One of the most rewarding parts of renovation is the discovery of a house with massive potential. While every home can be updated there’s nothing quite like taking an original home and marrying the old with the new. The history of older neighborhoods and homes adds so much charm that paired with the right renovations it’s a truly magical combination.
Since I’ve looked at hundreds of homes there’s a bit of distinction between homes that can simply be updated and those that can undergo major renovation. The second description is where this house lined up. When planning this renovation the goal was to maintain as much of the original charm and detailing while creating a space that was open and included the spaces that are important to homeowners. As well as some general improvements to the flow of the house, especially the front door.
Curb Appeal Overhaul
With some unique features and details the planning for the renovation required an entirely new placement of the front door, which then led to some additional upgrades for the porch to be converted to a 4-season space.
The expansive front porch exterior door and the front door of the house were offset from each other. Making for a strange entrance into the house. Knowing how key a good first impression is to a home that was one of the first spaces to change. As it was, entering the front exterior door of the house would then require a turn to the right and walk 6 feet to get to the actual front door of the house. But here’s the challenge, on the other side of the wall where I thought the front door should be was a beautiful built-in bench that had been installed when the house was built. And while I loved the idea of keeping it the reality was that it wasn’t very deep (comfortable) and was impacting the efficiency of the rest of the house. From the entrance to the living room seating working around the bench just wasn’t working.
When we changed the entrance to the house everything suddenly almost everything made sense. Symmetry with lining up the exterior door and the door to the house created a welcoming entrance and a porch where we were able to carve out a quiet sitting area and plenty of space on the other side for a small desk or bench for extra seating.
Kitchen and Dining Space
The main floor layout included the kitchen with not one but 3 entrances. Including one that was directly to the upper-level staircase. Despite having undergone a remodel at some point in the past 25 years, the kitchen layout was closed off from the rest of the house. By closing off the staircase access that wasn’t needed and removing a window the layout for the kitchen became U-shaped. Offering more opportunity for counter space and more cabinetry for storage. This option also created space for the counter depth fridge and a generous walkway to access to 10-foot peninsula.
Back Entry Details
One area unique to this home was the back entry. At some point the prior owners built a small addition out the back of the home as an additional entrance to the home. The garage is located in the back of the house and since this space is just off the kitchen it was a treasure to find this had already been added. Installing a custom bench and wall detail makes this spot not only useful but a visual statement as you can see it from the new front entrance as well.
Not to be outdone, the small powder bath also had a complete transformation. With a small vanity, mirror, statement lighting and the new oak hardwood floors installed this space feels as though it has always been part of the original home.
One of my favorite features in this home are the original built-ins. While there was some damage to some of the doors and drawers, we were able to repair them and rebuild them. With the new kitchen and trim throughout the house also being white the overall light and bright vibe carries through. Add some recessed lighting, a matte black chandelier and a 10-foot quartz topped peninsula and you’ve got the perfect combination for gathering.
In the overall scope of the renovation this living room didn’t undergo nearly the changes that the spaces around it did. With the re-location of the front door there was some change to the layout of the living room. Moving the entrance to essentially the middle of the longest wall in the living room made for a last-minute change. Noting that there was no wall in the living room to accommodate a television led to the removal of a window. With the other three walls in the living room being the walkway to the dining room and the porch windows this last-minute change proved to be the right choice at staging time too.
With a long living room space that spanned the entire front of the house and several walkways this space could have felt “heavy” if all the furniture was only on the left side. With smart staging the entire space feels balanced. Using a low bench at the end of the living room seating area creates connection to the additional seating area on the far right. The entire living room space is now cohesive and connected.
While the main floor garners most of the attention in a home never fear. The upper level and lower level were definitely part of this too. Check back to see how these spaces were transformed in next weeks post. You won’t want to miss it.
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