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Sophisticated Design for a casual lifestyle

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Jordan Scinta, Three Sixty° Views

Extraordinary is the only word to describe the addition that a busy family in Buffalo, New York, is enjoying after a wonderful collaboration with Michael Poczkalski of michael P. design. It’s a two-story stunner that quite literally has changed their lives since being completed last year
    “We absolutely love it and can’t remember what we lived like before this — we really can’t,” said the homeowners. “We’re in there all the time.”
    With color and texture and details galore, the addition has served to modernize this century-old house that the family has called home since 2001. But not too much. You see, they were intent on retaining the architectural character of the 1910 structure, which boasts a terracotta tile roof, leaded glass windows and craftsman’s-touch woodwork inside.
    “I think this addition made the house happy because we really celebrated what it was, but created something new,” said Poczkalski, lead designer.
    That’s precisely what the family envisioned when they embarked on a multiphase project to add square footage, repurpose existing features and improve the overall flow in their home.
    This was a major project that was years-long from start to finish but oh so worth it, said the homeowners, who kept their eye on the prize.    
    “We just kept going because we knew it would be fabulous,” they said.
    The vibe is casual yet sophisticated, super-comfortable yet striking. And it’s lived in day in and day out by a family of six who relish all the different lounging and gathering areas.
    “It’s a comfortable, lived-in space. That’s what we designed it to be,” Poczkalski said.  “They spend a lot of time there now because it’s so bright and happy.”
    “There was dark wood inside this home — it was beautiful but there wasn’t a lot of light coming in,” the designer said. “So the goal was to come up with a concept of how to lighten things up and make it more contemporary.”

Highlights include:
• Folding glass walls in the family room that open up to a large backyard deck
• A sleek, double-sided fireplace at ground level and a second fireplace on the upstairs deck
• Arts & Crafts-style iron railings
• Polished concrete floors and radiant heat
• Neutral walls painted in warm tones of gray  “The homeowners love art so we went with a more neutral, classic palette. When you see the beautiful art they display, that’s where the color comes in,” Poczkalski said. “The artwork
   just pounces out at you.”

• An eclectic mix of fabrics “I like to do velvets, tweeds, twills and leather with fabrics. There’s definitely a mixture of all that here. It’s comfy,”  he said. “There’s a cushy, down-filled chaise lounge that everyone in the family fights
  over to lie on.”
• An abundance of natural light, something that was lacking in the home

The homeowners had a vision of taking the house they have loved for years to greater heights and were excited to see their vision become reality.
    “The first step in a major project like this was to sit down with them and discuss what they’re looking for, their expectations,” Poczkalski said. “From there I started building out an idea of what to do and how to celebrate the old house but incorporate something new. We kept on layering different pieces for the design.”
    The homeowners offer this advice for others considering a major re-do:
    “First of all, you really have to trust your designer. You have to trust the people you’re working with, because a lot of it is a leap of faith. Understand that it is a process and the process evolves. It’s not just put ideas up fast and let them run with it. You must stay involved in that process.
    At least, that is what we did — and we love how it all turned out.”  

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