Originally constructed in 1918 as servants’ quarters, the starting point for this Lake Drive addition & remodel was a maze-like series of small rooms, hallways, and closets. With a seven-foot ceiling throughout, the space was claustrophobic and formed a barrier between the main portion of the house and the lush backyard garden. The initial steps in the project were to take the tabula rasa approach and wipe out all of the interior walls. We then worked closely with the contractor to reinforce the floors and roof structure that had sagged over 4 inches in the center. Once the structure was stabilized, and a large open studio had been created on the interior, we added a roof monitor with clerestory windows to bring in light and create some relief to the low ceiling. A final design move was to add a screened in porch and stairs onto the back of the house. Through this intricately detailed porch, the homeowners could now access their backyard garden and late night parties on the terrace could retreat up into the studio as the night cooled off.