The challenge: Homeowners Hugh and Melissa Cullen wanted an enclosed, outdoors-oriented space off their family room where they could relax and entertain friends. “When we sat on the patio, we were forced inside by mosquitoes and rainy weather,” said Hugh. The couple also requested that the addition feel like it had always been a part of their 1930s English Tudor in St. Paul.


The design team: Bruce Knutson, Bruce Knutson Architects, 1000 Boone Av. N., Golden Valley, 612-332-8000, The contractor was Reiling Construction, St. Paul. Interior design by Thomas Hill, Minneapolis.


The solution: Build a 240-square-foot screen-porch addition that extended out only as far as the library space adjacent to it on the side of the house. “We filled in the empty corner and extended the sloped Tudor roof to create a sheltered overhang,” said Knutson. Plus, the added structure didn’t gobble up a big part of the backyard.

To raise the porch ceiling, Knutson inserted a shed dormer fronted with transom windows. “The shed dormer was a key feature that brings in more light,” said Melissa.


Keeping in character: The exterior of the new addition combines stucco and half timbers to continue the design details of the original English Tudor architecture. The shed dormer roof is clad with copper, a popular Tudor-era material. New cedar timber posts match the home’s existing posts.

Inside, the porch has a traditional pine beadboard ceiling and paneling, which “ties in with the age of the home,” said Melissa. She covered the stained concrete floor with an area rug.


The result: The Cullens can feel the summer breezes, gaze at the gardens and socialize in a spacious bug-free porch facing their backyard. “We’ve even had great dinner parties during the pouring rain,” said Melissa. □