Bernard House is our latest Logan Square residential project. The refined urban bungalow renovation increases living space with a master suite and family room addition, a new deck, and opens up divided rooms into inviting social spaces.
The vintage, two-story wood frame and brick bungalow-style house sits on a leafy urban street surrounded by an eclectic mix of homes. Our clients came to us with a vision of adding space, renovating the rear exterior while maintaining the character of the front facade, and preserving the parlor room at the front of the house. They also sought to create a family room and open up compartmentalized interior spaces to feel less cramped. The addition is unified with an expanded master suite, new rear windows with Parisian style grids and doors. The replacements open the house to a now usable backyard, bringing the outdoors in for a more peaceful interior and essential aspect of well-being.
URBAN BUNGALOW RENOVATION: OPENING UP THE FLOORPLAN
This project preserves the front facade and the large parlor with a fireplace at the front of the house. The remaining interior will be gutted so we can expand the divided rooms. On the first floor, we’ll open up the original arrangement of small, separated rooms, add a closet and powder room, and shift the kitchen towards the middle of the plan while giving it more access to natural light. The kitchen opens up to the rear of the first floor into a new living space that opens out to a new deck and a boot room that can be closed off.
We are removing the patchwork floor on the entire main level and replacing it with an elegant white oak chevron wood floor. Our clients salvaged some pretty cool vintage items from within the house they want to incorporate, and we’re all about reuse! We are repurposing a pair of vintage interior milkman doors, hardware, and light fixtures from the original 1950s construction. And the existing stained glass window will be reused as an interior transom in the boot room. Integrating the vintage artifacts with the updated interiors and materials will create a French connection ambiance for the homeowners.
While we’re going through the process of reorganizing rooms and modernizing materials, we’ll also improve the building envelope. The older windows will be replaced with insulated and energy-efficient Weathershield windows, and closed-cell spray foam insulation will be applied to the walls and new roof. In addition, the basement floor will have a radiant floor heating system and a dual-zone system. Adding heat devices at the lowest levels of the house reduces the need for forced air heat in the rest of the spaces.
MASTER SUITE ADDITION
At the moment, the second floor lacks a true master suite and doesn’t have a good view of the backyard. With our urban bungalow renovation design, the addition over the new family room creates an ensuite bedroom, two guest bedrooms with one bathroom, and a hallway laundry area. Relocating the laundry from the dank basement to a bright location can lessen the schlepping distance and make laundry fun again!
The massing of the master suite addition is designed to protect the first floor sliding doors and glass in addition to providing cover at the deck. While the second floor overhang protects the master suite windows. The addition pops up higher than the existing roof allowing for clearstory transom windows on the north side of the master bedroom, allowing light and fresh into the room.
CONNECTING WITH THE YARD – BASEMENT AND REAR DECK
GRILL & CHILL
Currently, the rickety rear porch doesn’t engage with the backyard space or allow for natural light to illuminate the interior. Once we demolish the porch we’ll modernize the backyard by installing a new deck with two-tier steel planters, a built-in banquet, and a grill for cooking al-fresco. A concrete step provides access to the deck and basement, and a newly poured concrete pad creates additional seating areas. The two spaces now connect, allowing for easy conversation and a jam session under the stars if the mood strikes.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL BASEMENT SPACE
Our clients love to entertain and requested the underutilized basement function as a multipurpose room to accommodate guests and double as a music/jam session room. The current basement situation is tight and isn’t exactly a cozy-zone entertainment spot.
Adding more ceiling height and installing radiant hydronic heat beneath the floor will create a more inviting and useable basement. This process begins with excavating the existing slab and underpinning to gain more height. Then, we’ll pour a polished concrete slab and install a drain tile and sump pump to keep the subterranean conditions dry. In addition to the radiant heat, we’re adding a new dual-zone split system for supplemental heating and cooling throughout, amping up the coziness level.
In line with the owner’s program requirements, we designed spaces for a music room, a swanky wet bar, and garden storage accessible from the exterior.
More updates will follow as construction gets underway.
Pictured below are demo views of the basement and second floor.
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