Grab that Space

9718 Canterbury

20121203 9718 Canterbury Featured Image

9718 Canterbury is located in Lee Gardens, a nice neighborhood in eastern Overland Park. Lee Gardens is very similar to the adjacent Leawood neighborhoods, but with slightly lower taxes. Recent sales average near $300,000 and peak near $400,000. With an asking price of $185,000 there is plenty of room for improvement. The home falls within a very solid school district and has good access to the well sized and newly remodeled Ranchmart Shopping Center at 95th Street and Mission Road.

As is, 9718 is a reasonable home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms located on a nice site. The home’s living area is its largest issue. It is roughly 22 feet by 11 feet with minimal fenestration. The only source of natural light is a french door that leads to an enclosed porch, another poorly proportioned space. The square footage of both the living room and porch are adequate but their long and narrow configurations are difficult to furnish. The current kitchen, while by no means spectacular, is a serviceable galley configuration that opens to a narrow and somewhat ambiguous eating area. The dining area is further compromised by an abrupt entry to the garage. All bedrooms and baths are reasonably sized but closets are not exactly plentiful. A deeper than average two car garage provides good storage space for lawn and garden equipment, or even a small shop. Drainage issues have most likely led to some recent corrective measures to the foundation. If the foundation is found to be viable, the living area can be corrected and turned into an asset.

Two proposed solutions take advantage of the existing enclosed porch. Both grab the space and incorporate it into the conditioned living area creating larger and better proportioned spaces all around. And both make minor changes to the bedrooms (the master gains a closet from the southwest bedroom which gets a new closet). The porch’s existing roof structure and foundation make this modification relatively cost effective.

The first solution is fairly straight forward as it maintains the kitchen’s current location at the front of the home. To improve function and spatial definition, this scheme relocates the laundry from the basement to the area at the north end of the stairs. This creates a proper transition space from the garage to the house and helps define the breakfast nook and the new living and dining area. A large round dining table is the perfect fit for the new dining room, freeing space for an ample living arrangement. For the most part, the window openings of the existing porch remain. But they now fill the living and dining areas with natural light.

The edgier second solution moves the kitchen into the living area. A larger window opening is created at the front of the home to create an “away” space in current kitchen location. This space could function nicely as a dining area. However, as the public loosens its grip on the formal dining room concept, this space could very easily function as another living area or study. This new space is defined to the north by a nicely appointed mud room near the garage entry. The new configuration at the rear of the home contains space for all living functions. Cooking, dining, and living areas are collected in one large, open space. A new patio is poured on the south side of the existing deck providing additional outdoor space close to the kitchen.

While the first solution creates a large living space the edgy solution makes a substantial lifestyle move. The double wide kitchen counter with storage on each side make cooking a new experience. Several people can work on the same surface at the same time and it becomes very similar to the community table at some newer casual restaurants when it is time to entertain. Additional storage is found around the corner at the coffee bar to the north of the stairs. Wooden slats screen the basement stairs that lead to an existing supplemental living space with a fireplace.

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