Gurski Residence


In January, 2012, the Gurskis encountered a challenge that many new home owners face. They had just purchased a new home, chosen primarily for its prime location in a neighborhood that would be great for their growing family. But the house itself left a lot to be desired. Especially considering the fact that they were expecting a third child right before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Gurskis knew that some changes to the interior space would be necessary for the house to fit their family’s needs.

The biggest problems with the house were lack of storage, laundry down in the basement, a small, cramped kitchen, no room for the kids to play in, and inadequate overall space. Having worked successfully with Jen on kitchen and bathroom remodels in their previous home, the couple decided to call her to visit their new home and get a plan in action.

“After meeting with Jen, she came back with a plan for a 2-story addition off the back of the home with a lot of windows as our backyard opens onto a beautiful park. She understood that with a new child on the way, and plans for another, it would make the most sense to create something that would not only solve our problems now, but also provide a space that would serve our needs in the future. The design met the needs for the kitchen and playroom (that even included an AMAZING fireman’s pole from the 2nd to 1st floor!) while shifting the 1st floor bathroom to accommodate an entrance and locker system to help with storage. The 2nd floor allowed us to go from 2 upstairs bedrooms to 3, including one large room that could be easily converted into another bedroom in the future. She incorporated built-in storage in these areas that made organization a snap. To solve the basement laundry issue, she brought it up to the 2nd floor and created an amazing closet to store all of the cleaning supplies, click to know more about the list of supplies that we were able to fit. The 2nd floor bath was expanded making it perfect for the boys to share. I love how she incorporated all the windows for us to really enjoy the views of the park, creating a more visual outside appeal while keeping the feel of the original 1900’s classic New Englander.”


There were two major factors that had to be considered in the successful execution of this project: First of all was the timing – with a baby on the way, hitting the deadline on the mark was critical. Second, the family would live in the home during all phases of construction, making it very important to put together the right team of professional contractors and to keep things organized and orderly.

Asked about how she responded to these challenges, Ramsey responded, “Successful implementation begins in the planning phase. Most projects that fail to finish on time are the result of inadequate attention to detail in the beginning. In this case, I was very aware that I was working with a real family living a real life during this process. It’s my responsibility to put in the effort and hard work to make sure the project is built to succeed as fast and as easily as possible. At the end of the day, I’m not only helping them improve their space, I’m helping them improve the way they live.”

The Gurskis couldn’t be happier with how the project unfolded. From planning, plotting, and logistics, to implementation and reality, SOMMA was integral in making the Gurskis project seamless and easy – leaving them with peace-of-mind, and a space they’re proud of.

“Jen was crucial in lining up the contractors for us to meet and review. She put together a great team that were considerate of our needs and were empathetic to our lack of space. We started construction at the end of August and were able to finish the week of Thanksgiving just as we had hoped. Jen understood exactly what we wanted and provided support throughout the entire renovation. She was sort of like a little guardian angel always with us each step of the way.”


The Gurskis now have the best of both worlds: a neighborhood and a house that line up perfectly with their unique needs. The family is enjoying a quality of life beyond their expectations and is happier than ever. “The results are better than we could have expected. The boys LOVE the space and views of the park. The playroom is perfect and the kids have a blast on the fire pole. The kitchen by Dovetailed Kitchens, also in Portsmouth, came out beautifully, and all the natural light is awesome. Without hesitation, we would recommend anyone looking for design help to reach out to SOMMA. They made our dream addition come true.”