The Only Way Is Up

HOMES OF THE YEAR: By Ron Donoho Photography by Larny Mack


The Only Way Is Up


A Mission Hills bungalow got a modern expansion by way of a second-floor addition…


FOR DECADES, THE OWNERS OF THIS single-story crafts-man in Mission Hills used their bungalow as a warmer respite from the chills of Michigan. But when the retirement plan kicked in, it included moving permanently to San Diego.

More living space was required, but the ground floor footprint was maxed out, says Joseph Reid, project manager at La Jolla-based IS Architecture. “The only way we could go was up.”

The artsy homeowners (one designed cars back in the Rust Belt) loved their 1910-built Craftsman.

“They had an extensive collection of period-appropriate furniture, antiques and Arts and Crafts pottery,” says IS Architecture owner/architect Ione Stiegler.

The challenge was to maintain the feel of the home while add-ing space and doing some modernization.

The renovation brought the total square footage up to nearly 3,000 square feet, including slightly more than 1,000 new square feet of space.

During construction, much of the front porch and enclosed porch area had to be rebuilt after structural deficiencies were found. While work was underway, the renovation team was also faced with living room and dining room ceilings that began to cave (total collapse was averted).

The primary goal of redesigning the first floor was to open all the rooms to a modernized kitchen, which itself doubled in size. A family room was added; greater access to a backyard patio from the kitchen was created.

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles’ Homes of the Year judges were attracted primarily to the sensitivity of the renovation.

“The traditional compartmentalization of rooms was maintained, but more visual openness was achieved,” says judge Kent Prater.

The home’s original entry was expanded to create an entry hall and stairway to the new second floor. The original wainscot design was extended and tied into the design.

Now the stairwell is bathed in natural light from two directions by a series of leaded-glass windows. The second floor includes two new bedrooms and baths. The ceilings of both bedrooms are vaulted; stained mahogany beams line the master bedroom ceil-ing. Earth tones used in the master bath complement a stained-oak vanity. Outside large French doors off the master bedroom, a covered deck exudes a tree-house quality, part of another factor that impressed our HOY judges.

“This is a thoughtful design that maintains the integrity of the architectural roots while greatly improving the living space,” says judge Lisa Wilson-Wirth. “Playful touches are complemented by living space that encourages use and enjoyment.”

Categories: Home Design