A rural house from the 1950s went through several renovations, while maintaining its original scale and modest rustic appearance.
The young family came to us while still deciding whether they should buy the small house, a dark and odd house with unusual low ceilings and an amalgamation of various rooms and porches which were added over the years. They fell in love with the quiet street and the spacious plot of land, but wanted to be certain that with their available budget they wouldn’t be entering an economically risky and illogical adventure. The house seemed like a catastrophe at first, yet full of untapped potential. The giant pecan tree outside, the peace and quiet, and the attractive opportunity to turn Cinderella into a beauty.
The opening point left us with many challenges, the budget constraints forced us to think in creative ways, and the result was full of charm and Mediterranean authenticity.
As with any relationship in life, working with clients requires good communication and coordinated expectations. The clients are intellectuals, and knew how to define their needs and constraints quite well, and together we conducted a rich and open dialogue which enabled us to make the best possible plan, despite the various compromises.
The existing floor was dug out and redone so that the ceiling would be higher, blue iron windows frame the large views into the garden, reminding the clients of Greece, which they love to visit, and letting air and light enter the room.
In the center of the house, between the kitchen and the living room, several constructive walls and beams were merged into a wall around which the space is centered. On one side of the wall is the dining table, while on the other side is the living room’s television, which creates an intimate feeling on either side while keeping the space open.
Adjacent to the living room, the old entrance to the house was turned into a study and reading corner, with iron doors separating it from the living room.
Before the renovation, a storeroom stood in the garden, disconnected from the house. During the renovation it was connected with a hallway, with a bookcase on one side and additional windows outside on the other side.
The new bookcase answered the clients wish for a large bookcase for their many books, without creating a burden on the space.
The new room which was added was enlarged and turned into a children’s room.
A large window frames the pecan tree.
The general bathroom is bright and paved with painted concrete tiles.
An additional bathroom is connected to the parents’ room, and according to my client it is her favorite place in the house.
The house is surrounded by a charming garden, which can be seen through the large windows, creating the feeling of a rural village in the middle of the city.
I have a lot of respect for the client, who maintains an organic vegetable farm, filled with various fruits and vegetables which are taken right to the kitchen and from there to the dinner plate.
In my view, old houses have a unique charm. When I stand in front of them I can only see their hidden beauty and potential. There is opportunity to fix past mistakes and emphasize the place’s special qualities. I enjoyed returning after a year in which the charming family made the house truly their own.
Photos by Aviv Kurt.