Magazine
    Next Score View the next score

    Your Home | Making Space

    The difference a 400-square-foot addition can make

    An expansion project helps a family of five stay put in their Wellesley home.

    michael partenio for the boston globe
    A larger kitchen was one of the goals in a Wellesley family’s home renovation project.

    Maggie and Jonathan Tushman loved their Wellesley home. Built in 1909, the American Foursquare was in a great location and had a spacious yard, and the symmetrical footprint offered plenty of space when they bought the place in 2007.

    “We’d just had our first baby, and we were coming from a cramped city condominium,” says Maggie Tushman. “The house was perfect for us then.”

    After seven years and two more kids, however, the 2,600-square-foot place was starting to feel constricted. “The one bathroom on the second floor where all the bedrooms were wasn’t cutting it,” recalls Jonathan Tushman.

    Advertisement

    The couple wanted a substantial master suite, a larger kitchen, and bigger bedrooms for the children. “Since the kids are getting older, we wanted them to have good-sized rooms where they could go to do their own thing,” Jonathan says of their offspring, now 10, 8, and 5.

    Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
    The day's top stories delivered every morning.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    They briefly considered moving, but they loved their neighborhood. So the homeowners turned to Cambridge architectural firm Charles R. Myer & Partners, which drafted plans for a 400-square-foot addition to the first floor. The project expanded the kitchen to include a breakfast area and created a mudroom.

    “By enlarging some of the rooms, we were able to make a drastic difference in how the house flows,” says project architect Alice Dunn. At the front of the house, the dining room became the music room, where the kids practice piano and Jonathan plays guitar. The living room became the dining room, and the expanded family room, which opens to the kitchen, offers plenty of space for all five to congregate. “They wanted the family room to have places for things other than TV watching,” says Dunn. In one corner is a round table where the family often plays board games.

    Boston-based interior designer Rachel Reider continued the updating. “Functionality and comfort had to come first,” says Reider. “It was important that the house embrace its traditional architecture. At the same time, the Tushmans’ taste veers toward modern. So the decor is transitional with modern elements.”

    Reider selected jewel tones that signify that the home belongs to a young family. Throughout the main level, deep blues and purples prevail. Patterns add dimension, and fun pops of color — like the reddish-orange kitchen stools, which match the knobs of the Wolf range — add unexpected flair.

    Advertisement

    One of the best aspects of the renovation was the addition of the mudroom, says Maggie. “We now have places to put coats and shoes when coming into the house! The green tile floor continues into the powder room. The flow is perfect: I just send the kids right in there to wash up after taking off muddy boots.”

    On the reconfigured second floor, a bedroom shrank, freeing up space to add a bathroom and closet to what’s now the master suite. One window was relocated and another added so the bed could be centered between them. “It makes a huge difference in the way the room feels,” says Jonathan.

    Reider strove to give the master bedroom a serene and sophisticated vibe “that is a little more grown-up than other spots in the house,” she says. Lively touches — the carpet, in an abstract animal print, and the Capiz-shell light fixture — add character.

    The underutilized third floor gained a bathroom and now holds the eldest child’s bedroom. “The enclosed stairway between the second and third floors was opened up and enlarged, so the flow is much better and the parents can hear the kids up there now,” says Dunn.

    The family moved out for several months during the renovation, returning in late 2015. Even now, Jonathan says, he hasn’t quite gotten used to the transformation. “I come home at the end of the day and the place still feels new to me,” he says. “We just love it.”

    MORE PHOTOS:

    A vintage sign from a sandwich shop that the owners have had for years nestles between two windows in the new breakfast nook. Molded blue plastic dining chairs, from Design Within Reach, echo the paint color used on the kitchen island base. Reddish orange kitchen counter stools match the knobs on the Wolf range.
    michael partenio
    A vintage sign from a sandwich shop that the owners have had for years nestles between two windows in the new breakfast nook. Molded blue plastic dining chairs, from Design Within Reach, echo the paint color used on the kitchen island base. Reddish orange kitchen counter stools match the knobs on the Wolf range.

    In the master bedroom, maroon-and-white patterned drapes by Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa add modern flair. An antelope-print rug from Landry & Arcari feels lush underfoot; the bold Capiz-shell-and-brass light fixture is by Serena & Lily.
    michael partenio
    In the master bedroom, maroon-and-white patterned drapes by Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa add modern flair. An antelope-print rug from Landry & Arcari feels lush underfoot; the bold Capiz-shell-and-brass light fixture is by Serena & Lily.

    A 400-square-foot addition allowed for an expanded kitchen area, made cheery with accents of vibrant orange paired with dark blue.
    michael partenio
    A 400-square-foot addition allowed for an expanded kitchen area, made cheery with accents of vibrant orange paired with dark blue.

    “It was important that the house embrace its traditional architecture. At the same time, the Tushmans’ taste veers toward modern. So the decor is transitional with modern elements,” says designer Rachel Reider.
    michael partenio
    “It was important that the house embrace its traditional architecture. At the same time, the Tushmans’ taste veers toward modern. So the decor is transitional with modern elements,” says designer Rachel Reider.

    Every family member has a cubby and hanging space in the new mudroom, thanks to shelving painted fresh green and white. The green slate floor continues from the hall into the adjacent powder room.
    michael partenio
    Every family member has a cubby and hanging space in the new mudroom, thanks to shelving painted fresh green and white. The green slate floor continues from the hall into the adjacent powder room.

    Jaci Conry is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.