Monday, November 21, 2011

Dower Farm Sunroom Addition

The new addition for Dower Farm in Peapack, NJ is well underway. This phase of the project includes a new sunroom addition and restoration of the existing conditions. The farmhouse, which dates back to the turn of the century, was originally part of the Blairsden Estate. Windigo has therefore been on site throughout the entire construction process to ensure that the spirit and beauty of the original home is kept intact.

The existing enclosed porch was, perhaps, too much a part of the outdoors: there were multiple leaks, poorly operating patio doors, and lots of cold drafts in the winter. Visually, the sunroom greatly detracted from the historic farmhouse and looked too much like an addition. The design challenge was to create an all season sunroom that melds effortlessly with the existing home.

The new sunroom addition provides the homeowners with an improved flow of space between the kitchen and exterior patio. Windows from the kitchen and dining room into the sunroom allow for better day lighting and views. The sunroom acts as an “outdoor room” which, while protected from the elements and well connected to the interior rooms of the house, is still very much a part of the outdoor patio and opens up into the landscape.

The most prominent architectural features of the sunroom are the large windows that provide sweeping views of the farm. In addition to providing plenty of natural light and passive heating in the wintertime, the windows have been intentionally designed to frame some of the beloved features of the site, such as the old walnut tree. The sunroom also features skylights, which make the room feel like it is truly a part of the outdoors and opens up the space.

Although the sunroom is updated and features larger contemporary windows, the exterior of the sunroom respects the traditional details of existing farmhouse. The room features interior and exterior pillars in between each window, which evoke the classical turn of the century columns that prominently line the front facade. The original clapboard siding and windows on the exterior of the kitchen and dining room walls reinforce the notion of stepping out into an outdoor room.

The existing crawl space was also significantly improved and updated. The original crawl space (left photo) was unusable as it was too shallow and could easily lead to water damage in the basement. The new sunroom addition incorporated the design of a more functional crawl space (right photo). The new space ensures a drier basement and allows for easier access to the electrical and mechanical utilities.

Coming Soon - see the final before and after photos of the completed project in the beginning of 2012.

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