Penn Valley Whole-House Renovation

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    location: Narberth | PA
project type: kitchen | bath | additions
custom cabinetry
living space
completion date:     Fall | 2016
project size: 6,000 square feet
teammates: General Contractor: Patterson & Perkiss
(now Patterson & Kopp)
Custom Cabinetry: Pappajohn Woodworking
and Rick Zane Constructs 
Photos: Sam Oberter


Comprised of three structures dating to the 19th and mid-20th centuries, the Penn Valley House was a rabbit warren of small spaces, awkward circulation, and little natural light. inHabit partnered with the homeowners to completely restructure and redesign the house, turning it into a bright and airy family home.

The decision to fully remodel presented enormous creative challenges. Endless possibilities required a lot of tinkering with the design to get the final plans just right. The comprehensive project was further impacted by an accelerated schedule – just over one year for both design and construction. inHabit took a design-build approach, with details finalized as construction continued.

The first step involved reorganizing the floor plan with two new circulation paths on the first level. A central axis now runs through the front entry to the new kitchen and through a new larger rear doorway to the patio. The kitchen’s prominent central location literally and figuratively makes it the heart of the home. A secondary axis runs the length of the house, affording natural light and views in both directions.

Capped with a new dormer and highlighted by a nine-square window, a new stair tower becomes a focal point while providing light-filled access to the second floor. New dormers in the bedrooms compensate for the original roof’s steep slope and provide more usable floor space.

The design reflects a warm contemporary aesthetic, with durable materials and a neutral color palette. In the kitchen, soft gray cabinets, natural quartzite counters, and stone flooring and backsplash are enlivened by maple elements. A custom banquette and low stair wall draw the eye across to a striking maple barn door that divides the family room and mudroom. Traditional materials used in modern ways – such as the recycled Carrera marble flooring in the master bath – spark visual interest but ensure a timeless quality.