When a creative couple—a ceramic artist and a music aficionado— wanted extra space in their small two-bedroom home for their growing family and professional pursuits, they reached out to local firm Upstairs Studio Architecture to craft a solution.
Not only did the team give the dated home a modern revamp, they also added an extension to fit a new master bedroom suite and study.
Now, nestled among live oaks and tropical flora, the recently renovated bungalow stands out from the lush landscape with minimalist and monochromatic architecture.
"They did not want a big house," notes Maricarmen Martinez, principal architect at Upstairs Studio Architecture. "The overarching goal was to maintain the intimate scale of the home while adding additional square footage."
Since improving access to the outdoors was a major priority, the team looked to the landscape for inspiration.
In contrast to the tropical site’s dramatic foliage and texture, the modest, one-story bungalow and the 900-square-foot extension have been crafted with a more streamlined aesthetic.
"We thought if we could take the bungalow back to a minimal state and add a similarly inspired clean-studio building, maintaining simplicity, we could create a beautiful space," continues Maricarmen.
The existing home has been rendered in a crisp, minimal white, while the addition is clad in black metal.
Elements such as metal pillars, timber features, and vaulted ceilings are repeated between the two light-filled volumes.
The gabled addition has been built to give every room—from the study in the front to the master bedroom suite in the rear—access to the outdoors.
The back of the addition opens up to a sheltered terrace, connecting the space to the backyard pool and gardens.
"The most challenging part of the project was to maintain the discipline and not over-design," adds the firm.
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"Our goal was to create the simplest of spaces that did not sacrifice beauty or quality, and it was difficult knowing when it was enough. Our process, as is often the case in most of our projects, is one of editing rather than adding—but it was especially so for this project in particular."
Architect of Record: Maricarmen Martinez, Upstairs Studio, Inc.
Builder/General Contractor: VPG Const. Management
Structural Engineer: Tom Moe, THM Structural Consulting
Mechanical, Electrical + Plumbing: RPJ, Inc.
Lighting Design: Upstairs Studio, Inc.
Sound Engineer: Aquiles Este
Ceramics: Natalie Flores
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