3009 Fairfax (1983)


Open and enclosed porches are a key feature of this trim brick cottage tucked in along a street of larger residences. The hedge-lined lawn and white pebbled driveway almost lead the eye beyond the house itself, adding a cozy sense of privacy to the nearly 70-year old home.


To complete the rounds of the exterior, a deep front porch at the main entrance shields from sun and rain those relaxing or eating at the picnic table. A second, narrower porch outside the kitchen leads to the utilitarian part of the back yard. This area is marked by a single garage, open parking bay and the semi-enclosed carport, which forms a clear demarcation from the more secluded back patio, fenced-in grassy yard and garden.


Inside white walls give a heightened sense of space to the foyer, stairway and living room. Simple leaded glass windows add understated grace. Renovation has also played a part in creating the homey environment.


On the first floor the original small kitchen and pantry were replaced with an L-shaped work-eating area, the addition of extensive cupboards and the creation of a halfbath out of the old ice room. Most unique, however, is the long, narrow replacement for the pantry, which was sliced from but remains integrated with the dining room. It is, in effect, a built-in sideboard with a long counter and cabinetry. As it has direct access to the kitchen, it can also pinch in as a workspace extension for cooking.


The attached garage behind the kitchen was redesigned into an airy, two-level family room. Here the ceiling beams and wood-paneled walls were made from the siding salvaged from an old Hiram, Ohio, barn.


On the second floor, an open porch under the long roof overhang lent itself to easy enclosure with the simple installation of picture windows. Within, two rooms were created, a study extension with closets off the master bedroom, and a somewhat larger sitting room affectionately called "the greenhouse," where plants are nurtured in winter. These two rooms enjoy a southern exposure and are heated exclusively by the sun.


The basic decor of the house reflects the original design of space. The renovations have centered on augmenting existing structure and layout to bring them in tune with family activities, such as the shelving below the ceding around one of the children's bedrooms to display the occupant's sports trophies. Presently the basement is being refurbished - a fresh coat of paint, carpeting and some contemporary murals are planned. Simple changes made from time to time within the basic confines of the existing house have evolved into this warm, homey environment.