Historic home renovations are often some of the most rewarding, yet challenging projects we encounter. Preserving the pristine, historic beauty and character of a house while transforming it into a vibrant, modern dwelling with style and detail is always at the forefront of our minds. Our architecture and interior design teams revel in seeing a historic transformation come to life amidst managing common constraints around tight locations, small rooms lacking flow, zoning, and structural stability.
Here are a few of our favorite historical restorations:
Inspiration: The Captain's Cottage
This iconic Cape Cod bungalow built in 1904 by Captain John Hammond Jr. and his wife, Della, required historic renovation and design work to meet the new owners’ goal of preserving and modernizing the 1,800 sq. ft. home and abutting 230 sq. ft. cottage. To improve the stability of the property, construction began by lifting the building from its brick piers, moving it forward on rails, and placing it back on a solid foundation with helical pilings. Leaving the home’s original structural beams exposed nods to the craftsmanship from when the house was built as a summer cottage. The layout was opened and flow was increased throughout the space. Shiplap accentuating the coastal aesthetic in the kitchen transitions to the second floor and lower level. On the exterior, the traditional clapboard façade was maintained with the addition of energy-efficient rigid insulation, the existing deck was enlarged, and a second-floor balcony was added. While updating aesthetics, energy efficiency, and the stability of the property, the unique historic character and architecture of the home were preserved.
Inspiration: Greek Revival
Nestled in a traditional Greek Revival city neighborhood, we identified great opportunity for this building to complement its surrounding vernacular and added key romantic elements to bring architecture of past to modern day. Eloquent features such as a gabled roof, an elevated solid front door with window detailing, wide trim, pilasters, and simple lines of midcentury architecture were incorporated to create an understated Greek revival influence.
While thoughtfully designing this renovation, we drew inspiration from other Greek Revival buildings in the neighborhood that told a story of what the home might have been and what it could be. It was important that the structure feel rooted in the history of the neighborhood while becoming a modern home with new amenities. Close attention was paid to exterior detailing and also the thermal envelope, material sustainability, and durability in hopes that it will be standing 100 years from now.
See the project in entirety here
Inspiration: Gothic Revival
This historic 1840’s Gothic Revival is eye-catching with decorative stained-glass sidelights and a traditional steep pitched roof with intersecting gables true to the Gothic Revival architectural style. The home presented an array of design challenges: a narrow restricted lot cozy to the neighboring properties, a sensitive coastal location, and a structure desperately in need of major renovations. We completed a renovation and addition that respected the historic notion of individual rooms, small spaces, and connecting hallways, yet maximized water views from the main house and studios. The solution was an expansion of windows on the water side of the home, a small addition that incorporates an open kitchen and family room concept, and an interior design to reflect the homeowners’ personal aesthetic.