We Can't Stop Dreaming About This Victorian Makeover's Modern Family Style
A respectful redo bridges past and present, merging family life with old-home character for worry-free style with upscale flair.
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The clock was ticking on this 1898 Victorian in Larchmont, New York. Would it always be a relic of a bygone era, or could it become a truly livable modern home? Happily, the antiquated interiors and floor plan were reimagined to create a comfortable, adaptable living space for a social family with four children and a dog. Here, the exterior retains historical character with the addition of a wraparound porch, which encourages indoor-outdoor entertaining.
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Before: Formally Crowded
The main-level formal parlor in the turret functioned as an overflow living space, crowding the home's entryway.
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After: Room to Breathe
Relieved of furniture congestion, the turret parlor offers a grand welcome to the home.
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Before: Uninviting Arrangement
A lack of ceiling fixtures and space for socializing made the original living room dark and uninviting for groups of more than three or four.
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After: Chanel-Inspired Facelift
Coco Chanel's Paris salon inspired the living room's furnishings, especially the glass coffee table with gilded wheat sheaf base. A custom Nepalese rug establishes a contemporary palette for the room, which now opens to a formal dining room addition
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Sophisticated Dining Setting
Rich wall color sets a sophisticated tone in the dining room addition, where 1960s Milo Baughman chairs and avant-garde lighting balance an ornate 1700s Italian mirror and damask wallpaper. Around the firebox, French cava limestone slabs were sized into 1¼-inch-thick bricks for a modern effect.
Design Tip: To mesh old and new, the modern elements in the dining room addition were limited to the lighting, fireplace surround, and chairs.
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Before: Dysfunctional Family Room
The family room was once a formal dining room that flowed poorly with other spaces during parties. Green fireplace tiles seemed out of place.
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After: Open Living
Columns serve as an airy, classic replacement for an end wall that separated the old dining room from the kitchen and entryway. Now furnished as a kid-friendly family room, the space features furnishings dressed with durable fabrics (some treated for outdoor use).
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A wing chair near the kitchen passage takes on a modern sensibility with clean lines and a contemporary-patterned fabric -- a smart transitional complement to the graphic art, classic lamp, and funky table.
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Snow-white marble and black granite were used to create the design around the firebox. It's an updated version of a pattern typically found on the floors of Victorian homes. The tile installer cut each tile to fit the Victorian puzzle.
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Simplifying the lines and accent elements on this bold, oversize range hood helps this modern necessity jibe with a vintage-style room. A counter-to-ceiling background of white handmade subway tiles adds dimension.
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Danby marble on kitchen countertops introduces veins of beige and gold -- a warmer option than the stark white and grays of Carrara marble. Dark grout outlines subway tiles on the backsplash above, highlighting the handcrafted imperfections of the material.
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Clever Message Center
Another family-focused detail, this kitchen cabinet door takes advantage of a sliver of space in the refrigerator surround. A blackboard on the front panel offers a surface for grocery lists and reminders; a corkboard backing allows for posting invitations and notes for school. Inside the cabinet, a whiteboard provides yet another spot for lists and menus. Cabinet knobs and pulls match the imported range, providing a vintage-inspired look to go along with leaded glass in the upper cabinets.
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Thoughtful storage was a must in the kitchen to minimize clutter and maximize convenience. A slim pullout cleverly positions cooking utensils beside the exquisite French-made range.
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Just inside the mudroom entry at the bottom of the kitchen stairs, lockers serve as an easy-access drop zone for coats, bags, sports gear, and more. Baskets and drawers corral smaller items, including hats, gloves, and school papers.
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Beautiful Breakfast Banquette
The breakfast area’s tufted leather banquette and antique table, located between the mudroom and kitchen work core, offers a cozy spot for family dining or guests who want to kibitz with the cook. A rug, refashioned as upholstery on the long bench, is both beautiful and durable.
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Generous dimensions make the new wraparound porch an ideal spot for outdoor entertaining. Painted columns lend stately character, and the stained wood floor and beaded-board ceiling provide warmth and natural beauty.
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A new turret added to the back of the house echoes styling of the original at the front. Inside, the two-story space houses the mudroom on the lower level, providing a family entry that’s as thrilling as the home’s main entrance.
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Fit for a Princess
One little girl’s bedroom in the top of the original turret dresses up in soft pink walls and draperies, a crystal chandelier, and flokati rug, all fit for a princess.
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Spacious Master Bath
Located in the upper level of the new addition, the master bathroom includes a dual-sink vanity and spacious walk-in steam shower with rain showerhead and handheld shower options.
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A squared-off peak, arched window, and beam detailing give the master bedroom cozy appeal. Painting woodwork and walls all white and adding dollops of soft blues create a retreat that's calming for the end of the day.
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