Last spring as we were trying to decide how to create a better layout for our house we were sitting on our deck talking about how unnecessarily big it was. Then we had a light bulb moment. We should enclose our enormous deck and make it living space. It was the most feasible and affordable way to expand the size of our house. Craig immediately got to drawing plans. We went back to Rhode Island over the summer and Craig obsessed over the “how.” He wrote and rewrote the plans many times, and by the Fall, he was ready to start working.
Today, I’m sharing a little bit about the process for our dining and living room addition. Read on for more.
Dining + Living Room Addition Plans
Our house is small and the layout isn’t ideal.
The kitchen faces the backyard, which is great, but the living room faces the road. The two rooms are mostly separate, which makes the flow of the house less than ideal. The deck is off the kitchen into the backyard, which made it the perfect spot to build an open dining and living room. Luckily the foundation for the deck was solid and Craig was able to start building right on top of it.
The decking was really solid and mostly level, which made Craig’s life a bit easier putting down the subfloor and then framing out the walls. Before we started Craig did detailed plans of the layout, particularly the windows and doors (which we ordered towards the end of the summer). One of our main goals with the space was the make it feel like we were bringing the outdoors inside. We incorporated 7 windows and 2 large sliding doors.
Craig started with the walls, then the subfloor and then the ceiling. Once that was done he installed the windows and then the sliding doors. Craig did all of the work himself with the exception of the metal roof we had installed and the electrical wiring. Everything is more expensive right now, materials and labor. We waited as long as possible for prices to go down, which they have, but they’re still much higher than what we paid the last time we did our addition in Rhode Island right before Covid. Lumber and spray foam insulation have been some of the highest costs so far.
Plans and Inspiration for the New Space
Continuing with our Nordic New England Farmhouse inspiration, our plans for the space incorporate design elements from classic New England, Nordic design and Vermont farmhouse style. It’s a ranch so the house has very little “character” or unique details, but that also gives us more creative freedom with the space.
In terms of design and decor elements, we’re going with lots of natural wood, textured walls (plaster), and neutrals fabrics.
We are planning to use flooring from Sawyer Mason. We’ve now used Sawyer Mason flooring in two spaces (our addition in RI and our kitchen in Vermont). I really can’t say enough good things about their flooring. With three animals and a toddler they stand up incredibly well to heavy use, they look incredible, the installation is easy, and they use sustainable practices and green materials.
We are also putting in a wood burning stove from Jotul (yay!). I’ve been on the hunt for a good corner sectional to put along the interior wall. I normally get furniture from Sixpenny which I love but I’m not sure they have anything that fits the space. I’m still searching. I found this L Shaped Sectional from Crate & Barrel that has perfect dimensions (and a slipcover). If anyone has experience with that style, let me know!
We’re going to do some sort of shiplap style on the ceiling and likely continue it down on the interior wall. Maybe unfinished or primed pine. On the exterior facing walls Craig is going to do a plaster finish in either a white, beige or gray shade. We’ll be putting a Jotul wood burning stove in the corner on the same side as the living room space. On the other side of the room we’ll do a farmhouse table with a bench and chairs. Here’s some inspiration we’ve been pinning.
The process is moving along and we are anticipating spray foam insulation to do be done by end of the month and fireplace install happening in December. I’ll share more of the progress as we go!
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