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Existing Kiddie Treehouse is muse for Rancher Expansion

Stephen Moser Architect was asked to update a 50s rancher located on the western edge of Saxon Woods Park in NY, USA. The client’s wanted their Mamaroneck house to expand horizontally to accommodate a new office, family room and pool as well as vertically for a new master suite. The homeowner’s didn’t want just any “look” to their updated home – they wanted a place that had the same aesthetic as a treehouse on stilts that was previously built for their grandchildren. Specifically they liked the orientation of the treehouse as well as the materials, interior spaces and exterior silhouette – another words, all of it. Read on about this cozy home we found on Freshome.

The lot is shaped like the number 4 (without the extended arm) and is accessed from the street by the vertical leg of the 4, the other three sides are surrounded by parkland. Surrounded on 3 sides by nature, the client’s wanted their home to feel completely harmonious to the surrounding treescape.
The driveway travels up the leg of the 4 before curving around to the angled corner on the left, The home is positioned diagonally across this section of the lot, creating a triangular turn around for the cars and it is from this vantage point that the first of the treehouse inspired elements is visible via the double trunk steel support posts on the corner of the entry overhang.
Once inside the home a vertically louvered wood wall creates a separation from the foyer to the new, glass wrapped family room and this is where the wood treehouse influence really starts to take place, but in a much more refined manner. Don’t you just love the horizontal box shelving within the slatted wall?
The new office comes complete with a wood clad ceiling, floor, trim and storage. There is nothing cosier then working in an environment filled with wood detailing overlooking views of a forested landscape. It is both inspiring and cozy and when you add in the functionality of the large expanses of countertops it is also super functional.
The new pool solarium features the same cozy wood ceilings as the office as well as a wood wall that revels in the aesthetic of its construction rather then hiding it. Aside from these two wood clad areas, the solarium keeps the original brick facade – which is now an interior wall, while glazings create the new facade.
A hallway connects the main floor expansion with the original floorplan and all the trim and doors here – as well as throughout the rest of the home – are wood to continue the warm and cozy, aesthetic. Once the hardscaping was complete, the homeowners gave the space a contemporary gallery feel by lining the walls with art – which just happens to be my favorite look in a hall.
The original part of the home has been opened up to create a double volume area where the new staircase leads to the new master suite. The space features an original brick wall, new wood plank flooring, new slatted wood walls and a deep rose wall that ties into the shades within the brick. Here, as in the new hall, paintings line the walls and a deep shelf features a row of glass and clay vessels.
The architects took advantage of the double volume height by suspending a contemporary chandelier of oversized glass globes and the homeowners continued this little bit of whimsy with their fun watermelon painting above the steps. The stairwell is both traditional in its wood risers, treads and handrail, and modern in its crisscrossed balustrade, which ties in beautifully with the slatted walls across the hall.
At the top of the stairs a mezzanine features both low cubbies for ample storage and clerestory windows for natural light.
The master bedroom is all about the views which can be enjoyed either inside or outside from the fabulous deck.
The ensuite maintains its privacy via tile-clad walls, but to “suggest” the treeline outside, a fun wallpaper of greenery wraps the room above the tiles.
The new shallow sloping roof unifies the pre-existing 50s rancher with the addition while the new 2nd storey volume adds in a gabled roof that gives the home a contemporary punctuation. It’s a great space and I love all the wood details that have been combined with the original brickwork.
Stephen Moser Architect
Photography by Michael Moran


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