When renovating a home, important decisions have to be made about “how much to cut”, if anything at all. As important as it is to respect the original details, sometimes the original design just doesn’t make sense & requires some major changes. Such is the case with our latest project, a lakeside home on Lake Mohawk in Sparta, NJ. Perfectly situated high above the lake, complete with spectacular views, the original layout of the house sabotaged those views – which is really the point of being on (and above) the lake. Instead of seeing the view when you walked in the house, you faced a wall, beyond which was another wall to a hallway, off of which were two bedrooms and 2 baths, completely blocking the view of the Lake!
It wasn’t until you walked down a half flight of stairs, down a hallway, and into one of the bedrooms that the extraordinary view was before you!
Oh, I forgot to tell you that what appears to be a simple ranch from the street…..is really a four and one-half story home (with an elevator) built along the side of a cliff! On the first level were 3 bedrooms and no view until you walked to the bedroom! It wasn’t until the 2nd level down that you came to the living and dining rooms, kitchen & entertaining rooms. So, we decided that we would “flip” the two floors to bring the entertaining space to the top level while taking the 3 bedrooms (on the first level) down one flight. In the process we would take out the ceiling and open it up to the peaked roof. With the brilliant work of Jonathan Perlstein & Oasis Architecture of Montclair, NJ, our vision was put down on paper. In the immortal words of Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest, we decided to “tear down that BITCH of a wall and put a window where it OUGHT to be.”
A new deck off the top floor will make the Top Floor Living Space more livable! So, the first step…..demolition and removal of many of the original walls has begun… step 1 towards opening up the space! Now, from the front door, even though mid-way through demolition,you can get a sense the more open first floor-plan. Picture that ceiling raised up to the rafters with an incredible view of the lake! Here was an original bedroom… which will eventually become the new, sleekly modern kitchen, with sliders to a new deck! And here is a picture of the same room on its way there!
The former kitchen (below) will become a guest bedroom with en-suite bath….one of four bedrooms with their own bathrooms! Here’s the same room, after demolition! This too will have sliders to the existing deck.
So that’s the first step. Stay tuned for updates as this fantastic project progresses!