queen anne house rear exterior
Photo: Ken Gutmaker
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Modern Family

Today, the family "really lives in the new spaces," says Wilson. "And as the kids are now older, they can spend more time downstairs independently but not so far away—there's a new open staircase."

But the true test was a party the homeowners held for their children's school. "There must have been 80 people there, half of them kids," Wilson recalls. Yet traffic flowed from the front of the house to the back, then downstairs and up—plenty of opportunity to gather spontaneously in knots, clusters, and groups. It's a modern way of entertaining—and living—and exactly what the homeowners had hoped for all along.

Shown: Invisible from the street, the rear addition brings in light through oversize windows and French doors, and creates a link to the backyard that is reinforced by the deck off the kitchen and the patio off the family room.
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