Eric and Muffy are longtime clients of Approach. Our first project together was the renovation of their townhouse in Charlestown. After a few years of city living, they had decided to move to Marblehead, where they purchased an “older” home. We have been working with Eric and Muffy off and on over the last few years as they have converted the one-time summer cottage into a fully winterized home for a family of five.
Our initial scope was of work was to develop a master plan for the house, so they could then determine where to run a new modern forced hot water heating system that would replace the existing electric baseboard. The second phase of the project was to reconfigure the second floor to accommodate a new full bath and nursery. The third and final phase, which was recently completed, was the most extensive. This phase included an addition of a new mudroom, dining room, and powder room on the main level. On the second floor we added a new master bath, (2) additional bedrooms, and a laundry room. Due to the property’s location, we were required to pursue both planning board and zoning board approvals before construction could begin.
The major design challenge on the project was reconciling the varying floor levels that existed between the two main living areas as well as from the parking area to the main house. The existing entry sequence was to park in the driveway or garage and then enter underneath the covered porch directly into the formal living room. In the final phase of the project, we added a new mudroom, which was similarly accessible off the covered porch. The mudroom, however, was directly linked to the upper main living area, granted direct access to a new powder room, and provided needed shoe and clothes storage. In what was once a large open space, we included not only the powder room, but we also designed a family room with built-in storage and a formal dining area.
To create a better flow between the upper and lower main living areas, we added a new stair that linked the new dining area to the expanded kitchen. The kitchen was expanded by capturing an area of exterior porch. That allowed us to create a functional “L” shaped kitchen with an island and eat-in area. The existing formal living room on the main level was retained, but the partition separating it from the kitchen was opened up to provide a better visual connection between the two spaces when entertaining.
On the second floor, we created a new stair up to the two new bedrooms and laundry area that were added over the family room and dining rooms. Due to our prior master planning, we were able to leave the full bath that was built in phase two intact. We constructed a new master bath and closet area in what was the former nursery, which already connected to the existing master bedroom.
To unify the look of the house’s exterior, the existing windows were replaced with new 6-over-1 double-hung windows, and the house was re-shingled.
Two new gable dormers were added on the water side of the house so that the windows could be raised and enlarged to increase views from the master bedroom to the harbor beyond.
In the interior, the owner wanted the ability to close off certain areas from view depending on certain situations. To that end, we incorporated pocket doors that allowed the mudroom and dining room to be sealed off. We also designed a home workstation in the kitchen that was hidden behind pantry doors when closed.