A Style That is Always in Style
Words and Design by Landis Construction
We first met the homeowner to inspect a degraded old group house in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood. As a design/build firm that focuses on remodeling, we don’t usually recommend tearing down a home, but we dutifully wrote the proposal anyway with the bad news. Shortly after that, the homeowner bought the house and hired our firm to design a new home on the site.
Our customer had a pretty clear vision of what he wanted, a well designed, well constructed bungalow that would blend into the neighborhood. In addition to fidelity to the craftsman spirit and ideals, our client required the integration of sustainable design principles, energy efficiency and quality throughout. He also wanted to recreate the dimension and feel of his living/dining room in his Mount Pleasant home.
The homeowner’s initial request of 2400 square feet did not accommodate all the requirements he was looking for in his new house. At the completion of design, the project had expanded to 4500 square feet. Care was taken during the design phase to ensure that the home’s massing would fit in with the neighborhood and the bungalow aesthetic. Instead of going up, the home extends inconspicuously toward the rear of the lot.
Images by Sam Kittner
The front porch creates an elegant and well proportioned transition from public to private space. Visually, it balances the dormer and the rest of the front façade. It features brick columns with tapered pilasters, decorative brackets at the gable end, IPE decking, a custom built cedar handrail and flagstone steps.
For framing, we went pre-fab by using 2x6 factory-built wall panels and a trussed roof. This allowed the home to go up quickly, but required lots of planning and attention to detail before construction. The home has a multi-zone super high efficiency HVAC system. Foam insulation was blown in under the slab, inthe walls and under the entire roof, making the home is incredibly tight. The HVAC system has an energy recovery ventilator to bring in fresh air.
Custom cherry cabinetry, fireplace mantel surround, doors and window trims, base and crown moldings are designed and finished to bring in the craftsman style of the exterior inside the living and dining rooms. The style was carried over to the family room which sports cream glazed finishes stained desk tops and flyover shelves.
Long-length quarter-sawn oak floors span throughout the first and second floors. The engineered floors in the rear portion of the first floor were fabricated by the same mill shop to match the tongue and groove floors. We installed solid wood doors throughout, many of them stain grade.
Radiant heat runs under the floors in the rear portion of the first floor and excellent lighting choices was used throughout the home. Careful placement of general as well as ambient light complement the use of interior clerestory windows and frosted glass doors that bring in natural light to interior spaces.
The master bathroom also features the Craftsman style by using stained cherry wood cabinetry and granite countertops and varying sizes of slate tiles. This homeowner took great care to build a home which recalls an era of civility and elegance, of pride in craftsmanship. It will be a gem for its current owner and for many more to come.
For more Craftsmen that aren't this Craftsman.