One of my Mother's Day gifts was this book, The Great American House by Gil Schafer.  I've been eying it for months... but since it is not available on the ipad, I hadn't gotten around to getting it for myself. 

There are a million reasons why I love this book and the style that Mr. Schafer presents - but mostly, I love that the book is all about embracing modern living and making it work with true American style.  He designs home with large mudrooms and open kitchens that feel like they were built 100 years ago. 

As we're planning our addition, it is something I've been struggling with as we interview contractors and architects... I don't want our house too look or feel like a brand new house.  I want it to have the charm and character of an old house that has a history. 

A couple of months ago I posted my sketches of our vision.  I got great feedback from all of you and have made adjustments accordingly.  The biggest addition to the addition as been that of a large mudroom and dry storage, and a studio for me.   

As you can see - attached to the garage is a studio (that envision to look like a classic potting shed) with french doors that will lead out to the garden.  Hopefully it will be a place that I can do projects, make messes and then just hose down.  I've also included a dog wash area in the garage - another recommendation from the readers! 

Instead of losing the charming porch off of the side of our house, we're now considering a detached garage instead of an attached.  I think the little jog over to the mudroom/studio and garage will add some charm to the exterior.  We're also hoping to add a covered porch off of the kitchen (accessed through double french doors) that will step down to the patio. 

Another new idea is instead of turning the old garage into a guest bedroom, we'll be using it as a library/dining room.  I think I would miss having a formal dining room for the holidays, so I think this will be a nice addition... and it can be more of a library/study the rest of the time.  Because the rest of the house will be pretty open, it will be nice to have place that can be a cozy quiet zone for working and studying.

THIS is exactly how I want our kitchen table and hearth area to be... french doors and all.  In fact, I love everything - the beamed ceiling, and the paneled fireplace with a stone inset.

I love the stone floor and the dutch door of this mud room.

 I wish we had room for a barn : )

Again, these are just my own preliminary sketches and ideas... I'd love your input!