Vaulting Ceilings into Former Attic Space
Seward Park Gables
Repatriating unused attic space to create open rooms with dramatic gabled ceilings.
When these homeowners first moved into their house, they fell in love with the gorgeous views and classic lines of this Seward Park home, but didn’t love the closed-off kitchen and unfinished second story space under the gable roof.
Our goal on the main floor of the home was to open the kitchen to the adjacent dining room and lift the ceiling in those rooms clear to the roof, incorporating the otherwise-useless attic space into the living space. To pull this off this dramatic change, we added exposed trusses and metal collar ties that now play a pivotal role in the architectural drama of the space.
In the newly-open space, the wall behind the range serves as the anchor for the room, highlighted with graphic art tile in a white tile backdrop. The two-tone cabinetry — accented with bronze hardware — helps break up the envelope of white walls and ceiling. A large island offers a great spot for food preparation and casual seating adjacent to the dining room, complete with wood-burning fireplace.
Upstairs, under the steeply-sloping roofline, we carved out a long primary bathroom. The low space under the roof — where there isn’t enough headroom to stand — is the perfect spot for a statement soaking tub, under a skylight, in front of a wallpaper accent wall. A white-painted, wood slat wall serves as a backdrop for the vanity while also tying into to the simple, white tile of the walk-in shower.
In the bedroom, headroom clearance was also a problem. So, we added an accent wall cutting into the space, pushing the head of the bed into the area with higher clearance. The accent wall functions aesthetically in the same way as the head of a bed would, were it be a piece of furniture: anchoring the head of the bed in the room.
Custom built-in casework in the other low-ceiling-areas of the room helps anchor the roof and provide much-needed, useful storage. The large window in the room also functions as a Juliette balcony: the lower panel of the glass stays put like a railing, while the upper panel slides down. Open rafters and metal collar ties reflect the architecture in the kitchen, tying the whole home together with a shared architectural language.
In the end, the clients now have a home that lives larger and more comfortably, while not actually including any additional space. The dramatic ceiling height helps the home feel bright and airy, letting the focus remain on the gorgeous views and classic lines of the home.
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