Two sisters approached MSB Architects to expand the 1970’s brick rancher they bought as a residence for their retirement. The original house was 1,190 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. Once expansion plans were discussed, it was soon realized that they desired two master suites, a more open floor plan, a guest room and mud room, which would require a major renovation to the existing home. Adding to the challenge, the house sits on a historic easement, facing the C&O Canal in Sharpsburg, Maryland, so there were restrictions in place.

The solution for the new home began with bringing the existing house down to its foundation, and increasing the home’s square footage to 2,400 square feet. Keeping with Craftsman design tenets for using natural materials, the new home is a mix of natural stone and wood materials for the exterior construction. They added a mud room, wider trim to windows and doors, and a stone foundation to pay homage to farmhouses typical to the area. The new house has a wide, covered porch, low pitched roof, and natural stone details in the columns and foundation. The wide windows capitalize on the outdoor views.

Since the sisters were consolidating their respective households, Raquel Orsini assisted with selections creating a single look for their interior.