The perfect porch along with a great room, bath and garage addition, and a kitchen remodel were all on a wish list for our clients. One of the challenges with this project was keeping the size and proportion of the addition from overshadowing the existing house. The owners sought to gain significant first-floor space, and it was also important for the addition to complement the character and style of the existing 1900s style farmhouse.

Our efforts created roof lines that would prevent the rather large addition from overshadowing the existing main house. We wanted to complement the existing house with a similar roof pitch and style but, by keeping the flow of the addition toward the rear of the property, we were able to use multiple smaller roof lines behind the front porch roof, which allowed us to minimize the overall height of the roof.

We located the spacious front screened-in porch so that it overlooked a beautiful view of the river at the front of the property. The porch was positioned so that it projected out beyond the main structure by just a few feet in an attempt to break up the front of the house and to bring its size down to scale. Doing this also allowed us to hide the bulk of the addition behind the porch, toward the rear of the property. The owners really enjoy the outdoors and the wildlife that come to the river, which flows just a few hundred feet from the porch. The screened porch includes exterior heaters so they can use the space throughout the year for both personal and entertaining purposes.

Welsh Construction

Welsh Construction


With its large fireplace, the great room was positioned right beside the porch and includes large windows and French doors, allowing the owners to enjoy a view of the river even from the inside. Positions of the fireplace and the entertainment system were placed in such a way that one could see the river, enjoy a cozy fire and watch a football game all at the same time. The great room boasts a vaulted ceiling, and we added a tray soffit for the built-ins to finish to a flat ceiling for a more traditional look. The higher ceiling also helped balance the visual weight of the custom fir wall paneling. We really felt the two-thirds height paneling was reminiscent of what would have been original to a farmhouse of this period.

Double-doors open onto the screened porch on the front of the house. We added another vaulted ceiling and gable window, which mimicked the farmhouse gable window while adding more natural light to the porch and great room. We installed infrared heaters on the porch, which dramatically lengthened the usable time frame of the porch throughout the year.

One of the major influences on the kitchen layout was the husband’s plan to incorporate a 54-inch Wolf range and hood in the island at a taller countertop height specifically for him. The homeowner wanted to be able watch sporting events on the great room flat-screen TV as well as be part of the social setting while preparing the meal at his professional range.

Welsh Construction

Welsh Construction


The homeowners also wanted to incorporate a large farm table into the kitchen space; they had a formal dining room but never used it because they found the space uninviting. It proved challenging to fit both the island and farm table and still maintain a good traffic flow between kitchen and great room. Our solution was to have the large-scale island designed to look like a taller farm table to incorporate all these goals into one feature. The island served as a large comfortable eating area where several couples could gather, while simultaneously housing the range and hood in appropriately scaled cabinetry. The owners have told us, “We would not change a thing,” which we feel is a huge compliment and gives us great pleasure. |QR


From left to right: Lucy Lyons, master designer and graduate of the University of Chicago and MFA in Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Tim Welsh, owner, chief critic and graduate of Virginia Tech. Kelsey Reynolds, CAD operator, office optimist and graduate of the University of Virginia.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More