A Home Built Smarter, Not Bigger in Old Town Louisville
The design reflects a family’s love of togetherness and community
Building smarter, not bigger, was the intent of a couple when they began planning their home on a corner lot within walking distance of Louisville’s charming downtown historic district. They envisioned a place where they could comfortably work, play, cook and entertain while making a home for their two daughters and two dogs. Research led them to an urban Craftsman-style bungalow design inspired by architect Sarah Susanka and the not-so-big-house movement that started in the late 1990s.
“Being in Old Town, with its small-town feel, we wanted something that was well-designed and tight in concept, a family home,” the homeowner says. The Colorado native, a teacher-turned-real-estate-agent, says she and her husband, a civil engineer, were drawn to the community’s walkability and schools and “because it’s an eclectic place to live. There’s lots of age diversity and a wide mix of property.”
The couple worked with Mark Queripel of Boulder’s MQ Architecture and Design to adapt a bungalow design they found in a book by architect Michaela Mahady, a colleague of Susanka’s. “Right away I fell in love with it, but we wanted a few changes—a bigger pantry, and a laundry room on the second floor,” the homeowner says.
The residence includes multi-use living spaces, 4 bedrooms and 4 1⁄2 bathrooms in its 3,200 square feet. Guests enter a living room where a piano and guitar are ready to be picked up and played, either by the husband and eldest daughter or musician friends who visit. The spot is a favorite because “it has beautiful beam work that delineates the space without having more walls,” the homeowner says. “We love that it feels cozy and intimate.’’
Nearby, in lieu of a formal dining room, a table and chairs can accommodate a group for meals or be a setting to create art projects. And throughout, there are built-ins that personalize rooms, such as window seats and bookshelves. “It’s interesting without being fussy,” the homeowner says.
Because everyone in the family enjoys cooking, they outfitted the kitchen with a farmhouse sink, Caesarstone countertops and a combination of open and closed shelving and storage.
Managing the building process was a major undertaking for the couple, so when it came time to furnish it, “I was out of decision-making power,” the homeowner admits. She enlisted Jennifer Medoff of Dragonfly Designs to help with the remaining finishes and furniture.
Says Medoff, “When I first saw the house, I loved that it felt intentional and not overdone. Everything had a purpose. Dark floors, neutral walls, red brick accents and unique window trim were a solid and interesting palette to build on.”
“We began with a ground of black and white, and then picked colors to pop in each room: teal and red, navy and coral. The transition through spaces works because the architecture is so cohesive.”
When design elements in each room are thoughtfully considered and the spaces flow, she says, “a house feels like a home.”
ARCHITECT MQ Architecture & Design
INTERIOR DESIGN Dragonfly Designs
PHOTOGRAPHY Susie Brenner