What do you do with children who are growing older and need their own space? This was the main concern a family had in their home in Marin County, California. Luckily, Heidi Richardson of Richardson Architects was able to rearrange their home to give their two teen daughters the space they needed in this functional remodel.
As an architect, Heidi reorganized the space so it fit the needs of the owners. This is a one-story home, and they couldn’t expand the structure’s footprint, so new spaces the owners wanted needed to be in a fairly condensed area. They wanted different spaces for their teen daughters, to entertain guests, and for the family to spend time together.
“We were able to separate zones for different activities and different members of the household,” says Heidi. “But they can still come together and have a feeling of community.” The parents like to entertain, but there wasn’t a good space for their daughters to call their own. Now, they each have a separate space.
An open floor plan throughout the center of the house keeps different rooms connected. “The openness from the den to the hallway is an important design feature,” says Heidi. “Carrying the color from the den to the bar area so it feels like one room is important too.” Using similar colors makes the whole space cohesive. Wood floors were also carried throughout the home to make the different spaces fit together well.
Originally, the center of the house was a dark corridor from the front of the house to the back, but by opening up some of those doorways, it created more room and made the home feel brighter. When the front door is open, you see straight out to the back garden, but the space between is still open and welcoming.
Keeping a Functional Remodel
This home needed to be functional for family life, as well as for entertaining. The owners didn’t want something too formal, but rather a home that was comfortable. The solution? Farmhouse style, of course. Heidi was able to reorganize the space so it was functional for all of the owners’ needs.
“It was really a collaboration with the owners,” says Heidi, “They have an eclectic style, and already had a lot of wonderful pieces—furniture and paintings and things—I just needed to create a simple shell for the family to fill.” The owners did most of the decorating, and Heidi provided the farmhouse-style structure that would be both functional for everyday life, and welcoming to visitors.