Stenzel Residence


North Arlington, VA





This new house project enveloped an existing single story ranch home, creating a new 2 story home for a newly married couple. The original house, a single story, 2 bedroom ranch house was outgrown by this expanding family who loved the house and the neighborhood and wanted to stay put, but needed more living space, a new kitchen, more bedrooms and substantial home office capacity. The house was also surrounded by great decades old oak trees, which were very carefully integrated into the new design.

We retained the overall footprint of the house: enclosing a screened porch off the old kitchen and transforming a small patio off one bedroom into a glass enclosed sitting porch off a new first floor sitting room. The real transformation was created by adding a second floor under a very large arts and crafts style roof, over the entire house footprint, using dormers and ingenious roof lines to craft volumes of space with-in the roof so a traditional “second floor” could be avoided in the new massing of the house.

The old kitchen was removed along with the old rear wall of the house in this area and an existing screen porch was enclosed to create a new expansive kitchen and family dining room at garden level with wall to wall windows onto the adjacent yard and flower garden. The existing living room was reconfigured to create a new piano niche, substantial coat closets and entry vestibule while expanding the main living space around the fireplace by the addition of a new bay window which floods the space with southern light. A new family entertainment room was created out of one of the original bedrooms with built-in entertainment center and adjacent glass enclosed sitting room with a new gas fireplace.

A new stair was created with windows that carefully frame the branches of an existing ancient oak in the rear yard. A new Master Bedroom Suite, 2 new bedrooms, 2 baths and a generous home office were created under the new roof all with generous new windows and playful ceiling configurations. A new second floor sunning porch was added off the rear to provide privacy from the street and a tree house feeling from the rear of the house.

We designed the house to be fully usable during the daylight hours without the need for artificial light sources, bringing natural light deep into each room from generous window walls, carefully located to frame natural view outside. We carefully worked around the existing trees on the site in framing window views of these magnificent specimens, bringing them “indoors” as part of the house living experience wherever possible.