A "prime location and a spectacular view" was what initially attracted this California family to the Plum Street House—a midcentury property located near San Diego’s scenic Point Loma with stunning views of the skyline. Originally built in the 1960s, the family saw the property’s ultimate potential, but realized that it needed considerable updates in order to meet the needs of their active, modern lifestyle. Luckily, they were introduced to Will & Fotsch Architects, Inc., an experienced California firm that only accepts new clients via referrals. The family and the firm quickly hit it off, granting the architect a creative license to renovate their 3,700-square-foot home.
Before: The Exterior
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After: The Exterior
The goals for the project included modernizing the floor plan by opening the home and "creating a series of comfortable interior spaces for living and entertaining" while keeping as much of the existing structure as possible. Showcasing the home’s spectacular views was also at the top of their list, in addition to maximizing the interiors to take advantage of the warm Southern California climate and support an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
To achieve these goals, the design firm’s principal, Andy Fotsch, looked to Kolbe® Windows & Doors. Fotsch selected products exclusively from the VistaLuxe® Collection for their "simple square profile" with minimal frames. The collection’s black extruded aluminum exterior elegantly outlines each opening to match the home’s contemporary style, while accentuating the views. A dark ebony stain was chosen for the interior wood frames to give a "warmth and dimension that relates to the home’s casual coastal feel," explains Fotsch.
Before: The Kitchen
After: The Kitchen
The most significant transformation was rearranging the floor plan to open up the living space with a great room. To accomplish this, Fotsch flipped the kitchen and the dining room, opening the space by removing the wall between them. The former dining room was converted into a sitting nook that sits just off the current living room. A former screened-in porch was converted into a large deck which extends the living space and strengthens the home’s indoor/outdoor connection. In addition, he reframed the great room—adding 14" to the overall height in order to accommodate eight-foot-tall Kolbe multi-slide doors with transom windows above—highlighting the home’s most spectacular view.
Before: Transforming the Living Room into a Great Room
After: Transforming the Living Room into a Great Room
Now, the Plum Street home’s most breathtaking views are showcased by expansive multi-slide doors in the great room and the kitchen, which connect to the deck. Each unit is eight feet tall and spans six panels wide, opening in the center with three panels on each side. "We focused on opening the space and making it feel more connected. We dramatically increased the sky view and brought a lot more light into the space, and views of the harbor. When the windows are open, the breeze through the house is wonderful," explains Fotsch. "Ultimately, however, this project was all about the views—and framing the views beautifully was super critical."