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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

18th Century Colonial Renovation

Back in October my sister, Meaghan O'Neill, and brother in law, Kurt Edenbach, decided they didn't have enough to do with their demanding full time jobs and 3 yr old son, and so they decided to purchase the above 18th century colonial home and renovate it. The home has many original colonial details and is on a great piece of property that includes a modern guest cottage and is only a block from Newport harbor, BUT it also has slanting floors, paper thin walls (i.e. no insulation), outdated electrical and plumbing, and was really uninhabitable. It's believed the house was built around 1760 and moved to its current location around 1860. Most people would tear this house down without thinking twice about it as has become commonplace in this City by the Sea, but luckily for the house, its new owners have a great appreciation for the historic architecture that lines Newport streets and they are true environmentalists. So for the next several months we will follow the progress, set backs and decision making process to see how they are able to marry restoration, environmentalism, and modern living into their new home. But first a tour of how it appeared when the process all began and what the current plans are.

The back of the house will now have an 8 ft slider on the right side coming from the dining room and the little mudroom on the back left will become the mudroom/laundry room.

The front porch is coming off! It was added at a later date and the new entry will be more traditional colonial with double sided steps and a landing at the top.

The kitchen had clearly been updated at some point, but is still very outdated. There are at least 4 layers of flooring here on top of the original wood floors. I will never understand why anyone puts linoleum on top of wood floors.

The dining room had some built-ins, but only that little closet seems to be original. The china cabinet is being torn out and the dining room and kitchen will now be open to each other.

This is the living room looking into the dining room. Unfortunately, all of the home's fireplaces were long ago covered up and the decision had to be made to remove the chimney in order to make more space for other things. However, this room will be getting a pellet stove. That back wall in the dining room will now be home to the 8 ft sliding door which will really open the house up for indoor/outdoor living.

The front staircase is small, but the back staircase is even smaller. It will probably be quite lovely once refurbished, however furniture selection for the second floor is going to have to be done very carefully.

The master bedroom gets lots of wonderful light and you can see how beautiful the original wood floors are here.

This second bedroom will become slightly smaller so that a new hallway can be added that leads to the guest bath and third bedroom.

The third bedroom will have some space stolen from it for a master bedroom closet and bathroom. At the moment it connects to the master bedroom.

And this currently tiny bedroom will become an ample sized guest bathroom placed right in the middle of the two guest bedrooms.

One of the joys of renovating an old home is that you never know what you're going to find. As things began to be torn apart and walls and ceilings came down, they found these amazing beams in the ceiling which add so much character to the house. They will remain exposed in the kitchen and dining room.

This is the first renovation that we'll be following, but I hope to be able to follow many more. If you know of one that you think people would be interested in, please let me know. It doesn't have to be a whole house renovation. Any great renovation project suggestions would be great.

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