Updating A Post-War Brick Rambler

Designed & Built by

The Remodeled Kitchen is Well Connected to the Home
The Remodeled Kitchen is Well Connected to the Home & the Music Room


My client came to me because she wanted to create the next phase of her life.  She is a relatively recent widow with grown sons — and with the completion of the remodel has retired from her job.  She lives in a post-WWI brick rambler in the Forest Glenn neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD.

Her life has been filled with music, friends and family.  She envisions her new home as a French-style Salon – a place where her creative friends and their friends would meet to share music and discuss art, literature, and politics.  She wants a seamless transition from home to garden to entertainment space in her basement.

In addition to the grand vision, she also wanted:

  • A master suite with an in-suite bath
  • A guest bath that is fully wheelchair accessible for when her mother visits
  • A new kitchen
  • A wider hallway for wheelchair accessibility

And to make the project even more challenging, my client’s budget was quite limited and the lot small so the magic had to be performed within the existing footprint.

The discussion of this project will cover several articles.

  1.  This article covers the overall plan and the changes to the foyer.
  2.  The second one will cover the kitchen.
  3.  The third will cover the new guest bath.
  4.  The fourth will cover the master suite.
  5.  The final will cover the new exterior rooms.

The original room configuration was typical of houses built in the early 1950’s with small rooms and unconnected with each other and unconnected with the out-of-doors.


Floor Plan - BEFORE
Floor Plan – BEFORE

As you can see from the floor plan, above, the kitchen – while in the middle of the house – was cut off from everything.  The dining room has a solid door and windows to the back yard but felt unconnected.  The hallway was too narrow for a wheelchair and the single hall bath was small and hard for everyone to use let alone someone with any physical impairment.

Floor Plan - AFTER
Floor Plan – AFTER



The back wall of the kitchen in the remodeled home is wide open to a new patio and to the music and living rooms.  The now open hallway is wide enough for easy transit and helps make the whole home feel more expansive.  It also offers a more visible connection between the entertainment area of the basement and the first floor.  The old kitchen was reconfigured into a wheelchair accessible bath and a large pantry.  The new master suite – while not fully wheelchair accessible has many universal design features.

Kitchen is Well Connected to the Outdoors
Kitchen is Well Connected to the Outdoors



The Stairway Was Opened On All Sides
The Stairway Was Opened On All SidesOpen Floor Plan Connects The Basement to the Living room

Open Floor Plan


"BEFORE" From Same Angle as 1st Image

"BEFORE" From Same Angle as Hallway Image


3 thoughts on “Updating A Post-War Brick Rambler”

  1. Jackie,

    Thank you so much for all of the incredibly valuable information you have posted–it has helped us enormously in planning our addition. Would you happen to recall the manufacturer of the cabinets you used in this wonderful kitchen?

    Thank you very much.


  2. DB – I’m so happy that you’ve found my website helpful in your planning. The cabinets are by Woodharbor. Madison Door, slab drawers, Alder wood, stain: Allspice. Hope this is helpful.


  3. Thanks so much for your reply, Jackie! We love the look of the laminate countertops–do you have favorite manufacturers?

    Thank you for the inspiration!


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