Constructed in 1953 in the Nichols Hills area of Oklahoma City, this 2-story French Colonial home was in desperate need of an update from its “Leave it to Beaver” roots. The previously unremarkable structure featured a porch-less, unwelcoming front entry and dormer windows.
The primary goal of the project was to design a home that functioned well for the clients who were long-time residents of the neighborhood and who enjoyed entertaining both large and small groups. The clients also desired to have appropriate spaces to exhibit an extensive art and reading collection. Exceptional curb appeal and landscaping was also a priority.
The key to the design was to create inspiring spaces within minimal moves. Working within zoning restrictions, the original footprint of the home remains, yet the Architect was able to bring openness and light into the space previously darkened by typical hallways and closed-off rooms. The outdoor patio and balcony, with an exaggerated, angled roof line directly aligning with the zoning setbacks, creates a beautiful and dramatic second indoor/outdoor living area. The library overlooking the 2-story glass of this patio connects the main house to the previously separated maid quarters and garage. Other simple strokes include the addition of a low-slung front porch floating about the glass front wall, expansion of the garage attic into a laundry room and a visual breezeway connecting the second level front and back balconies, and opening the stairwell to both levels.
Acknowledging the original roots of the house and maintaining respect of the traditional neighborhood, the few positive attributes of the original house were incorporated. The colonial proportions were maintained. The stone work unique to the neighborhood was mostly left in place, and stone removed for the glass front wall was reused to create the interior living room fireplace hearth and mantel to match the existing dining room fireplace.
The original street-facing dormers were modified and exaggerated to provide an identity. The project was given the name “One if by Land” drawing inspiration from the light of these three upstairs dormer windows as lanterns, coupled with the colonial bend to the architecture.