Ben and Angela knew that buying an old house in need of extensive renovations, was not for everyone.
But when they found an 1870s Italianate fixer-upper in a neighborhood of historic properties in Dedham, they saw its potential to offer the character of an older house with the amenities of a new one, and took the plunge. They moved into their house with one leaky bathroom, and a 1950s kitchen, and proceeded to envision what they wanted the home to become.
Their goal was to preserve what could be saved and ensure that any new work would blend seamlessly with the original. To do this meant they would have to repair porches, update the HVAC, wiring, and plumbing, and completely remove parts of the first and second floors in preparation for new construction.
Old house renovations are a balancing act, a constant tension between preserving the elements that make the building special while making it work for a modern family. Nowhere is this process more evident than in the kitchen, which went from old, dark, and inhospitable to bright, spacious, and tailored to family needs.
"The kitchen has a built-in banquette and an adjacent mudroom, laundry, and pantry,” says Mark Landry. "We also added a wet bar and moved the powder room to beneath the stairs, which allowed for a much better use of space."
A new master suite above the kitchen with a luxurious stand-up shower and a custom tile “rug” in the master bathroom completed the vision.
"We had a really easy experience," says Ben, the husband. "In fact, this was the most organized and easiest construction project we've ever been part of.” After a moment of reflection, he adds: “And as a business owner myself I know it's a good sign when all your employees are as great as the principals."
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