The Arlington property was an abandoned house offered by the bank for sale. The house had been neglected for a long time and had many problems. The floor and the foundation were uneven, the interior was worn out, and the crawl space was flooded due to poor drainage and runoff from the nearby park.
However, the house had a lot of potential. It had a spacious living room and dining room with large windows facing the front deck. The kitchen was next to the dining room and had access to the side yard that bordered the park. The three bedrooms and one bathroom were located at the back of the house, separated by a hallway.
The house had a good layout, with a clear distinction between public and private areas. Our goal was to improve the quality of the existing spaces by bringing more daylight and air into them. We also wanted to create a stronger connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, which were currently isolated from each other. The house was surrounded by nature, with a park on one side and a hill with trees on the other. We wanted to make the most of this beautiful setting and let it enhance the living experience inside the house.
We wanted to create a more spacious and bright living room, so we decided to make some changes to the fireplace and the windows. The old brick fireplace was too bulky and outdated, so we removed it and installed a sleek gas fireplace in the southwest corner. This gave us more room to add a large casement window where the fireplace used to be, which let in more natural light.
We also replaced the front windows with two sliding glass doors that connected the living room to the front deck. This made the indoor and outdoor spaces feel more integrated and inviting. We continued this theme by adding sliding glass doors to all the bedrooms, which also improved the ventilation and lighting. The bedrooms now had access to a new outdoor landing/deck, which added more functionality and charm. We were very happy with the results, as we felt we had transformed our living room and bedrooms into more comfortable and enjoyable spaces.
Enhancing indoor to outdoor transition for the rooms shouldn’t stop at the house. A good outdoor connection will go useless without an effort to develop the surrounding landscape for maximum viewing pleasure. This meant that developing the landscape was an essential element in our design for the house at the Arlington/park side project. The house was surrounded by yards on all sides, each with a different character and function. We treated each yard differently and according to its place in the relation to the house and how it would be used by the occupants. In the front and left side yards, we planted drought-tolerant Cacti and Succulents to provide pleasant surroundings for the front deck and the deck adjacent to the park. The back and the right yard in turn were made into edible gardens by building planter boxes filled with deep topsoil.
In the end, the building and its surrounding landscape were working together to create a unified living system for the entire family.