We purchased our new house because it was in our favorite neighborhood, had great curb appeal and enormous potential.  As I've mentioned a thousand times before, we plan on doing a substantial addition to make the home bigger and more open.  We're in the process of meeting with architects and contractors in our area and starting to really think about what we want the addition to look like, feel like and how we want it to function to suit our lives.

I'm discovering that there are so many things to consider.  It seems like once I have a good vision of what I want it to look like, I see a photo of another interior and I change my mind completely.  The big debate is whether to do it open and airy (think Barefoot Contessa's barn) or cozy and warm (think wood paneled room, stone fireplace hearth room with big leather chairs).  I'd love to find a way to do both... maybe open floor plan with warm and cozy finishing.

I was so amazed at the great ideas offered up last week on recommendations for our bedroom, that I am now seeking your advice on this giant project.  Any tips you have on doing an addition - are there things you wish you would've thought about when you did your house?

I've been doing a little sketching on my computer of various layouts.  By the way, this is my test for architects and contractors when we're interviewing them - I show them my sketched ideas.  I want to see how frightened they are by a client that has many ideas and wants to be very, very involved : )

Here is what our house looks like now :

If you are new to the blog, you can see photos of our house here :

And here is what my vision (for the moment...) is : 

As you can see, we'll be refinishing the existing garage space into a guest suite with full bath attached (an idea from our neighbor's home!) and adding an attached 2-car garage.  We'd also like to extend the foyer area by 3-4 feet so the entrance is more open.  We'll add a 12 foot addition and combine the existing dining and kitchen areas into the new part to create one large room with designated areas for kitchen, dining and family/tv.  

I'm envisioning a center stone fireplace with a table (either long or round - depending on the day/occasion) and french doors on either side opening up the patio.  I love this photo from For The Love Of A House - her cozy table in front of the fire has been my main point of inspiration.  You must visit her blog... the entire house is stunning.   She blends light and open with cozy perfectly.  Our kitchen will have very similar finishings (I think) - painted cabinets with marble countertops. However, our room will be quite a bit larger and more open, so I want to be sure I'll be able to create that same cozy factor...?

Notice how her ceiling is normal height.  Our ceilings will be 8ft because that is what they are in the rest of the house and we will be adding rooms above and a basement below... so, I do know that we will not have the grand vaulted ceiling look in our new addition.  I would like to add the beadboard ceiling and beams, though to add some interest and breakup the large room (which will end up being 28ft x 22ft).  Any other ideas are welcome!

Here are other inspiration photos I've gathered... I'm keeping them in this Pinterest board.  If you find something you think I'll like, pin it and add the #tag #JennysNewAddition

Timeless Beauty  Calacatta marble tiles installed in a herringbone pattern cover the wall behind this commercial-style range. The timeless backsplash reflects the venous marble countertops, and the soft white and gray colors provide an elegant setting for the warm wooden island and custom-built hearth.

I love this kitchen.  The stained wood island, marble and painted cabinets remind me a lot of my sister's kitchen - all of the things I love.   I think the wood adds some of that 'cozy' factor.

Lake View Residence 

Open.  Our seating area would not be nearly this size.  I'm picturing two over-sized loveseats facing each other with a big ottoman in the middle. 

Me, being the symmetrical-all-lined-up nut that I am, loves this kitchen.  
Long island, long table.  Perfect clean design, but not cold.

Pretty Storage.. 

And then... I love this warmer tone.  Is it too refined?  Do you picture it with a cozy sitting area?  Not sure!

white kitchen cabinets, mix of open and closed shelves with tile backsplash & white marble countertop 

Love all of the finishings here - I will definitely be keeping my brass pulls for the kitchen.   I shared this photo last year and it is still amongst my favorites... I guess that is the test!

Here are things I need your help on :

Storage ideas?
Desk spot in the kitchen?  Built in?
Layout - should their be more separation?

Please share links and ideas - or links to your own pinterest boards!