The explosion of remote work during COVID-19 exposed a challenge many homeowners faced: the absence of a dedicated home office. Take, for instance, this homeowner who, lacking a separate workspace, had to use the dining room table. This resulted in a constant back-and-forth of clearing the table for meals, which significantly disrupted their workday and hindered productivity.

    Project Details

    Type: Residential porch conversion
    Year home was built: 1924

    before the transformation


    the project plan

    Thinking outside the box, we explored the home’s underutilized spaces. The rarely used back porch emerged as a prime candidate for transformation. We created a dedicated home office bathed in natural light by converting the porch into a fully functional interior room. To optimize the layout further, we incorporated a portion of the adjoining bathroom, resulting in a more spacious and improved half bath.

    Upon initial inspection of the porch entryway from the backyard, a critical structural element was identified – a beam positioned only six feet above the landing. This beam played a vital role in the roof design of the historic 1924 home, and modifying it would require additional approvals. We strategically recessed the doorway deeper into the sloped porch ceiling to overcome this obstacle and achieve a standard door height of 6’8” with a comfortable 3’ landing. This creative solution provided the necessary headroom and formed a convenient niche on the interior, perfectly suited for a built-in desk.


    Functional layout

    Creating a dedicated home office within the home’s existing footprint presented a spatial challenge. Our team employed strategic planning to maximize every square inch of the home.

    This involved creatively reconfiguring the floorplan by demolishing the wall separating the porch from the main house. This unified the previously separate porch, back hall, and full bathroom areas.

    Enlarged the space

    To carve out enough room for the home office, we strategically removed an under-utilized laundry closet, downsized an existing full bath to a powder room, and renewed the powder bath with a modern makeover in the process.


    Custom Built-in storage

    We crafted a custom built-in desk and bookshelves to make the most of every nook and cranny in the new home office.

    Overcoming Obstacles

    Preserving historic character

    Sourcing windows that seamlessly matched the existing historical profile of the 1924 home was crucial to maintaining the property's architectural integrity.

    To overcome this, all windows were custom-sized to replicate the existing post profiles. However, this presented a challenge: accommodating these profiles while also preserving the exterior trim details to ensure a seamless match with the rest of the house.

    An additional layer of complexity arose from the need to maintain traditional, much larger interior window and door casings. We meticulously designed the windows to overcome these obstacles, ensuring both historic preservation and optimal functionality.

    Where the original home would have had 100% true divided-light single-pane windows, we used simulated divided light so that we could choose the size of the window and door grilles and the exact profile—in this case, a putty glaze. We also carefully matched the exterior color.

    Space-Saving Details

    To squeeze out every inch of the home office, we opted for high-performance foam insulation in the walls. This innovative material allowed us to minimize wall thickness while still achieving the required thermal resistance (R-value).


    The final result

    The final result is a stunning example of successful historic preservation, where an under-utilized space has been transformed into a beautiful and functional home office.


    Home renovation discovery session

    Our home renovation discovery sessions are organized around you: your needs, style preferences, and desire to make the home you have the best it can be.

    You can expect our staff to ask many questions, listen, and provide you with actionable information. We’ll help you prioritize, get a clear sense of the project scope, and help you gain a sense of your budget. Everything you need to know to take the next step in your home renovation.