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This house is a very old, traditional Virginia farmhouse. The first portion, a log cabin, was built in 1765. The log cabin was added onto over time– an addition was built to the north end in the late 1800’s, and then, later, an ell addition was constructed to the back. The house’s small windows and low ceilings made for a dark interior. The view to the west was of a dramatic local mountain range. To the east, the clients had created a courtyard, formed by the house and its outbuildings.

The clients wanted a sunroom addition with a loft above. Their goal was to add a light-filled room which opened to the mountains, without muddling or ruining the historic structure. They also didn’t want to alter the historic circulation pattern through each room. The sunroom addition telescopes down from the old house, and contains a tall living space with a mezzanine above. The mezzanine connects directly to the master bedroom on the second floor of the existing house. The addition is spacious and light-filled, a sharp contrast to the low ceilings and tiny windows in the house. The new, built-up timber frame grid is infilled with fixed and sliding glass panels, which open to the mountain to the west and to the courtyard to the east. An arbor, framing the mountain view, is built as an extension of the timber frame to the west. While the addition is primarily glass, and modern, its form maintains and respects the proportions of the old house.


  • Builder: Mustard Seed Master Builders, LLC; Sperryville, Virginia
  • Structural Engineer: Allen Associates, P.C., Winchester, Virginia
  • Photographer: Reader & Swartz Architects, PC; Winchester Virginia