Nevie and Annie live on a large corner lot in one of Austin’s best neighborhoods, Travis Heights. When I first met with them to discuss their kitchen renovation and possible addition, many signs pointed to a great project. First, Nevie and Annie had a friendly, optimistic outlook that was evident in the way they occupied their cozy house: they had painted a charming teal and forest green paint scheme paired with the classic pink and beige ‘Austin’ brick, and the interior was highlighted with bold colors, unique furnishings and artwork that would serve as inspiration for our design. The house embodied a joyful spirit that needed to be realized in some of the practical upgrades to the house.
The original kitchen occupied a very small corner of the house, arranged in a compact galley with the refrigerator and oven to the side. There was very little counter space , and most of the cabinets were too small to contain normal things like skillets, cutting boards or a standing mixer. An adjacent pantry / utility room had been added on by a previous owner almost as an after thought: we could see daylight between the wood walls of the addition and the original exterior brick!
We nearly doubled the footprint of the kitchen by expanding 10 feet to the side yard. The new kitchen lays out in a basic C-shape, with a line of cabinets on the fourth side to contain the pantry and refrigerator. We enclosed about half of the screen porch to create a new space for the dining table, and left a lounge area that interacts with the kitchen across the peninsula bar top. A new mudroom tucks around the side for a new entry into the house from the driveway.
A shot during construction shows the addition following the steep pitch of the existing roof, making a dramatic cathedral ceiling with a new window in its peak. The screens have been removed from the corner of the kitchen, and new windows await installation.
From the driveway entrance, the custom-designed yellow door leads into the mudroom and on to the kitchen. The exterior details stayed true to the craftsman bungalow: teardrop siding, flat trim, and exposed rafter tails. A new metal roof and half-round gutter upgraded the look of the house entirely.
The mudroom has a low bench with drawers below for shoes and bags, and a metal-wrapped board flips down to become a surface for folding laundry. The sliding barn door gives some separation from the noise of the washer and dryer, which are tucked behind and out of sight from the kitchen. The wood beams echo the existing ceiling joists that are exposed throughout the house, stained a dark brown to match. Walnut shelves line the end wall, with integral task lighting to accent the items on the shelves.
The backsplash is Mosaic House Snowbank, a really sunny pattern with a butterscotch burst that relates to the ‘Dandelion’ Marmoleum floor. Both of these decisions were inspired by Nevie and Annie’s affection for bright colors and patterns. I love the commitment to color! Those smaller shelves are supported by Restoration Hardware brackets.
The original window to the screen porch turned into an opening to our new dining room – it’s trimmed with the same stained pine as the ceiling beams. The pendant fixture above the bar was custom fabricated by our contractor, Matt Davenport (yet another reason we love working with this guy). He found the pieces at an electrical repair shop and spray painted some plumbing parts to create the rod and attachments. A black cloth cord helps soften all the twists and turns around the rod.
The screen porch was enclosed with new Marvin windows and doors, maintaining the original spacing of the cedar columns. This became the new dining room, with one wall exposing the original brick of the house and the new walls and ceiling made of pine shiplap. Since this room gets so much light, we painted a glossy Cromwell Gray from Benjamin Moore, which gives some depth and coziness to this garden-like room.
Interestingly, the screen porch became much more useful at half the size. It also helped that we raised the floor up to the level of the house, where it had previously dropped two feet to grade. An Indonesian daybed and comfy furniture make it a frequently used spot to spend a nice afternoon.
Since Nevie and Annie were mid-pregnancy when we started the project, we had the fun task of creating the nursery as part of the project. The wall color for baby’s room is called, appropriately, Fun n’ Games. I just love the way they’ve decorated this, as well as the other areas of the house. It’s a happy home!
Contractor: Matt Davenport of HSC Remodeling
Windows & Doors: Marvin, Tru-Stile from BMC
Appliances: GE Cafe, Zephyr, Bosch from Ferguson Austin
Concrete Countertops: Newbold Stone & Concrete
Flooring: Marmoleum in Dandelion, via House + Earth
Tile: Mosaic House, Snowbank pattern
Photography: Whit Preston