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An 1885 waterfront Victorian in Massachusetts gets a thoughtful renovation by working within the existing house footprint.
This Shingle-style Victorian in Hingham, Massachusetts, was built in 1885 as a summer cabin. With only one previous owner since 1929, the house looks much as it did when it was built in 1885.
The homeowners did everything possible to preserve the simple beauty of the turn-of-the-century cottage. They wanted nothing formal or fussy, preferring only fresh, functional, and comfortable.
The homeowners fell in love with the character and charm of an 1885 house. When this neglected 4,000-square-foot home went on the market in 2002, they jumped at the chance to buy it.
The homeowners replanted the gardens in Victorian style with hydrangeas, English ivy, and Sea Foam roses. The new stone wall with steps was built to match the existing seawall.
The homeowners had always been taken by the magic of the front porch and made very few changes. Pots of flowers against the crisp painted stairs add a welcoming touch.
The foyer's pine staircase had been painted gray. The homeowners' father took on the months-long challenge of hand-scraping the three-story staircase, then staining the handrails and painting the rest white.
Watch and learn the hallmarks of traditional style and decide if this look is right for you and your decor.
The blue family room has vintage personality thanks to a new fireplace, built-in hutches, and windows above. The painting portrays the homeowners' children. The beaded-board wainscoting and china hutch are original.
The trimmed opening at severe angles needed a softer design. And clutter in front of the window wasted a beautiful harborfront view.
The updated dining room includes a softer, curved arch by the windows, plus symmetrical built-ins that appear original to the house.
The original wood floors had been protected for decades, first by paint, and then by carpet. The homeowners were thrilled at their perfect condition.
The island looks like a piece of moveable furniture; that's possible because it doesn't house a sink with plumbing pipes that need to be hidden. Open space between the gracefully turned island legs makes the room feel bigger and lighter. Two matching chandeliers hang above the island.
Custom-built cabinets outfitted with reproduction brass hardware stretch all the way to the extra-tall ceiling, providing a touch of grandeur and ample storage space.
A flat paneling detail is used to create vintage-style backsplashes in the new kitchen. They're cost-effective, and the glossy oil paint makes them easy to clean.
Grayish-green marble countertops echo one of the ocean's many colors.
The homeowners stained the sunroom's wood ceiling to give it a nautical feel.
During the renovation, new electrical wiring and radiant-heat floors were installed in the sunroom.
New built-in bookcases add purpose and vintage flair to the second-floor landing, which showcases a cantilevered staircase.
A dark bedroom with a sloped wall begged for updating.
The updated bedroom is light and airy, thanks to new windows, white paint, and cottage-inspired furnishings.
Below the sunroom sits a below-grade potting room with walk-out access. New plumbing, electrical, and radiant-heat floors were added.