Renovation & Addition to The Owen House

Renovation & Addition to The Owen House

Winner of an American Institute of Architecture, Winston-Salem Section Merit Design Award for 2013.


Originally built in 1955, this mid-century modern house contained all the efficient space organization of the standard ranch style but was lacking the modern requirement of a designated master bedroom suite.

Given budget constraints and requirements to maximize the existing structure, the program incorporated an ‘L’ shaped design concept along with reconfiguring space and placement. This allowed the master bedroom suite to become the driving force behind the front tower façade and the secondary spaces to envelope and define the private backyard.  Deciding to leave all other portions of house as is, the master bedroom was enlarged by expanding the room to the east and south.  Access to the existing adjacent bathroom was changed from the hallway to an opening from the bedroom creating the suite.  Because the existing garage had already been replaced by a playroom in a previous renovation, a new carport was built connecting to the new artist’s studio.

It was decided early on that the addition should enhance the original style of the house, paying particular attention to the horizontal look and feel while using natural, sustainable and durable exterior materials.  Cypress lapped siding was installed with mitered corners to reinforce the horizontality, along with a dark mahogany band at the window heads and to cap the stone base.  The mahogany band provided a unifying design detail, enhanced and accentuated the horizontality of the house and also provided a contrasting color accent.  Landscaping and patio spaces were key elements as well in the design, playing off the horizontal lines providing  a consistency of material that included using the same stone in its natural form for dry stacked retaining and garden walls.