Home Additions That Go Against the Grain

by Kevin Gilday & Tom Gilday


Most often prospective clients will say “we want an addition that doesn’t look like and addition.”   They want home additions to "respect the architectural character of our house.”  We can do that.  We’ve done that.  Many times.  Actually, it’s easy provided you pay attention to the details.

Wait a minute.  This is odd.  What is this?


Sleek vs. Stodgy. Can they learn to get along?



The contemporary profile of this screened porch intentionally contradicts the not-so-fashion-forward look of the Dutch Colonial house to which it is attached.  The homeowners, though living within the four walls of a traditional Washington DC house have furnished and remodeled to suit their modernist sensibilities.

What makes this porch addition work (in our humble opinion) instead of clash?  Though the lines are clean and modern, the broad white trim boards bring a recognizably traditional element into the mix.  We think that helps competing visual styles to peacefully coexist.



A steeply raked roofline lets in lots of sky


As it often goes, form follows function.  In terms of function: the owners wanted this porch to be a natural extension of the kitchen.  When weather is nice, the wall of stacking glass panels can be completely opened.


A view from the kitchen catches a lot of sky



And then there is the light.  Often an addition will shade the adjacent interior, but the lofty,  steeply raked ceiling provides sky views.  The structure seems to just scoop daylight deep into the interior.


all photos: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography