Serra Residence Renovation

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August 26, 2010

When residents Gino and Paetra Serra decided to renovate their 1933 Italianate foursquare-plan home in Kansas City, Missouri, to accommodate their growing family, they made sure that in addition to adding a first-floor bathroom, to open up their dark, cramped kitchen. Avid cooks and entertainers, the couple was limited by a lack of counter space and natural light, problems that their architects at Davison Architecture + Urban Design LLC quickly helped alleviate.

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  Like many similar homes of its era, the Serra Residence was small for today's family. Rather than moving--the couple loves their close proximity to the neighborhood shops, parks, and running paths--they decided to stick it out and renovate, which meant completely reorganizing the space. Before the renovation, overhead cabinets lined the wall now featuring favored photography. Here, Gino and Paetra's young daughters share time at the kitchen table from Kartell while perched upon chairs from Design Within Reach.
    Like many similar homes of its era, the Serra Residence was small for today's family. Rather than moving--the couple loves their close proximity to the neighborhood shops, parks, and running paths--they decided to stick it out and renovate, which meant completely reorganizing the space. Before the renovation, overhead cabinets lined the wall now featuring favored photography. Here, Gino and Paetra's young daughters share time at the kitchen table from Kartell while perched upon chairs from Design Within Reach.
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  The original home lacked the space and rooms that the Serra family needed. "The kitchen was not terribly functional," architect Dominique Davison recalls. "They needed more light to get in and a floor plan that would allow an informal eating space that didn't affect the path of circulation."
    The original home lacked the space and rooms that the Serra family needed. "The kitchen was not terribly functional," architect Dominique Davison recalls. "They needed more light to get in and a floor plan that would allow an informal eating space that didn't affect the path of circulation."
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  Working with general contractor Bryce Wittenborn at R-3 Home Renovation and builder Ian Hurst of Hurst Construction, Inc, Davison created a home that accommodates the Serra's modern lifestyle. In addition to the reorganized main living areas, the firm added space to the garage and studio, creating a backyard courtyard between the structures.
    Working with general contractor Bryce Wittenborn at R-3 Home Renovation and builder Ian Hurst of Hurst Construction, Inc, Davison created a home that accommodates the Serra's modern lifestyle. In addition to the reorganized main living areas, the firm added space to the garage and studio, creating a backyard courtyard between the structures.
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  Davison covered the countertops with stainless steel (chosen for its thinness) and inset a piece of carrera marble for baking preparations. Wittenborn, the contractor, cut two circles in the bamboo counter section to fit utensil cups, replicating a detail Paetra had seen in a high-end kitchen design.
    Davison covered the countertops with stainless steel (chosen for its thinness) and inset a piece of carrera marble for baking preparations. Wittenborn, the contractor, cut two circles in the bamboo counter section to fit utensil cups, replicating a detail Paetra had seen in a high-end kitchen design.
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  The custom-designed bamboo shelves are a detail borrowed from Davison's house. "We have them in our home," she says, "Gino and Paetra liked them so much they wanted them in their house, too." The shelves appear to fold out of the wall panel and create and unified look.
    The custom-designed bamboo shelves are a detail borrowed from Davison's house. "We have them in our home," she says, "Gino and Paetra liked them so much they wanted them in their house, too." The shelves appear to fold out of the wall panel and create and unified look.
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  Davison placed the new, first-floor bathroom adjacent to the kitchen with a sliding door as the entrance and a blue glass light to filter in daylight. The area to the left of the bathroom used to house the fridge but now is a clean wall of custom-paneled Ikea cabinets to match those installed below the kitchen counters. The Fisher & Paykel cooktop sits next to the Bosch dishwasher is capped by a KitchenAid vent hood.
    Davison placed the new, first-floor bathroom adjacent to the kitchen with a sliding door as the entrance and a blue glass light to filter in daylight. The area to the left of the bathroom used to house the fridge but now is a clean wall of custom-paneled Ikea cabinets to match those installed below the kitchen counters. The Fisher & Paykel cooktop sits next to the Bosch dishwasher is capped by a KitchenAid vent hood.
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  Davison opened the wall above the sink to create a window into the backyard. "Paetra wanted to be able to cook and do most of her kitchen activites while looking outside to see what the kids were up to," she says.
    Davison opened the wall above the sink to create a window into the backyard. "Paetra wanted to be able to cook and do most of her kitchen activites while looking outside to see what the kids were up to," she says.
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  The backyard, as viewed from the kitchen, becomes a courtyard nestled between the main home and the garage and studio at the back of the property.  Courtesy of: allegory{studio}
    The backyard, as viewed from the kitchen, becomes a courtyard nestled between the main home and the garage and studio at the back of the property.

    Courtesy of: allegory{studio}

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  Though Davison left the stucco walls of the home as they were, she added an ipe deck and overhang off the back of the kitchen. "It used to have awkward steps coming down and a big hole in the ground to the basement that you had to navigate around," Davison says. "Now the hatch door to the basement stairs hides the hole the transition between indoors and out is much smoother." It also has proven a perfect place for entertaining.  Courtesy of: allegory{studio}
    Though Davison left the stucco walls of the home as they were, she added an ipe deck and overhang off the back of the kitchen. "It used to have awkward steps coming down and a big hole in the ground to the basement that you had to navigate around," Davison says. "Now the hatch door to the basement stairs hides the hole the transition between indoors and out is much smoother." It also has proven a perfect place for entertaining.

    Courtesy of: allegory{studio}

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