Storybook Cottage

Location: Great Falls, VA

This 1980’s contemporary had great curb appeal and proportions, but contained many awkward and poorly designed spaces. While the primary focus was to address the design deficiencies with additions and a more livable and useful floor plan, extensive work was done to transform the interior and exterior into a more traditional craftsman-style cottage.

The addition to the right of the house addressed the need for a main level garage with an in-law suite above. By moving the garage out of the basement, space became available for a billiard room and allowed the lower level to open to the rear yard. The laundry was relocated to the addition, and the old dark kitchen was expanded and relocated to the outside corner walls to allow for more windows and natural light.

A rear addition expanded the dining room to a more suitable size for entertaining and increased the size of a small second floor bedroom. The third addition created a sitting room and transformed the long, narrow and small master bedroom into a well-proportioned and inviting master suite.

The exterior was in reasonable good shape. The stone and cedar siding were in excellent condition, but the windows needed to be replaced. Through careful design, new windows, and modifications to the cornice and rake details, the very dated 1980s exterior was transformed into the storybook cottage you see today.

To complete the transformation, all interior birch veneer doors and trim were replaced with traditional raised panel doors and generous colonial baseboard. Originally drywall, the stair well and foyer now feature wrought iron railings, oak wainscoting and recessed oak panels. Even the ceilings received attention. The once textured ceilings are now smooth. The kitchen and bathrooms were all renovated and updated.

Photography: ©Greg Hadley