A four-foot deep addition to the back of the house: that’s all it took to give an interior designer, her comedian husband and their two growing boys just enough room to yuk it up. That, and the reworking of underutilized attic space. From a small scale renovation comes big results: a more spacious three bedroom house with en suite master bath on the second floor and a new family room on the first.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to want to stay in the towns where they’ve put down roots. And it’s widely held that it is often easier for families to improve their houses than it is to relocate and replicate ideal aspects of beloved neighborhoods. That’s why adapting houses to meet the changing needs of firmly-planted families is the core of my business. This little house is a prime example.

A prime example of early 20th Century eclecticism, this story and a half cottage offered subtle Tudor detailing for me to build on. On the street side, I added an intricate dormer for more room upstairs. I centered its red peak between two gables on the first floor and repeated distinctive wavy siding from the garage’s peak on its face. On the back, the shallow gabled addition repeats the red triangle of the street side. Pent roofs unify while providing cover to the back door.

With a little more space added and myriad little issues resolved, this house proves that good things do, indeed, come in small packages.