It's easy to find the charm in a historical Pennsylvania caretaker's cottage, especially when it is full of wide-plank wood floors and tall, 120-year-old windows. Owners Ann and Gus Frerotte were smitten from the moment they saw it. Despite its charisma, the house needed updating—both structurally and for modern living.
Working with architect Greg Dutton and designer Leanne Ford, the Frerottes began the project with the goal of elevating the authentic essence of the home. The small kitchen was the first room on their priority list. To fulfill the Frerottes' craving for a large kitchen that would accommodate their family of five and a bevy of friends, Dutton relocated it to the center of activity and expanded its footprint.
In the kitchen and throughout the house, Ford and Dutton channeled the cottage's authenticity while adding an industrial edge. Materials from the original home were salvaged. For example, the existing floors were reused on the kitchen ceiling. The designer complemented the rough-hewn wood with honed slate on the floor, marble countertops, handmade tiles, and metals that would patinate over time.
The mix of materials in the kitchen is equal parts farmhouse and industrial. Steampunk lighting illuminates the wood farm table, custom-made from house salvage. Copper pots and dual apron-front sinks complement marble countertops, and subway tile recalls vintage warehouse design.
The original double-sided fireplace is all that separates the living room and kitchen. Gatherings naturally flow between the workspace and the plush living area, where a tufted tuxedo sofa is within easy earshot of conversation in the kitchen. Layered rugs add to the comfort of the space.
The dining room evokes drama with its black walls, built-ins, and salvaged beaded-board ceiling. An aged rug and dining furniture are accompanied by clean light fixtures and streamlined gold hardware on the built-in cabinets. A simple tray transforms the built-in's counter into a dry bar.
The homeowners indulged the temptation to write on bathroom walls by painting the entire powder room in chalkboard paint. A simple white pedestal sink and thick white baseboards allow golden-toned accents to glow in the cool space.
A new porch stretches across the front of the house, giving the exterior the warm welcome homeowner Ann Frerotte imagined for the charming caretaker's cottage. An upper-level loft above the porch offers an airy hangout space for the three Frerotte kids.
Against a backdrop of a worn rug and antique side tables, a tufted linen sleigh bed looks clean and cozy. Bue-gray walls are rich but soothing.
Informed by ceilings in old subway stations, the barrel-vaulted wet zone in the master bath houses a soaking tub, dual showerheads, and an overhead rain-style fixture. White penny tiles break up the rectangular shape of subway tiles, and brass hardware warms the look.