The challenge: A 1920s Minneapolis bungalow’s three-season porch had a cold concrete floor and opened directly into the living room. “There was no sense of transition,” said architect Dan Nepp. The home also lacked a main-floor powder room and front entry closet.
Design team: Architect Dan Nepp, TEA2 Architects, Minneapolis (www.tea2architects.com) and Rachel Hendrickson, project manager, formerly of TEA2.
Solution: Nepp removed the three-season porch, but retained the concrete foundation. He designed the new structure with a porch aesthetic to comply with Minneapolis zoning codes. The interior houses a new coat closet and bathroom, with dark-stained millwork matching the rest of the bungalow. “We were able to give the owners the space they need, as well as improved character in front of the house,” he said.
Lighten up: To brighten the dark living room, Nepp replaced a small window with a grouping of triple divided-light windows in the front of the home.
Bonus bathroom: “Everyone wants a first-floor powder room in an old house,” said Nepp. He complied, adding a clean-lined simple space with a dark-stained oak vanity and mirrors and oil-rubbed bronze fixtures that fit the period of the home.
Porch-like feel: The new front entry is primarily clad in wood with trim accents instead of stucco.
Cottage charm: Planter boxes filled with flowers decorate the front windows. “If your structure is in pretty good shape, small details such as planter boxes and contrasting trim color can give the exterior a fresher look,” said Nepp.
Better bungalow: “You can successfully convert your porch if you are careful about following zoning codes and keep it sympathetic to a porch look,” said Nepp.