After years designing the homes and work places of her clients, inHabit Principal Jackie Gusic embarked on one of the most challenging projects of her career – redesigning her own house. The Media Addition was a deeply personal project that carved a new home for the inHabit Office on the first floor and reconfigured the main living spaces to create an open-plan kitchen, dining, and family room.
The 1960s split-level developer house had outdated interiors and confined spaces. The first task was to update the home’s proportions by raising the roof structure and expanding the front of the house with a slender addition. The exterior gained a more classic appearance and curb appeal, while improved space was provided on the interior.
Multiple doors and walls were removed to change the small, enclosed kitchen and dining room into a wide-open space that connects to the adjacent family room. The family cooks and entertains frequently, including regular sit-down dinners with friends. The kitchen work zone lets multiple cooks comfortably prepare food together, while a custom wood table provides seating for 10. A walk-in pantry behind the refrigerator hides much of the kitchen clutter, eliminating the need for upper cabinetry and maintaining the room’s clean modernity. A glass cabinet keeps prized dishware on display. Gray-stained oak cabinetry was a spousal compromise – it balances Jackie’s love of color with the exposed wood grain her husband wanted.
The existing family room got a makeover with new bird and tree wallpapers and built-in cabinetry. An old wood-clad fireplace surround with brass insert was replaced with a wide limestone hearth and new brushed nickel doors. The corner window detail provides views through the house from interior or exterior, accentuating the relationship between indoors and the wooded outdoors. All of the large windows contribute to sun-filled interiors that limit the need for artificial lights.