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Family-Friendly Addition Opens a House to the Backyard

After this couple bought their Colonial-style home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, their family grew. And they quickly found that their house was less than ideal for raising two children. The solution was an addition that includes a new family room, screened-in porch, and bedroom suite for the couple. They also added on to the kitchen and reconfigured it to open up to the family room and accommodate a new butler’s pantry and powder room.

Who lives here: A couple, their two young sons and a dog

Location: Chevy Chase, Maryland

Size: The addition is 890 square feet (83 square meters)

Designer and builder: Kate Donahue of Four Brothers Design + Build

BEFORE: The homeowners wanted the addition to respect the original 1923 architecture of the home. Inside they also wanted to mix in some midcentury modern style. But the most important thing was making sure it was comfortable for the whole family.

AFTER: Everything across the back is new, the portion under the gabled roof on the left is the extended kitchen with the homeowners’ new bedroom suite stacked on top of it. The center is the new family room, and the new screened-in porch is on the right. The new roof over the family room and porch is standing-seam metal. The siding is painted stucco, chosen to complement the existing brick exterior on the first floor.

The new family room space receives a lot of light thanks to large windows, glass doors and skylights. Shiplap and false beams add architectural interest on the ceiling.

The new fireplace is two-sided. Out on the porch, the team kept the live edge on the slab from the ash tree. It adds a more rustic, outdoorsy look. The surrounding is gray stucco, which plays off the stucco on the home's exterior.

The fireplace helps the family stretch porch season into late fall and early winter. In addition to the fireplace materials, the ceramic tile floor and a beadboard ceiling add texture to the space. Square details on the screen’s frames are another nod to midcentury modern style and play off the transom windows on the interior.

BEFORE: The addition pushed out beyond the bay seen here, doubling the size of the room. The door on the left led to an uncomfortably small powder room.

AFTER: A pretty blue island with a trio of pendant lights creates a nice view from the family room. A herringbone backsplash behind the range also enhances the view. Using glass on the top cabinets lightens up the room and gives the couple space to display favorite items.

BEFORE: The couple liked having display shelves between the kitchen and the dining room.

AFTER: The team built new shelving with closed storage along the bottom. On the left, a countertop cabinet has a china-cabinet-inspired look. Glass doors provide more display space, while an appliance garage with a pullout tray keeps the coffeemaker hidden. Behind it is a new pass-through space that contains the new butler’s pantry and powder room.

The original powder room opened directly into the kitchen. The new location off the butler’s pantry provides some distance. Colorful wallpaper chosen by the homeowners makes a splash in the space. The dragons in the print remind them of time they spent living in Hong Kong. Tile wainscoting extends from the floor to backsplash height. The flooring is a Grecian white marble mosaic.

The gabled roof of the addition provides an airy vaulted ceiling in the homeowners’ new bedroom. The height of the bed works well with the scale of the soaring ceiling.