The girls’ bedrooms are adjoined via a tiny door. “They had shared a 9-by-12-foot room for their whole lives at that point, so the idea of giving them separate rooms was a huge change,” explains Ellis. “We wanted a way for them to feel connected.”
An architect’s timeless addition offers something for every member of the family.
ARCHITECT SARAH ELLIS and her husband, Jason, were perfectly content in the 1,100-square-foot East Sacramento cottage that they had lovingly renovated over the years. But they were also mindful that daughters Ava, 11, and Ruby, 9, might appreciate more space of their own as they grew older. Thus began an extensive second-story remodel that added two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a boatload of classic charm to their 1927 home.
Adding square footage to a house is easy enough, but creating a new design that respects the original architecture, complements previous remodeling projects and functions well for a modern family takes some serious creativity. Ellis’ approach was to keep the color palette neutral, choose finishes and fixtures with a timeless appeal, and focus on amenities that never grow old, like vaulted ceilings and abundant natural light.
Where the residence was full of color prior to the remodel, it’s now a placid study in white and gray. Ellis skillfully employed textures, patterns and details in the tile, countertops and cabinets to give the new rooms their character. As she puts it, “I wanted to create a really timeless look that we’re going to like for a long time and that can easily accommodate changing preferences and tastes.”
She also carved out unique spaces—a play loft, a craft room, adjoined bedrooms—where the girls can create lifelong memories together. “This addition wasn’t just for us,” says Ellis. “It was really about our daughters having a special space to grow up in and have their friends over and feel comfortable in.”