Mid-Century Modern Remodel

Architect Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz updates the exterior and landscaping of a mid-century home, bringing it into the 21st century.

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Architect Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz of Carver + Schicketanz Architects modernizes a mid-century home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., by updating the engineering and mechanical standards.

In addition, she incorporates energy savings, including drought-tolerant landscaping and a rooftop photovoltaic solar array, to achieve the highest possible LEED rating. We caught up with Schicketanz to find out about the goals and challenges she faced during the remodel.

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Describe the homeowners' wishlist.

The homeowners wanted the home to have an updated appearance, new landscaping and a photovoltaic system, as well as an expanded roof terrace and a roof garden where they could grow herbs and vegetables.

What were the homeowners' design problems?

Due to the residential zoning ordinances in Carmel-by-the Sea, we were not allowed to increase the footprint of the existing home. Our biggest challenge was to make the existing two-bedroom house into a three-bedroom house without increasing the footprint. We accomplished this by converting part of the garage space and by relocating the mechanical equipment in the home.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

For this project, our obstacle was that the city ordinances were geared to conservative homes in Carmel while we wanted to enhance the features of a mid-century modern home by adding aluminum windows, cementitious siding and painting the exterior of the home a bright-white color.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

For this project, we were very fortunate. The end result matches our original plan, and everything went to planning and was approved without difficulty.

What lessons did you learn?

This project, although an atypical project in Carmel, was well received by the neighbors and community. This project taught us that spending time informing and educating the neighbors and community about the project is a worthwhile task.

What are the "hidden gems"?

We created a lot of sunny, private outdoor roof space upstairs and added a retractable skylight over the dining area that transforms the indoor dining area into an outdoor dining experience with just the press of a button.

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