Nov
13

Historic Preservation AwardSlocum Hall Design Group was recently selected for a Newton Preservation Award by Historic Newton and the Newton Historical Commission for the design of a residential addition on Forest Avenue. The panel of judges noted Slocum Hall’s design as “a thoughtful addition that uses the details and materials of the existing house to balance the asymmetry of the original composition nicely.” Awards were given Wednesday, November 12th at a ceremony honoring several local recipients for their commitment to Newton’s historic preservation.

To preserve the historic integrity of the home on Forest Ave, Slocum Hall Design Group used materials that accurately matched the time period and replicated details found on the original house to seamlessly integrate the old with the new. This included harvested brick from the original house in the new addition to create a consistent look and feel. The home is now in its second full century, with a modern addition that honors its ties to the past.

“The challenges we faced were ones that we face on any old house project. Houses of this vintage can be a Pandora’s box once you open the walls and see how it was constructed almost 100 years ago,” commented Leah Cohen Lamkin, Slocum Hall’s newly appointed partner.

“Slocum Hall Design Group is dedicated to the preservation of New England’s treasured antique homes and living history,” added David Boronkay, founder, principal, and partner. “We felt that this project exemplified what the award is intended to highlight – bringing an old home into the modern era while safeguarding the unique features and architecture from its past.“

See our portfolio for more information on the Forest St. project.

 

Oct
08

Modernizing century-old heating systems

Modernizing century-old heating systems

Our project on Bellevue Street, Newton was originally built in 1876 and substantially modified in 1895 to become the gilded age mansion it is today. For all intents and purposes the home was built with all the modern conveniences of that era. All the skylights and windows were fully operational to take advantage of its perch atop a hill. Heating a home of this size with high ceilings is certainly a challenge. But the behavior of heated air has never changed, thus the spaces were made comfortable for all seasons. The home is now being brought into this, its second full century, using modern heating and cooling systems seamlessly integrated into the structure of the home as to not impact its aesthetic value.

The home was originally heated with a gravity fed, steam system.  The convector boxes which were mounted under the floors of the Main Level Rooms provided heat to the formal spaces.  In an effort to preserve the pristine oak floors, original to the house, we have installed an under-mount radiant heating system to take the place of the less efficient convector units, maintaining the historic, brass grilles of the convector units as supply vents for the chilled air.  The bedrooms and bathrooms on the second and third floors that previously used the gravity fed steam system on a loop to radiators has been replaced with dual boiler units and a system of heated water that now circulates to the secondary bedrooms, which maintain their original radiators adorned with new soapstone tops.  All the newly renovated bathrooms on the upper floors as well as the Master Suite have been retrofitted with radiant floor heating to maximize thermal comfort.  The bigger challenge we were faced with was to provide chilled air to the nearly fourteen thousand square feet of finished space.

Ducted cooled air will be supplied to each room through discretely located ducts. The eave space of the third floor houses nine air handler units; these provide ducted air to spaces on the second floor of the house, while all the air handlers for the Main Level are located discretely throughout the Lower Level.  The previously unfinished basement has been converted into additional family living space; we removed the existing concrete slab of the basement and installed under-slab radiant heating, allowing for a reduction in the vertical chases through the historic home.

The large outdoor condenser unit for the homes air conditioning is cleverly tucked under a stone terrace and is hidden from view with period inspired ironwork that allows for optimum air flow.  Be sure your neighborhood power supply is appropriate for the system being specified.

Call or email us today for more information.

Aug
26

Communicating With Your ArchitectWhile many designers and architects can help realize the spatial and visual aspects of your dream home, renovation or addition, having skills in communication, including responsiveness, is key to a successful project. It is what makes the process run smoothly, provides peace of mind and leaves you with a positive memory of the experience – all because it is a project managed correctly.

Yes, communications do sometimes need to be managed. Clearly, at the outset of a project, establishing communication leads to effective decision making. The who, the when and the how become just as important as the what in the context of successful project management. Who should be the point of contact for all groups involved? There are often several additional stakeholders (ie. The home’s many occupants who should be copied on correspondence). How and when become important in regards to your schedule and the pace of the project. Time of day and frequency of communication can be more organic with the use of email, but perhaps you prefer to be contacted by phone or in person, this can all be managed easily once objectives and expectations are clearly stated from the beginning.

Having spent nearly 15 years in commercial Architecture with large-scale projects and corporate clients, I have learned the benefits of effective communication and its positive impact on successful projects. I bring to your project a broad knowledge and deep skill set that will add value to your project and to the process of designing your dream home.

Communication can begin with a phone call. Call or email us today.

Jul
15

Dressing RoomsIn recent years, we have seen the generously sized walk-in-closet, which was the standard in many high-end residential master bedrooms, morph into an entirely new kind of space. A simple 8×10 foot room equipped with shelves and double-tiered rods was previously sufficient for a couples’ clothing storage needs; those times have changed.

The closet of the new millennia is not just intended for the storage of clothing, it is used for so much more. It is a space for women to entertain their guests while artfully displaying their couture gowns, shoes and bags. Spaces generous enough to be a bedroom are outfitted with custom specie hardwood cabinetry and decorated to reflect the style of its occupant.

As the glamorous lives of Hollywood starlets are documented and beamed into our living rooms; their elevated standards of living have become the envy of many women; those not just for your clothes and shoes any longer.

Several of our current projects feature elaborate dressing rooms that perform an array of different functions; while all provide ample storage for clothing, shoes and accessories; some embody unique features custom-tailored to their users. Whether it is a wet bar for cocktail service, a built in espresso machine, a hair blow-out station, an elevated platform with a three-way mirror for dress fittings or a sitting area to entertain guests while preparing for an event; these spaces have become a hub of social activity.

Depending on personal style, these spaces can serve as an art gallery to showcase vintage Chanel or a signed pair of Louboutin’s, or a tranquil Zen-like escape from the hectic life of the modern woman. Either way, the Dressing Room has become the woman’s answer to the man-cave, only the 70” LED television with surround sound and automated chairs has been replaced with Recamier lounges, custom wardrobes and couture.

Looking for a modern day fem den?  Contact us at Slocum Hall Design Group