Thursday, March 28, 2019

Before & After: Modern renovation by Tim Brown Architecture

I think most bloggers get an annoying amount of junk email from publicists, but every once in awhile one sees something so special it speaks to you and you want to share it with your readers.  This was the case when this renovation project by architect Tim Brown from Austin Texas landed in my inbox.
While this may not necessarily be the type of thing I normally feature here on ArchitectDesign, I think good design comes in all shapes and sizes. It's not all classical all the time but rather architecture is a formula to fix all problems and appropriateness is key.  The most surprising thing about this project is just how little it took to take a really awful suburban house and turn it into something special.
When the clients found the house it was the most unfriendly looking facade you could ever find.  However using the good bones hidden under poor decisions the architect was able to make this nothing-burger of a house really shine through minor re-organization of spaces and new finishes.  That's what a good architect can do for you, particularly in a renovation like this, make what you already have work and work well!
We always tell clients to look beyond what is there now and think about what it can be. Maybe the golden rule of real estate (location location location) is the motivating factor or perhaps other fundamental qualities of the house are appealing. In this case the mid-century design translated well into a friendlier contemporary  home.
Stepping inside right way the changes are drastic but minimal.  Changing out the private courtyard which obscured the front door into an open and friendly entry is welcoming.  Re-configuring the stair still allows for the rest of the house to feel private (and points you closer to the kitchen for midnight snacks!)
In this before shot you can see how the stairs previously dumped you into the entry landing -and the home depot doors did not fit the style of the house.
I imagine furring in the ceiling beams not only created a clean aesthetic for the double height living room but allowed for insulation.
The reconfiguration continued with the flipping of the kitchen and former dining room space off the living room. Now the dining table enjoys views of the pool deck (more on that later) while the kitchen stays central to the space. Yes, this is the same room!
The new contemporary stair railing fits nicely with the mid-century vibe while the Ann Sacks tiles lining the stair stringer are also a fun nod to the past.
A wall of storage separates the dining from the living room; the verticals are another mid-century design detail. Now the house is full of light and views of the backyard.
I believe most families today live at their kitchen island and this one has center stage in the new kitchen.
 The den tucked behind the dining room allows for privacy during game day or movie night.
The existing mid-century clerestory windows work well in the new contemporary bathrooms. I'm always intrigued by these 'wet rooms' within bathrooms. Here you see the tub inside the shower enclosure; it feels so convenient and easy to use.
While the front of the house was nicely cleaned up, the back of the house really shines now with a new cantilevered roof  which expands the living footprint of the house. I can imagine spending a lot of time back here!
 Previously the back of the house was a design afterthought - who would want to spend time there?
You can take or leave the swimming pool (ok, actually take!) but the cute dog stays for sure. Save the best for last!
Many thanks to Tim Brown architecture for sharing this lovely renovation with us; if you don't like what you have, you can always get what you like with the imagination of an architect or designer!
All photos courtesy of Leonid Frumanski and Tim Brown architecture