This adorable Mid-Century Modern ranch front room in Denver was a joy to work with and enhance without spoiling the original intent of the time period. The clients complained that the room was dark and cold so our goal was to add light and heat. Since it was built on a slab and with no insulation, we had some specific problems. The room had been added-on by a past owner and the work wasn’t done particularly well but because of budget constraints, we wanted to preserve as much as possible.
The clients wanted more light, storage and heat. They also wanted bookcases if possible so we set about to see what we could do. First, after field measuring and drawing the house to scale in CAD, we began the design process. Since there were already a couple of rows of glass block on the east side of the room, a 3 block row was added to the south wall. Then a large slider was enclosed—also on the south side. To bring even more light in, we added a row of awning windows under the existing stationary windows and made sure the new ones lined up exactly with the originals. It was really important to us that the architecture look like it was original to the house.
To solve the storage issues, BDG designers added cabinets under the breakfast counter and all along the north wall, incorporating glass door cabinets to house the TV equipment—as well as bookcases under the new windows—again at exactly the same width as the windows. In order to have the breakfast bar the appropriate height of 42”, we used a combination of solutions: (1) a built up counter top; and (2) 2×4 build-up under all of the cabinets in conjunction with a taller-than-normal toe kick. The result was a 42” counter at the breakfast bar and 38” counter heights along the north wall. The counter top for the 38” section rides under the counter for the 42” section.
The heating problem was solved by adding an independent heating/cooling unit to the south wall just a few inches below the ceiling. We wanted to go through the adjacent wall with the dining room but couldn’t do it because of foundation considerations. We also added track lights behind a beam to light the north wall and moved the TV connections across the room. Bottom line, we have a very happy client!