MOUNT WASHINGTON — When it came to design homes for a pair of neighboring hillside lots, Simon Storey faced several challenges, including regulations that limited the size of each residence to about 1,000 square-feet. To get the most use out of the relatively modest-sized, modern-style buildings, Storey adopted a feature found in many old homes: the bay window. The impact, in term of space and light, was “huge,” Storey said.
The designer is no stranger to building on small lots, including his own Echo Park residence that is squeezed into a narrow lot above a one-car garage. For the two Mt. Washington homes, which are scheduled to go up for sale soon, Storey implemented a few ideas to make the two-story homes seem bigger, including wide use of natural light, high ceilings and a circulation pattern that takes visitors from one room through another room.
But perhaps the biggest impact on the small homes were those bay windows. The living areas and bedrooms features large, square bay windows that protrude more than two-feet away from the wood-clad exterior of the homes. The window seats are large enough for two or three people to sit on or for one person to stretch out and take a nap. A bay window a wood seat makes a narrow entry way seem wider.
“In the living room, having the bay window eliminates the need to have another couch,” said Storey in an interview inside one of the homes. “They have lights built in, so you can sit in there and read a book.”
In addition to bringing in more light and serving as built-in furniture, the bay windows did not count against the square-footage permitted by the city, Storey said. The bay window “basically frees up a lot of square footage,” Storey said. Their use in a modern home “just seemed logical, really.”