New Englander House

July 15, 2011
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Laurel's New Englander in Maine BEFORELast year Laurel showed us how she and her husband turned a small ranch into a two-story Colonial. So when she told me about another old house they just finished renovating, I couldn’t wait to see the pics. This one’s an “1892 New Englander” in Maine that needed some serious TLC…

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw how it turned out. Laurel says, “We started with a lot of peeling paint. It took a crew of Lead Certified painters to bring the exterior back to its original glory.” (You can read her post about how to deal with lead paint here.)

The old entry was dark and closed in:

“Removing the wall between the foyer and living room created a bright, open space and eliminated the narrow dark hallway that went nowhere!”

The second floor had an unfinished attic space before:

They finished it to create a big and bright master suite:

Laurel's New Englander in Maine AFTERI think that new light fixture is so cool:

Back downstairs, Laurel says, “There was a good sized kitchen to begin with. The previous owners used it as both kitchen and dining room, but since we opened up the wall to the back of the house, we had an even bigger space to work with.”

Here’s how it looks now:

Another shot of the kitchen before:

They wanted lots of storage in the kitchen, so they added a bank of cabinets on either side of a new window seat: “The glass cabinets let you display beautiful pieces, while the butcher block countertops provide more work space or buffet space for a party.”

“We kept all of the vintage features that we loved about these rooms. The big beam in the kitchen stayed. The corner hutch, which was original to the house, is still there. And we restored all the wood floors.” (You can read her post about how they restored them here.)

They created a chalkboard using reclaimed wood they found in the house while doing the renovations:

Staircase entry BEFORE“The new dining room had lots of changes.”

“We removed the old, steep, not-to-code staircase from the back of the room and added a mudroom and powder room.”

The pretty new paint color they used is Benjamin Moore’s Green Cast.

Here’s a shot of the new entry off of the back entrance that has a mudroom and a powder room now:

The back of the house had an old garage attached: “We tried our best to salvage the old garage, but there was so much damage, it couldn’t be saved. And in retrospect, it created a nice backyard and enabled us to put in new windows across the back facade, flooding the house with sunlight.”

Here’s how it looked after the garage was removed and the back was exposed:

“Everyone in Maine has a front door, but very few people use them, ” Laurel says. “In fact, lots of people don’t even have a walkway that goes to the front door because everyone knows to come in the back entrance.”

Here’s how the back of the house looks now, all fresh and purty:

Laurel says, “It was a lot of work, but we loved every minute of it.” She adds that it’s always hard to say goodbye to the houses they fix up, “But we know the new owners will love it.” I’m sure they will! Many thanks to her for sharing it with us.

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