A Workaround Approach to Kneewall Built-Ins
Without modifying the framing, a carpenter tucks storage and style beneath the roof in a second-floor hallway.
This Cape Cod-style bungalow was built just before World War II (the war that would change everything, including the way houses are built). It’s compact and efficient, with a steep roof made of intersecting gables and eaves with no overhangs. It has simple moldings and few extras. The house reflects its era—a time of great struggle—with a modest amount of comfort.
Though the current homeowners appreciate their home’s history, they’re a growing modern family and needed more storage. But adding built-ins that protrude into any of the home’s small rooms would mean losing valuable floor space, which is at a premium in this house. So when I was hired for the project, I suggested we turn our attention to the narrow second-floor hallway at the top of the home’s steep winder stairs. It’s a spacious, light-filled area, and the 4-ft.-high kneewall under the sloped ceiling left us…