Everyone wants to please his mother, right? Well this Rabbi and his family are no different. The Rabbi's father had recently passed away, and the Rabbi wanted to make his mother happy. She had told him for years that his home needed to be landscaped and that, furthermore, the house desperately needed improved curb appeal.

Improving the curb appeal was the first point of business for this project. Additionally, programmatically, the Rabbi, living walking distance to the synagogue, wanted to gain a home office where he could readily receive congregants and meet with them privately. This would entail having a dual purpose entry foyer where congregants could wait, have access to a half bath, and get to the Rabbi's office without going through the house. At the same time, the same half bath would be the formal powder room, and the Rabbi's office needed to be able to open up to the living room in order to accommodate overflow crowds when events would be held in the home. The scope also included expanding both the living room and dining rooms, and creating a hand washing area to be used before a meal. Lastly, there was a bulkhead problem that needed to be addressed as the existing bulkhead that had been built during a former renovation with another architect was built to the side of the house and acted like a well by gathering water that would just flow into the basement.

In order to achieve the client's design objectives, we removed an existing, but poorly renovated front porch and in its place built a new, expanded addition across the length of the front of the house. As an added and much needed bonus, we were able to create a two bedroom one bathroom guest wing in the new basement area. In the rear of the house, we removed the existing bulkhead and reoriented a new bulkhead as well as building a lovely rear deck.

At job's end, the landscape architect was able to come in and landscape the house. The Rabbi's mother helped pick the colors for the exterior of the house. She was happy with the improvements and felt her son had listened to her request. The Rabbi and his family were happy with their renovations. And, after all, isn't that what it's all about?

•  SBJ ARCHITECTURE, 223 Grant Ave, Newton, MA   •