Built in 1913, it was a traditional and modest Vermont village house with a single-story, one room 1980’s addition accessed from the kitchen. There had been few improvements made (no existing duct work directing heat to the second floor, just a large grate in the floor of one of the bedrooms allowing heat to rise from room below) and anything that had been added was displeasing (rough built-ins and an ill-positioned wood stove.)
Here is Church Street as we first saw it:
And after the work.
We built an addition containing a mudroom, powder room and garage on the first level and an office, laundry room and master bedroom suite above. The addition was designed in the vernacular of the original portion and of this region. It replicates how this style of house would have historically evolved as rural families grew. We copied details from the old section, such the flat panel interior doors and oil-rubbed bronze hardware, and used them in the new section.
We took some walls down to the studs, moved doors to make spaces more functional, and gutted the second floor bathroom as well as the addition.
In the original kitchen was the door to the basement. We sealed that up to make room for more cabinets and created a new access from the garage.
This was the former addition off the kitchen that had been a bedroom suite:
And the area during the demolition:
The new kitchen.
The actual cooking area is quite small compared to that in our old house where we had a 48" (double oven, six burner plus grill) stove. Prior to to planning this renovation I had spent a week with my sister in England where we produced exquisite meals in her even smaller London kitchen and I realized we didn't need big appliances to eat well.
The original dining room from which we removed the built-in cupboard, wood-stove and brick surround:
Throughout the house we upgraded the crown molding and baseboards to a more substantial size but one that was still in keeping with the proportions of the rooms.
The Living Room before. We took out the bookcase that was not worth saving.
Throughout the house the floors were sanded down and finished with a water-based polyurethane that has a matte finish.
The second floor had three small rooms (one was very small) and a bathroom that also housed the washer and dryer. We turned the tiny room (the green room at right) into a closet and connected it to the center room and we flipped the closet from that room into the bedroom on the left.
The landing before:
We kept the walnut flooring we found on the second floor. It was in good condition so the expense of replacing it was unjustifiable. I like floors either very dark or very light and I decided I could live with some of each.
Cutting into the tiny room that became a closet.
Flipping the existing closet to the other room.
And our daughters bedrooms.
Sophie resembles and shares her father's gregarious and ebullient personality. Serena resembles me and shares my quiet and introspective nature. Which room do you think belongs to whom?
The girls' bathroom before:
During the demo:
We created a linen closet in the bathroom by claiming a space originally accessed by a small door in the hall outside.
When we bought the house I thought it looked like a sea shanty. It was a sad and neglected ugly duckling, and to someone else it might have been a tear-down, but I knew right away we could make it beautiful.
If you are interested in seeing the additional rooms in the new part of the house they can be found here.