To intervene in a home in which it has been lived in for more tan 30 years and will continue to be lived in is very different from doing it in a space who’s history is completely alien to new owners. There tends to be a series of acquired habits that one does not wish to change and others that have evolved yet the architecture does not reflect it. Such is the case of this project.
When the owners first moved in during the 80s, they were a marriage of 2 professors, 3 daughters and a grandmother. After 30 years, the retired couple lives alone. As such, it was clear to them that, without drastically changing the distribution, they wanted to give it a much more adequate use to their current living situation.
Of the 4 bedrooms, the master bedroom had to be preserved as the only one with direct access to the master bath, eliminating the previous double entry. The largest bedroom had to be maintained for the use of their grandchildren that visited often and the other two to be used as studios, each one different yet communicated to each other.
The space that required the largest change was the kitchen. As it was customary it was awkwardly illuminated through an exterior gallery covered with vertical louvers. This is a privileged space, due to having direct access to the facade, yet it housed the boiler, trash and laundry, and through the years, some objects that were left there o perish, turning it into the junk room of the house. This was therefor the first thing that had to be solved; the kitchen had to take ownership of this space and integrate it to improve its spatial and lighting qualities. With a set of shelves we maintained the discretion of the fruits and vegetables that come from the orchard. The second aspect that was taken into consideration was to improve the relationship between the kitchen and the rest of the house, especially with the adjoining dining room. We removed the wall that divided these, in which a bashful window to pass the plates once stood, along with a few pictures. The wall was converted in a row of low cabinets with a generous transparent window, emphasized by a wooden, cantilevered frame. This window has now become the main window of the house that frames the everyday scenes on both of its sides. Placing a breakfast table for the couple further emphasized this.
In the bathrooms the intervention consisted in improving the lighting and balancing their sizes to each other. On the guest bathroom, space was gained to hide the storage space and enlarge the shower. On both bathrooms the old, dark, cobalt blue tiling was substituted for light tones and a large mirror was added. In the master bathroom, a shower plate substituted the tub, eliminating the architectural barriers. The rest of the refurbishment consisted in recuperating the wooden floors and updating the dark woodwork by giving it a white, lacquered finish, having functionality and clarity in mind.
The house is now much more luminous- thanks to the opening of the grand window and the chosen materials, practicality is gained, favoring the relationship between spaces that were once very limited. Small, yet significant changes that adapt to the owners new, yet old reality.