Location: Chicago, IL
Size: 3,000 SQ FT
Evanston, IL is filled with beautiful Victorian homes with large front and backyards. The Berndt family’s 19th century home retained many of its original Victorian features. They wanted to preserve those while adding 21st century amenities that better suited their growing family.
The home’s interior space at the ground floor, while ample, was divided and lacked storage for kitchen and personal items. Walls that divided the kitchen and living room are now eliminated. Long ‘thick’ bars of seamless cabinetry provide concealed storage for pantry items, coats, cleaning tools and media. The ‘thick’ bar also conceals a powder room.
Due to an earlier remodeling, several second story bedrooms and bathrooms were small and corridors extensive. The upstairs now has more efficient use of space. The master bedroom enjoys an appropriately sized master bath. The den is more useable, and the laundry room is closer to clothing storage. The use of the ‘thick’ bar extends from the first floor to the second, connecting the two floors and providing a two-story atrium at the front entry. The bar also connects the master bath with the master bedroom.
The large backyard, which is frequently used by the family, had been closed off from the interior of the space, both physically and visually. To make this connection better, the rear of the house was opened up with a sliding window system that wraps the corner of the house to better connect the interior of the home to the backyard and to the new carriage house.
At the rear of the property, a carriage house was designed to replace the family’s older structurally compromised garage. It offers the typical garage space for family vehicles, but it also features a light-filled, second-floor studio for visiting in-laws. The carriage houseis a simple “salt-box” like design clad with cedar shingles, which ties in to the shingles on the existing Victorian house. Large windows are cut into the face of the carriage house similar to the new opening at the rear of the Victorian. A similar ‘thick’ bar contains the kitchen, Murphy bed, bathroom and storage.