Our clients often want to make improvements to a home they already love, particularly homes with a distinctive historic style. The character of a building may be wonderful, but the functionality of an 85-year-old home doesn’t always blend seamlessly with a modern lifestyle. From bedrooms to kitchens to living rooms, everything is a bit small, with less-than-ideal natural light. Our job as designers is to find the balance between the old and new, without betraying either. Today we’re visiting an ongoing remodel of a 1936 home in Blue Ridge. The framing and drywalling are both finished, the wooden flooring has been laid, tiling is being applied, and the rooms already hint at the final results.
In the main suite (above) we swapped low ceilings and small windows for ceilings that follow the roofline and a prow window with a view of Puget Sound. The bedroom is filled with natural light, and the sloped ceiling imparts an enveloping sense of coziness.
On the main floor, the covered porch was enclosed to expand the living room. Large windows now wrap the corner of the room and French doors lead to the existing deck. The room is larger, brighter, and more welcoming. Panoramic views of the Sound can now be enjoyed either relaxing in the newly enclosed space or sitting near the fireplace (left).
Wooden latticework incorporated at the new covered side porch reflects the original detail located near the front entry. The entire home has been wrapped with a new layer of waterproofing in preparation for cedar shingles that will match the original siding.
Developing our designs for older homes often means renovating while respecting the building’s history. We create a harmonious design to fulfill our clients’ goals while honoring the original design intent and craftmanship. Above all, the goal is to create a space that will last well into the future.
For more examples of remodels that integrate modern amenities with distinctive historic character, check out this 1926 Arthur Loveless-designed home, a sylvan stunner adapted for aging in place, and a mid-century home revitalized with an open floor plan.