A recent design project gave me the chance to explore several ways to add onto a ranch house with a walk out basement. Read more about the whole project and other potential design in this post: How to Add onto a Ranch: Four Ways.
The existing house had an awkward layout:
- an overly prominent garage
- a wide and shallow front room with little view
- small bedrooms sharing a single (very odd) bathroom
- no public spaces facing the gorgeous back yard.
Adding onto the back of the house would allow us to make a better relationship between the house and yard at both main and basement floor levels. Adding to the footprint would make room to upgrade the three bedrooms and shared bath to a master suite with closet and bath plus two bedrooms and a shared bath – all in a more flexible location.
The front facelift
Although I didn’t recommend changing up the exterior shape of the house at the front, it seemed vital to improve the relationship between the front door and street – currently overwhelmed by a prominent two car garage. Here are several similar ideas:
The floor plan involved a big flip of public and private spaces:
For this scheme I made the bold move of shifting the master suite to the very front of the house. The door is more a part of the bedroom hallway an the entry sitting area helps people pass through into the public spaces but this orientation allows for more space at the back of the house devoted to public areas. The living area aims out over the yard, the kitchen access directly onto the desk and open stair between them connects both to the den space below.
In the basement a new bath and guest room separate the new den from the more utilitarian spaces toward the street side of the house (totally under grade). The walk out den connects to the back yard smoothly and the open central stair allows for smooth communication with the kitchen above.
These are some of the ideas for how that connecting stair could remain open.