Before & After – Revitalizing a Historic Hingham Home
Remodeling portions of an antique house requires a measured approach, one which completely transforms the spaces while making sure that the new elements are in keeping with the home’s historic pedigree. Such was the case with our recent renovation of one of the grand homes on Hingham’s famed Main Street, a thoroughfare that is often cited as one of the most beautiful streets in America.
The primary focus of the remodel was in the kitchen where a previous, earlier renovation had begun to look dated rather than classic. An existing bar in the den was also completely remodeled. A new master suite was carved out of the existing footprint of the home. It includes a spacious bedroom, with a custom-crafted array of built-in drawers and cabinetry, and a luxurious master bath. An addition to the back of the home provided space for a new mudroom, as well as a back porch which abuts the kitchen. A new two-car garage was also added.
The Kitchen “Before”
With a low ceiling and lack of natural light, the previous iteration of the kitchen felt cramped and confined. The color selections – black and white flooring, blue wall color, and blue/gray countertops – dimmed the limited natural light and made the space feel cold and uninviting.
The Kitchen “After”
While many of the primary elements, such as the sink, center island, windows, cooktop and seating area, remain in roughly the same location, the kitchen now feels spacious and bright, and is much more inviting and user-friendly.
The cabinetry features a timeless door style which complements the home’s overall sense of history, and will never look dated as the original doors did. The white paint on the cabinets is “creamy” in nature rather than the chilly tone on the previous ones. Oil-rubbed bronze fixtures add a touch of period-appropriate detail and contrast. Matte black chairs and dining stools provide further contrast.
Blonde wood flooring, granite countertops in a lighter hue – Ivory Fantasy – and cream-colored walls all work to lighten the space as does the new, larger arrangement of windows over the sink.
The casement windows which were behind the dining table were replaced with historically-correct six-over-six windows. A built-in bench seat, flanked by built-in china cabinets, provides a much more space-efficient (and cozy!) dining area.
At-Home Bar “Before”
While the bar, set in a corner of the den, had “all the right stuff,” it simply felt out of place. Polished black granite countertops, busy wallpaper, and frosted-glass doors on the upper cabinets made the space feel like it belonged in a 90s-era condominium.
At-Home Bar “After”
The newly-remodeled bar maintains much of the original layout, but with a wood countertop finished with a soft sheen, clear glass in the doors on the new cabinets, and wallpaper with a subtle tone-on-tone pattern, it now feels like a natural extension of the adjacent rooms.
The Master Bath
In the new master bath, our designer opted for a color palette and materials that feel both of-the-moment yet decidedly classic. An oversized, glass-enclosed shower, a must-have for many of today’s homeowners, is positioned at one end of the room. A soaking tub, in a shape that is reminiscent of a claw-foot tub, adds a vintage vibe.
Master Bedroom | Mudroom
In the new master bedroom, an array of built-in cabinetry and drawers conceived by our designer now fills one entire wall. It offers the homeowners ample storage and visually anchors the space. The new mudroom, shown on the right, was created in space that had once been a rarely-used hallway. It now provides storage not only for coats and shoes – keeping sand and mud away from the other living areas – but for large, bulky items such as sporting gear, and extra paper goods and sundries.
Bringing a historic home into the 21st century without compromising its antique appeal is a challenge, but with a thoughtful design, it can be done…beautifully.
Project design by Judy Whalen.
Photography by Dan Cutrona.