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Storybook ending – remodel of a 1950s house

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Remodel by architect Josh Youngner

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Once upon a time there was a young couple who outgrew their home, but they loved the neighborhood and didn't want to move.

With twins expected, they knew they needed more space. The solution? A major renovation that would add more space to their 1950s house and better equip it for modern living.

Having seen an interior they loved in a magazine, the pair approached the interior designer Cynthia Schoonover, who in turn introduced them to architect Joshua Youngner. Working together with builder Royce Flournoy of Texas Construction Company, the designers came up with a plan, which effectively gutted the entire house and rebuilt it from the ground up, adding an extra 15ft to the rear.

With a new steeply pitched roof, arched windows, gabled ends and front porch, the house now has a character that was missing before – that of a much older home.

"To reinforce the cottage look, we added copper roof vents, a box window and a simulated dovecote at the top of the large gable," says Youngner. "There is also a dormer window in the attic space, which can be made into a large room at a later date."


Flournoy says the mix of siding materials also enhances the detailing. These include stucco and Hardie plank walls, as well as the copper trim.

"On the inside, the ceilings were raised from 8ft to 10ft, and the living, dining and kitchen areas opened up to flow from one to the other, with the kitchen positioned in the new addition. This ensures the owners can look right through the house and enjoy the view of the rear garden from the living room."

Schoonover says that while the owners like a traditional look, they wanted their home to be equal parts practicality and luxury.

"The interior also needed visual continuity. I specified a natural linen color for the walls in the living areas, contrasting this with pure white trims."

For most of the window treatments, white painted shutters, rather than drapes, were chosen. The white oak flooring features a polyurethane finish that is two parts satin to one part gloss, which provides durability and gives the floor an attractive waxed look.

The traditional ambiance is further enhanced by the kitchen cabinets, which are a little more decorative than a straight Shaker style – there is beading around the inset panels. White subway tiles on the backsplash, and a farmhouse sink reinforce the look.

The three bedrooms and bathrooms continue the theme. Walls in the bedrooms are painted a very light blue – a color repeated on the ceiling of the bathrooms.

"Although the furnishings are not strictly symmetrical, there is a balance to the interior design that makes it very serene and welcoming," says Schoonover.

"At around 2200sq ft, this is a charming house, with a level of design and specification that make it a truly unique jewel, meeting the owners' requirements, both now and in the future," says Youngner.

First published date: 26 November 2013

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Credit List

Remodeling architect Joshua Youngner, Dunwody/Beeland Architects, Inc (Saint Simons Island, GA)
Interior designer Cynthia Schoonover, Cynthia Schoonover Interiors
Structural engineer Feldt Consulting Engineers
Builder Royce Flournoy, Texas Construction Company (Austin, TX)
Siding James Hardie
Roofing CertainTeed Hatteras
Doors and windows Jeld-Wen custom
Flooring White oak
Paints and varnishes Sherwin Williams; Minwax
Lighting Visual Comfort; Restoration Hardware
Furniture Halo Styles
Blinds Custom plantation shutters
Kitchen countertops Carrara marble
Backsplash DalTile White
Sink Herbeau
Faucets Newport brass
Oven and cooktop Five Star
Ventilation Viking
Refrigeration Sub-Zero
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel
Bathtub Kohler Mendota
Handbasins Kohler Caxton
Bathroom taps and shower fittings Newport Brass
Floor tiles DalTile Octagon and Dot
Wall tiles DalTile White
Accessories Restoration Hardware