The owners of this multi-level apartment in the top of a condominium building in the city wanted to renovate for two main reasons. First, they wanted a larger kitchen with new appliances and a central island with seating. Second, they wanted to create a home gym that was open to their existing deck.
This house was featured in the Washington Post. Click here to read the article.
Kitchen. The original kitchen was an open galley with a wall of cabinets and a small island. It was also open above, under a balcony and bridge that lead to the roof deck. We enclosed the opening above the kitchen to create a home gym on the upper level. The wall of the new kitchen is a few feet forward of the original wall. The reason for this is that there was an existing beam that dictated an 8-foot ceiling on that end. However, new kitchen ceiling is 9-feet high, which is the maximum height at the front of this floor. This also allowed us to build a pantry behind the new kitchen wall – which works fine with the lower ceiling.
We maximized storage with the kitchen cabinet layout. The new island has a round countertop at one end for seating. The clients also upgraded to professional appliances including the large freezer and refrigerator (right). The new island is also more connected to the adjacent seating area.
The seating area is adjacent to the kitchen along a railing that overlooks the living room below. However, there was unused space between the seating and kitchen counter.
The new pantry has two frosted glass pocket doors. One door is in the kitchen (see photo above), for easy access to the extra freezer, and cooking items. The other door is in the hallway, near the laundry closet. The frosted glass doors echo the look of the glass in the upper cabinets.
Gym. Expanding the narrow 30 square foot balcony on the upper level to a full floor allowed us to create a 300 square foot gym. We closed off the opening to the kitchen below.
The floor framing is extra strong, specifically to carry the weight of the clients’ weights and exercise apparatus. We also used sound insulation to minimize sound transmission.
We angled the hall at top of stairs to provide comfortable access to both the master bedroom and, with a few steps up, to the new gym. We built walls at the top of the stairway to prevent sound transmission, but in order not to lose natural light transmission, we installed 3 glass openings that are fitted with LED lights. This allows light from the new sliding door to flow down to the lower floor. The entry door to the gym is a frosted glass pocket door.
We replaced existing door/transom and two double-hung windows with an expansive, almost 16-foot, double sliding door, allowing for almost 8-foot opening to the outside. These larger doors allow in a lot of light and provide better access to the deck for entertaining. The cedar siding on the interior gym wall echoes the cedar deck fence.
BEFORE: The bridge entry to the deck was through a glass door with a transom. There were also two windows to the left. We kept the existing skylights.
Deck. The clients’ desire was to expand the existing 6-foot deep deck as much as possible. We were able to double the depth to 12 feet. The roof starts to drop away beyond the 12-foot mark and there is a chimney on the other side of the fence that dictated the expansion size.
Master Bedroom. We reconfigured entry to master bedroom off the new angled hall at the top of the stairs. The bedroom now has a single door rather than the original double door. This allowed us to install an extra closet in the bedroom. We also had to rework an HVAC duct near the entry to improve HVAC flow. We accounted for that in our design as well.
Guest room/ Guest bath. The clients originally asked us about moving the guest bath forward to enlarge the guest bedroom, but instead, we showed them that adding a pantry would make better use of the space. As they did not have a tub in the condominium, we replaced the existing shower with a tub.
Laundry Closet. We enlarged the laundry closet slightly, but left it in its existing location in the hall between the guest room and new pantry.
Living Room. We reconfigured the closet as it had a low ceiling and multiple doors. Building the new planter on the floor above helped us add some height, and a closet organization system adds efficient storage. The clients also have better access to the closet with sliding doors.
Demolition and Material Delivery. The construction was a challenge as the condo was the top two floors of a building that had a lot of turns from the front and back entry. We did have the use of two spaces in the rear lot during daytime hours. One of the first tasks of our field crew was to build a hoist in the master bedroom that could be expanded into the French door opening during the day, and retracted at night to allow the doors to close. The hoist was fitted with an electric motor on one end. Our team used the hoist to remove demolished materials and bring in finish materials.
The beam expanded out to the parking lot.
However, the hoist was not rated for above 500 pounds, so for delivery of the stone countertops and appliance, we rented a crane.