Words by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Jody Beck.
Todd Martin of Knot-in-a-Box transformed this dark and cramped 1940’s Fairfield bungalow into a breezy West Coast contemporary home. With connection a major theme in Martin’s redesign, vaulted ceilings, and glass interconnect open-concept spaces that allow easy access to the outdoors. Also adding an entirely new second floor, the home’s layout now includes a main floor office, three bedrooms, a laundry room, mudroom, ample storage and garage in an extra 1,300 square feet of space.
Creating a seamless connection to outdoor living spaces is a key feature of this renovation. “We spent a lot of time orienting the house around the way the sun travels,” says Martin, who designs using 3D models that allow clients to see exactly what their new home will look like when finished. Based on their sun study, Martin and his team angled the roof structure over the large upper deck to capture the winter sun yet provide shade in summer.
Together, the chimney and roof provide striking architectural appeal with a practical purpose. Similarly, the rear deck roof overhang is calculated to balance shade and sun throughout the year. The deck itself is a daring concrete structure, designed like a commercial parkade, with two levels of suspended slab. Like the deck, the exterior acrylic stucco and cedar siding require no maintenance. A natural, one-time preservative lends the cedar a slightly aged patina while providing a lifetime of protection against the elements.
Inside, an eight-foot extension to the kitchen and dining area added enough space in the basement for a new laundry room and mudroom, bringing the total interior to 2,900 square feet. A centralized floating staircase built of locally fabricated steel and reclaimed Douglas fir leads to the new upper floor, which houses the master bedroom, bathroom, and flex room.
“I’m a big fan of built-in furniture,” says Martin, who used salvaged fir timbers to custom build the stair treads, upper bathroom cabinets, media room cabinet, and a waterfall-style dresser in the master bedroom. White oak floors, which feature Martin’s custom five-by-eight-foot tile inlay in the front entry, add visual warmth to the white and grey kitchen cabinetry and fireplace surround. Filled with Martin’s custom features and originality, this innovative redesign blends old with new, providing plenty of room and modern styling that embraces family life.