exposures of windows. Fittingly, they look onto the Arlington County Maywood Historic District, which starts directly across the street.
CATEGORY: Whole house makeover or significant addition; ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: Moore Architects, Alexandria, Va.; BUILDER: GN Contracting, Arlington, Va.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.