We Can't Stop Dreaming About This Victorian Makeover's Modern Family Style
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.
Before: Formally Crowded
The main-level formal parlor in the turret functioned as an overflow living space, crowding the home's entryway.
After: Room to Breathe
Relieved of furniture congestion, the turret parlor offers a grand welcome to the home.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.