When these clients called us in 2010, they knew three things: 1. They needed a kitchen that could accommodate the skills (and space) of a committed home cook. (Daily meals are often grand endeavors into Thai curry, fresh baking and chocolate). 2. They needed more space and, importantly, quiet space away from the sleeping areas that enabled either parent (or both) to work or read late into the night. And they wanted their house to convert from coal heating to geothermal.
 
The house is a 1994 vinyl sided modular that they had considered simply walking away from and buying something better suited to their needs. But it sits on 30 acres close to the Village of Trumansburg, NY and they loved the land and location.
 
Balance Studio was invited to help design and guide the entire program, from reviewing geothermal contractors, to designing both the kitchen and addition, to help identifying strategies for bringing the whole home up to a higher standard of both finish and performance. What sold the clients on us, however, was our experience in working with found and reclaimed items, since these folks had every intention of scouring for unique elements to include in the project (and a family of scroungers with big trucks and flatbed trailers to make it happen).
 
In the pictures that follow, you’ll get a taste of the end result. All the interior doors are reclaimed and refinished, including massive pocket doors with hardware... all re-used. The flooring is local ash. The entire house was stripped of the vinyl siding, wrapped in rigid foam and re-clad with fiber cement siding. The solution included relocating the main entrance from the front of the house to around to the side where there was room for an addition to house the proposed living room, office/guest room, laundry and half bath. This freed up the old living room space to become a formal dining room and the old laundry area to become part of an expanded kitchen. Opening up the wall between the kitchen and old living room created an open, spacious, social center for family and friends, including oversized upholstered seating to watch the culinary magic unfold.
 
Quarter sawn oak Fieldstone cabinetry, natural walnut and black absolute granite countertops. Slate backsplash and porcelain tile flooring.
 
Within a month of completing this project, one set of aging parents needed a place to live for a time and the new addition guest room and wide access to the bath made a big difference.
Bilotta-Withiam
Front (south facing), before
East side, before
Rear of house, before
Kitchen - before. Space was tight and circulation zones to living, laundry and outside all interfered.
Chopping block, to be featured in new kitchen
From kitchen to living room (future dining). Narrow opening isolated the spaces.
Living to Kitchen, coal stove in foreground
Reclaimed fireplace surround to be incorporated into new living room.
Addition wrapped with rain screen and rigid foam, features in-floor radiant and dense packed cellulose.
New main entry offers gracious welcome, natural light
Kitchen to formal dining, walnut counter on sideboard
Kitchen with incorporated chopping block table
New Living Room wit reclaimed fireplace surround, pocket doors and trim
New Living Room to Office, cathedral ceiling and local ash flooring
Reading Corner
Handcrafted brackets support island.
New addition with relocated main entry
Rear entrance on new addition
Bilotta before