Cottage Renovation, Mill Valley

This old cottage on a residential street in Mill Valley had undergone a badly considered renovation and addition in the late 1980’s.

The major issue was very poor circulation and a confusing sense of entry. The spaces were also laid out backwards with a kitchen in the front and family room in the rear, with intervening bedrooms.To improve the connection between spaces downstairs, we straightened out the stairs to align along one wall allowing an axial view through the house. To reinforce this new openness, we widened the front porch stairs, and raised portions of the ceilings.

The sense of entry was further improved by the widened stairs and a larger porch roof cover which became an outdoor room. The kitchen was moved to the rear taking over an old bedroom. This allowed for a large space for family, breakfast and kitchen that open onto a rear porch and the rear yard. The dining room straddles the space left by the stair and mediates between the more formal living room in the front and less formal entertaining area to the rear.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Mitchell Photography

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