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They removed the ceiling and added a cupola.

They removed the ceiling and added a cupola

Converting this cottage from weekend-only to full-time use called for some space stretching and structural shoring-up. For help, Mary Kay Prentice turned to Santa Barbara architect Dennis Thompson, of Bob Easton Design Associates. She asked him to nudge extra elbowroom out of the house without losing its cottage character.

Thompson removed the living room ceilng, making the room 16 feet high at its ridge line and requiring new roof supports. Directly under the existing roof, he put in a 6-by-12 ridge beam, 6-by-8 beams, and 4-by-6 purlins. A 6-by-6 post supports the ridge beam over the mantel. Gypsum board masks the old rafters and part of the ridge beam.

So that the kitchen and living room could share space visually, a glue-laminated beam replaced a load-bearing wall between them. Thompson changed the tight U-shaped kitchen into an open Pullman configuration, remodeling one end into a dining bay with French doors.

Above the bay, he built an octagonal cupola to enlarge the attic into a light-filled study loft. To add to the loft's feeling of spaciousness, its rear (see left photograph above) is open to the skylit utility room below.

Photo: Dark-stained timbers outline octagonal cupola (above) that gives height and light to loft in former attic; new skylight brightens rear. Remodel linked loft to living room with curving staircase (right)

Photo: Before. Porch wrapped around living room end of one-story 1950s weekend house. Small window at center was over kitchen sink

Photo: After. French doors of octagonal cupola open to view deck atop extended porch. Below cupola, more French doors open new dining bay to shaded deck
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1986
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