When designer Gretchen Krebs and her team at Medium Plenty, met their new clients, a clinical psychologist and a partner at a design firm, they presented them with the opportunity to transform a tiny home from 1912 into a space fit for a family of four plus a dog.
It wasn’t that the original space needed much help so much as that the size was limiting. The kitchen, for example, was affectionately called the “two butt room” because if even two people were in that room at once they’d inevitably bump into one another. Besides the kitchen, the family was also sharing one green and pink tiled bathroom. The home needed better flow, more light but most importantly, needed to fulfill the spatial requirements to give the family more space to spread out. To achieve this, the team at Medium Plenty decided to design an addition.
“Our inspiration started with the original house and deciding to create a new, modern intervention for the addition at the rear rather than blending it into the existing structure,” Gretchen said. The new addition would embrace a modern look instead of mimicking the original home from the early 1900’s. The designers of Medium Plenty, did want to create some continuity between the two structures: the original home had 1 inch oak strip wood flooring that they restored and continued throughout the rest of the space. The antique gumwood paneling was another architectural highlight that they wanted to maintain. Even within the new structure, they matched similar paneling, most notably in the frames of the windows and doors.
However some more modern comforts were added to this family home. The kitchen was opened up both to the living spaces and the backyard. An elegant leather benched breakfast nook was designed for casual dining and the master bedroom was enlarged so that the bed could face the windows looking out onto the backyard.
This renovation and building process had its ups and downs, and delays, as many of these projects do. But throughout their time working together both designers and clients developed a friendship. “The clients had very good taste and we worked closely with them to make their wants and needs a reality,” Gretchen added. “When they were able to use their kitchen and backyard freely, pure joy is probably the next best description of how they felt when it was all done. They have continued to reiterate how much they love it, which is the best reward we can get as designers.”