A leisurely, light-handed remodeling project restored the architectural integrity of a 1913 Craftsman-style summer cottage.
At first, this home's renovator thought the architecture too crude, too simple, too boxy to be attractive. But when the worst aspects of the house--the drapes, the carpets, the linoleum--were removed, the beauty of the home began to shine through. All the Arts and Crafts-influenced home really needed was a bit of freshening up--hardly a renovation, and almost less than a remodeling.
Over the course of six summers, the house was gradually and subtly burnished until it seemed as timeless as a summer evening, yet as fresh as a sea breeze. The renovator painted the porch floor in the original formula of one part brown to two parts black.
Original light fixtures, paneling, windows, and even a spring-close wooden screen door give this house a timeless feel.
Lots of glowing woodwork give the interior the warm, sepia tone of an old photograph. Unadorned windows let in plenty of light, keeping the interiors from getting too dark.
White walls and an undraped window keep the pantry bright. Newly painted vintage furnishings and cabinetry give the room a clean, fresh look.
French doors open from a second-floor bedroom onto a view of the Gulf of Maine.
During this project, renovators worked to keep as much of the original material as they could. Fortunately, this house had a great deal to offer, right down to many of the original lighting fixtures. Except for the removal of a partition wall upstairs, the floor plan was unchanged.
The results are what could be called an "invisible renovation." Though the place may never have looked this good, it feels as though it has always looked the same. And that kind of nostalgic feel, after all, is one of the main attractions of owning a vintage home in the first place.
The deftly handled project goes to show that sometimes knowing what to leave well enough alone is as important as knowing what to change.