There is a significant inventory of Tudor style homes in the outlying western suburbs of Boston, many of which were constructed in the early 1920’s. Needless to say, some of these homes are quite outdated. In addition to the finishes in these homes being out of style, their layouts are not ideally suited to the way we live today. Tudor style homes tend to be a bit dark and very compartmentalized; small kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be the norm, which is the antithesis of what today’s homeowner is looking for.
The challenge with our current project is one that we have faced before. Like our project on Kenrick Street the property owner wanted the exterior revisions to the home to feel organic and the new and the old to meld seamlessly. On our Kenrick project, like the one on Forest, we harvested brick from the portions of the house we demolished and utilized it on the public elevations; the line of new and old is blurred. Additionally, using copper gutters and ridge caps further helps the home feel more original.
Making the exterior revisions look natural is only half the battle, manipulating the interior spaces to preserve their antiquity while allowing them to function for the way we live today can also be a challenge. Many Tudor homes in the Newton area were poorly revised in the 80’s and 90’s, and the modifications that were made to them denuded them of their original details and in-turn have made them feel even more dated than the ones that have been left untouched. Fortunately this home was left significantly in-tact, so it provides us the opportunity to preserve (and highlight) the original details like the wrought iron and oak staircase as well as the cast stone mantles.
Our goal for the interior program on this project aligns with our philosophy on many of our renovation projects – for the flow of the house and its amenities to feel current but respect its history and antiquity in the process. Our revisions to this house include doubling the size of the kitchen, adding a cathedral ceilinged family room, enlarging the master suite to include his and hers walk-in closets and a large bathroom as well as three additional bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms. In addition, we are adding a three car garage with a dumbwaiter up to the kitchen. Once completed, the street elevation of this home will look like a refreshed version of this 1920’s gem, but the interior will function like a house built today.