Best Remodel 2014: Inside a Model Remodel
A small addition and a savvy design transform a small California bungalow.
Synopsis: In “Inside a Model Remodel,” architect Krista Becker writes about how she designed her award-winning best remodel of the year, a complete reinvention of her 1930s bungalow in Southern California. The whole-house remodel uses smart design strategies—replicable in any remodel-to modernize the floor plan and to create bright, contemporary interior spaces that are inviting and easy to live in. Organizing the new floor plan to create a contiguous living area made the home feel expansive, while providing the practical benefit of easier child supervision. The private spaces—bedrooms and bathrooms—are placed along a central circulation loop around the new stair, which provides access to the new master suite on the second floor. Should access to the master suite ever become an issue, the full bath and main-floor bedrooms can accommodate single-floor living. A thoughtful remodeling design must address four areas: attention to views to enhance a sense of space, uniform finishes to build flow from room to room, creating open space to offer freedom (ceiling heights rather than walls help define rooms), and increasing daylight to improve a sense of spaciousness.
As an architect, I’ve been fortunate to be involved in a variety of projects throughout my career—everything from high-rises to hospitals. Most recently, I’ve been focused on large-scale civic work—specifically, designing embassies around the world. The work is both demanding and rewarding, and it requires a considerable amount of travel. But as every trip nears its end, I look forward to returning to the small bungalow I’ve called home for the past 15 years in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica, Calif.
My home was originally built in 1939 as part of a collection of houses constructed for the employees of the nearby Douglas Aircraft Company, renowned for producing the Douglas…