Magazine article Sunset

Bungalow Rockets into the 1990s

Magazine article Sunset

Bungalow Rockets into the 1990s

Article excerpt

WALLS CAME DOWN, CEILINGS ROSE, AND FACE TO STREET GETS A BOLD NEW LOOK

Out went the tired furniture, interior walls, and 8-foot ceilings. In came lofty, angular volumes brightened by skylights and a stylish collection of contemporary furniture. And up went a front wall that presents a bold new look to the street.

These visual pyrotechnics rocketed a 1,250-square-foot post--World War II bungalow into the 1990s. Remarkably, the remodel that brought about this radical transformation involved only a few modest additions. The striking geometric facade and the airy interior artfully disguise the fact that much of the original house remains intact.

PUTTING UP A GOOD FRONT

If you think of the classic false-front buildings that once lined the dusty streets of Western towns, you'll get an idea of how the street-facing side of the house changed.

A 15-foot-tall wall now rises across the front of the original squat house, giving it a more imposing mass and introducing some of the geometric design themes--squares, triangles, and stair-steps--that continue through the interior. From the side, though, you can see that the old shallow-pitched roof is still there, butting into the new facade, which masks views of skylights, vents, and shingles.

The wall enclosed a covered porch, adding 8 feet to the living room. The front door was repositioned out of view behind a short curved section of wall.

RAISING THE CEILINGS--STEP BY STEP

The front door opens into the low end of the expanded, 20-foot-long living room. From a soffit just above door height, the ceiling now rises to a 13-foot-high ridge at the back wall of the living room, unfettered by the removal of the old ceiling joists and braces. It follows the slope of the original roof, but not in an uninterrupted pitch; instead, it reaches its apex in stages. …

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