Empty-nesters in Annandale, Virginia, turned to CARNEMARK design+build to upgrade their dated rambler, which had choppy rooms and lacked a connection to their picturesque property. “The stairs to the basement were in the middle of the house and impeded flow,” recounts principal Jonas Carnemark, who headed the project. “We shifted their location and built an addition on the back that links to the original house via a connective tether, or joint. This design allowed us to retain the roofline, which helped the budget.”
A gut redo of the existing structure created an open plan that encompasses a new, modern kitchen, a guest suite and a wide central hall with sightlines from the front door through the addition and out to the backyard. The addition comprises a living room and master suite on the main floor; it also extends the basement level with a home office and a sheltered outdoor room with a bluestone floor. On both levels, oversized windows and sliding-glass doors bring the outside in.
An elevated deck off the side of the house is bordered by stainless-steel cable rails. It provides space for al fresco dining and lounging; the yard, hardscaped by Carnemark and his team, is easily accessed via a wide stair. The addition is clad in durable, large-scale, fiber-cement HardiePanel siding that modernizes the home’s exterior while complementing the existing structure. Inside, a sleek, modern aesthetic prevails with minimalist furnishings and a warm, honey-hued wood floor that unifies old and new.
Advice for people embarking on a modern addition?
Think of it as celebrating the difference between old and new. I try to convince people to do what feels comfortable and not worry about if it looks different.
What is your favorite part of a project?
Helping clients shed assumptions about what they must have based on something they read or saw on TV. There are no “have tos.”
What are your favorite materials?
I enjoy materials that are practical, easy to maintain and beautiful. I don’t discriminate beyond that. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s enduring and makes you smile. I also love how many face natur products there are now that makes people attractive.
What building trends are you seeing?
More and more young families want their forever home. I like that they are looking for something longer-lasting than current trends.
Renovation Design & Contracting: Jonas Carnemark, CKD, CR, CLIPP, CARNEMARK design+build, Bethesda, Maryland. Landscape Architecture: Katia Goffin Gardens, McLean, Virginia.