Time had stood still at this 1970s ranch in Armonk when the owners invited us to collaborate with them to transform it into a modern, light-filled home for their young family. The budget was lean, so economy was a primary consideration for every design decision. The challenge was to identify the modest home’s virtues – vaulted ceilings and a lovely backyard – and accentuate them by strategically optimizing available funds.
We were tasked with rectifying a dysfunctional interior stair, connecting to the outdoors with new large windows, and updating the exterior. We focused our attention on a finite set of architectural moves which would have the biggest impact and improve our clients’ daily experience of the home. Detailing was kept simple, using common grade materials and standard components. All exterior walls were revamped with new windows and siding. Although these materials were not particularly costly, thoughtful layout of boards, battens, and openings produced a cohesive, rigorous composition at each facade.
Since the budget would not cover the homeowners’ complete wish list, some items were bracketed for subsequent phases. The challenge was to establish a framework that would allow future work – including a new roof and kitchen renovation – to proceed smoothly.
The homeowners, both scientists, were enthusiastic collaborators, contributing their outstanding design sensibilities to selection of fixtures and finishes. Construction ended just in time for the arrival of their baby – and with that, the transformation of their family home was complete.