Our clients have spent weekends and summers in this home for well over 20 years. They developed a deep attachment to its private forest setting, its close proximity to town, and the landscape into which they invested considerable effort. However, the house itself generated less feelings of attachment. It was badly in need of major infrastructure and aesthetic update.
Over the course of 14 months Billlinkoff Architecture developed plans for its renovation. We also had concurrent discussions with the owners and general contractor about other options, including selling the property or tearing the house down and building new. While the numbers may have logically pointed to the latter two options, the owners ultimately decided that granting the house new life would yield the greatest personal satisfaction.
The architectural interventions on the interior were considerable: the second floor over the living room was removed to create a double height space; a dated curved staircase at the entry was replaced by a contemporary open staircase made of steel and walnut; the kitchen was enlarged by relocating the laundry to the other side of the house; bathrooms were reconfigured and remodeled; floors were rebuilt to eliminate hazardous steps; and new hardwood floors and custom cabinetry were installed throughout.
The original floor plan dictated the functional layout of the spaces, but each was altered in big and small ways. Walls separating living, dining and kitchen areas were removed to achieve a more spacious open feeling. To reorient the living room to face the view outside, the original masonry wood burning fireplace at the center of the house was closed up and a new stainless gas unit installed on the window wall. Some of the interior doors separating rooms were eliminated and other swing doors replaced by pocket doors. To take advantage of the outdoor views from the second floor master bedroom, high windows originally behind the bed were replaced by larger ones and the bed was relocated to an adjacent wall.