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Wall cutouts bring light and views into this interior.

It's not how much space you add, it's how you tie it in that counts. In this case, a 5foot sunroom extension brought light, garden views, and outdoor access to a downstairs living area. But the real triumph of Riverside, California, architect Sigrid Miller Pollin lay in her redesign of an interior wall to update the living room and liberate a boxy floor plan.

Owner Dorothy Hartley chose the house for its woodsy neighborhood. She also knew she could remodel the dark interior to gain natural light, a sense of continuous indoor-outdoor space, and understated settings for her handsome collection of African sculpture.

Now as you enter, the first thing you see is the dramatic wall of cutouts. This "second fagade" strikes the contemporary note Mrs. Hartley hoped to establish, while also providing glimpses of other rooms, trees, and the garden beyond.

Miller Pollin re-engineered the wall by carving a cutout above the wet bar, enlarging the doorway between the living room and sunroom, and punching small openings in the wall above. Doubled studs clad with gypsum board transfer the load ftom ceiling joists to a beefed-up header that spans the wider door opening.
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Date:Oct 1, 1988
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