Approach Architects HomeContact, phone 617.556.2627 or
Rockaway Ave
Barcliff Ave
East Orchard St
Cloutman’s Ln
West Shore Dr
Windemere Dr
Tilipi Run
Shorewood Rd

Rockaway Avenue


Bryan & Franny purchased the house on Rockaway Avenue in the winter of 2001. The arts & crafts style house was built in the late 1920’s and required extensive renovations as it had been neglected for well over 30 years. The windows were blown out, the heating system was pushing soot through the ducts, the roof had gaping holes, and pigeons had made the third floor their new home.

The goals of the project were to make the house habitable for an expanding family, create a first floor plan that was amenable to entertaining and to connect the exterior with the main living spaces. The program was to include formal dining and living room spaces, kitchen with a breakfast area, children’s play room, (3) kid’s bedrooms, kid’s bath, guest suite, and a master suite with study.

Our Approach

For both cost and aesthetic reasons every attempt was made to salvage the existing structure. Fortunately the foundation, structural frame and interior room layouts were excellent. The building systems, interior finish, windows, roof, siding and attached mudroom were all removed and replaced.

The existing living spaces on the first floor all had minor changes to improve the internal flow and to physically & visually link the interior with the exterior spaces. The dining room had to glass pocket doors installed to connect it directly to the kitchen. The mud room was removed and a new breakfast nook and French door installed in its place. A large deck was built off the rear of the house that connected the new French door into the kitchen with the existing covered wrap around porch. A new mudroom and rear entry was carved out of the existing living room and another set of French doors was installed so one could directly access the covered porch from the living room.

On the second floor there existed four bedrooms and one full bath. The bedroom immediately adjacent to the stair was removed and transformed into a new play/TV room that opened up to the stairway and living room below. The three remaining kid’s bedrooms had simply some minor closet alterations.

The major structural renovations occurred on the third floor of the house where a single bedroom and bath was expanded to include a new master suite, guest suite, and laundry room. The existing front gable dormer was removed, built back new, and then flanked with two new shed dormers to provided additional living space and natural light to the master bedroom and guest room. The new shed dormers were stepped back from the face of the rebuilt gable dormer to allow for cross ventilation and to capture a glimpse of the ocean to the east. A new master bath was located within a new shed dormer facing the rear of the house and the dormer was tied into the existing stairwell gable dormer.

The Details

It was important for us to capture the spirit of the arts & crafts style home. In all the new dormers, great care was taken to replicate the exposed rafter tail details that were prevalent on the existing house. To further accentuate the style of the house, the 6 over 1 double hung windows were replaced with new true divided prairie style windows. The interior of the house was similarly detailed to capture the arts & crafts motif. The interior doors, window casings and trim were all custom designed to include a two-toned contrast of natural and stained woods. The kitchen playfully integrated colorful glass tile, stainless steel appliances, wire mesh, Baltic brown granite counter tops and wheat stained maple cabinets. Brushed nickel door hardware and hinges were installed throughout and commercial grade stainless steel switch plates and outlet covers were installed to match.