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May 20, 2013

The Great American House | New, New Addition Plans for Our House

One of my Mother's Day gifts was this book, The Great American House by Gil Schafer.  I've been eying it for months... but since it is not available on the ipad, I hadn't gotten around to getting it for myself. 

There are a million reasons why I love this book and the style that Mr. Schafer presents - but mostly, I love that the book is all about embracing modern living and making it work with true American style.  He designs home with large mudrooms and open kitchens that feel like they were built 100 years ago. 

As we're planning our addition, it is something I've been struggling with as we interview contractors and architects... I don't want our house too look or feel like a brand new house.  I want it to have the charm and character of an old house that has a history. 

A couple of months ago I posted my sketches of our vision.  I got great feedback from all of you and have made adjustments accordingly.  The biggest addition to the addition as been that of a large mudroom and dry storage, and a studio for me.   

As you can see - attached to the garage is a studio (that envision to look like a classic potting shed) with french doors that will lead out to the garden.  Hopefully it will be a place that I can do projects, make messes and then just hose down.  I've also included a dog wash area in the garage - another recommendation from the readers! 

Instead of losing the charming porch off of the side of our house, we're now considering a detached garage instead of an attached.  I think the little jog over to the mudroom/studio and garage will add some charm to the exterior.  We're also hoping to add a covered porch off of the kitchen (accessed through double french doors) that will step down to the patio. 

Another new idea is instead of turning the old garage into a guest bedroom, we'll be using it as a library/dining room.  I think I would miss having a formal dining room for the holidays, so I think this will be a nice addition... and it can be more of a library/study the rest of the time.  Because the rest of the house will be pretty open, it will be nice to have place that can be a cozy quiet zone for working and studying.

THIS is exactly how I want our kitchen table and hearth area to be... french doors and all.  In fact, I love everything - the beamed ceiling, and the paneled fireplace with a stone inset.

I love the stone floor and the dutch door of this mud room.

 I wish we had room for a barn : )

Again, these are just my own preliminary sketches and ideas... I'd love your input!


  1. The interior plans look amazing! I was wondering what exterior style you plan to have for your home, are you sticking with the Cape Cod style or revamping the exterior finishes as well?

  2. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a dining room/library and it's something I hope to have in my future home. Dining rooms that are pure dining rooms are used so rarely that they almost always feel cold and impersonal. The idea of dining in a room surrounded by books and comfy chairs is just some much more inviting!

  3. OMG.. I literally can't wait until you get started with the reno. Your new layout is so functional. And I'm so happy you decided to keep the side porch. it's so charming and has amazing curb appeal. How about some built-ins for the new library/dining room?? You could store/style with your "not everyday" dishes and glasses and linens :)

  4. hi jenny! the revised plans look amazing! isn't that book just beautiful?! i got it for my birthday last year and love it. such a good source for inspiration! your new space is really going to be incredible! so smart to have a cozy dining/library room separate from the kitchen/hearth area too. i can't wait to watch it all come together!! xo, tessa

  5. This may be one of the first times I have commented. I love your everyday occasions, design, presentation, ideas and of course your little girl. My friend follows you and sends me recipes, ideas too and we compare notes. I made your Banana Cream Pie the other day, very much like my Mother's Banana Cream pie, which was always a favorite.

    I could get lost in that book. Everything looks just the way I think a home should look.

    Several of your ideas like a library, love seats, French doors, mud room, studio to name a few . . . would be my choices if I were doing an addition.

    I look forward to following your plans . . . what fun . . .

  6. I love the new reno ideas. Keeping that porch off the exsisting dining area is a great idea. I am a firm believer in having lots of outdoor living space. I cannot wait to see it!

  7. Your new plans look amazing! Have to admit I'm slightly jealous of the mudroom/studio area. If I could have worked that into our addition I totally would have done that too. I think it's great that you are keeping your side porch. Im hoping for a small studio/carriage house eventually. I love all of the plans for French doors everywhere. Your kitchen area is going to be amazing! Are you going to live in your home through the remodel? A word of advice, it is going to be VERY dusty & that is putting it mildly. You may want to consider removing some of your living room furniture. When do you plan to get started? I'm so excited to follow along!

  8. Love the ideas! This book reminds me so much of Ina Garten's house and barn. I will be purchasing the book for sure! Looking forward to following your renovation!! :)

  9. Gil Schafer's book is one of my favorites! It doesn't hurt that a lot of the homes were decorated by Miles Redd. He happens to be one of my favorites too! Your addition looks like it's going to be fabulous. It will be fun to follow along.


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