Little Additions

    Home additions come in all sizes--some you might not even think of as additions because they are so modest in scale.  Here is a design solution that draws on the big benefits offered by little additions.  In this example, the problem (one we encounter all the time) is:  not enough seating space in the kitchen.

    Just A Little Bit

    Let's say, you don't need a lot more space but you definitely need more than you have.    We could build a breakfast room addition, but that would over solve the problem.  So we think small.  We think banquette.  That's built-in seating for casual dining.  Here's one we designed for a home in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington DC.  It's just a modest little bump out, a window seat really.  It serves as a transition space between an open kitchen and living room.

    This beautiful banquette has the attraction quality of a booth at a cafe. 
    It's a tiny addition to the room, but what a difference it makes.  It's so appealing.
    When you go to a cafe don't you almost always ask for a booth?  or to be seated by a window?

    Mini Family Room Addition

    This little addition is actually a window seat.  When you lift the lid on the seating bench, a huge storage bin for the kids' toys is revealed.

    By recessing seating on one side, we gain approximately two and a half feet of space in the room. 
    It works with or without the table and chairs--giving this family of six the flexibility they need in their family room.
    The seating bench doubles as a storage trunk for children's toys and art materials.

    Big Plus Little

    This project did in fact require a full kitchen addition.  In addition to the addition we snugged in a banquette to provide seating for a large and very busy family to have daily meals.

    A semi-circular banquette in the rear of this kitchen comfortably seats the entire family.


    One of the beauties of this sort of small addition is that, when done well, the result is spatial/visual harmony.  Circulation patterns and defined function areas work gracefully together.  There is a logic to the room that is immediately felt when you enter.  That's the beauty of design, and of thinking small.

    If you'd like to get more ideas about how to get more functionality out your older home, read our eBook: The Essential Elements of Renovating an Older Home.

    Essential Elements of Renovating an Older Home

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