Historic Renovation

by Kyle Clapham


Slocum Hall Design Group
Watertown, Mass.


Photos: Shelly Harrison Photography

Project location: Newton, Mass.
Square footage before: 10,000
Square footage after: 13,500
Project cost: $4.5 million

Originally built in 1896 by textile industrialist Charles Riley, the mansion underwent an interior renovation and restoration with the addition of an attached carriage house. The goal had been to return the mansion to its Gilded Age heritage—but with modern updates for a young family of six—and ensure the formal spaces appeared the same as they were when the residence was completed.

Borrowing space from a walk-in pantry created a larger kitchen, and a previously enclosed porch is now a window-lined breakfast room. A three-bay garage with guest accommodations was built and connected to the home, replacing a sold-off carriage house. Additional square footage in the newly finished basement allows for a laundry room, theater, gym, hair salon and a steam room.


Tile: Tile Showcase
Lighting: Restoration Hardware; Urban Archaeology; Waterworks
Countertop: Italian Marble
Range: Thermador
Exhaust hood: Thermador
Oven: Thermador
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero
Freezer: Sub-Zero


Jan Gleysteen Architects
Wellesley, Mass.


Photos: Sarah Winchester

Project location: Winchester, Mass.
Square footage before: 7,300
Square footage after: 9,100
Project cost: $250,000

This brick home was in need of the usual renovations for a historic home: updated kitchen and bathrooms. In addition, the home was lacking family gathering spaces outside of the formal living room, and there was no direct connection from the garage into the house. The program included a new great room, new and renovated bathrooms, creating a mudroom connecting the house to the garage, new home offices, basement recreation room, a and first floor library/guest suite.

The design team was challenged to create an open family living space without losing the historic fabric of the existing home. Once construction began, the team encountered several additional challenges. The existing masonry walls are more than 18 inches thick and required careful detailing to ensure proper support during and after construction. Replicating the existing masonry detailing from the quoining to the brick blend to the subtle patterns was the focus on many field mockups.

A key decision was to create a mezzanine-level mudroom, which provided direct entrances from the driveway and garage along with much need functionality. To address the unique construction of the historic house, the team undertook several studies and consulted with structural engineers to come up with creative structural solutions. These studies also gave them a deeper understanding of the architecture of the old house and inspired them to replicate the decorative joist beams in the ceiling of the new addition. Replicating the details of the brick façade on the new addition also benefited from careful study and close collaboration with our builder and mason.


Doors: TruStile
Flooring: Custom
Moulding/trim: Custom
HVAC: Carrier, Infinity
Roofing: Vermont Slate
Brick/stone/stucco: Stiles and Hart, Waterstruck Blend
Doors: Upstate Door, Custom
Windows: Marvin, Ultimate Wood Windows
Structural: Boise Cascade
Cabinetry: Furniture Design Services
Sinks: Rohl
Faucets: Kohler
Range: Wolf
Oven: Wolf
Chiller drawers: Sub-Zero
Drawer appliances: True
Dishwasher: Miele
Toilet: Kohler


Clason Remodeling Company
Ossipee, N.H.


Photos: ParadeCraze

Designer: Christopher P. Williams Architects
Project location: Bridgewater, N.H.
Square footage: 1,600
Project cost: $2.1 million

The client’s 1930s family cabin, built by the homeowner’s grandfather, requested a complete remodel while still maintaining the look and feel of the original structure. The project was split into two parts: The first part of the project was to support the current lakeside cottage in the air while digging and pouring a new foundation, where new structure was added to support the original 80- year-old framing and the original fireplace.

At the request of the homeowner, the team took extra time and care to remove the original 80-year-old wall boards and place them in storage so that after the new layout was framed, they could go back up. The floor plan was completely reworked to allow for a larger kitchen and family area, and a true front entry hall that would look out onto the lake.

The second part of the project was to build a new, fully insulated carriage house and entertaining space across the street from the original lakeside cottage.


Doors: Custom
Tile: NH Stone and Tile
Flooring: Ponder’s Hollow, Heart Pine
Moulding/trim: Pine
HVAC: Fuijitsu, Mini-Spirit
Roofing: IKO
Siding: Middleton Lumbar
Brick: Stoneage Design
Doors: Bella, 23’ Bi-fold
Windows: Marvin
Locksets: Emtek
Structural: Simpson Strong-Tie
Insulation: Rockwool
Paint/stain: Sherwin Williams
Decking: AZEK
Cabinetry: Vintage Kitchens
Countertop: Rumford Stone
Range: Lacanche
Sink: Original
Exhaust hood: Clason Remodeling Company
Oven: Lacanche
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero
Washer/dryer: Electrolux
Bath cabinetry: Vintage Kitchen
Countertop: Rumford Stone
Toilet: Kohler
Shower: Custom Tile Showers
Shower faucet: Kohler
Sink faucet: Kohler


GTM Architects
Bethesda, Md.


Photos: Homevisit

Project location: Chevy Chase, Md.
Square footage before: 3,653
Square footage after: 6,667
Project cost: $1.9 million

Built between 1892 and 1916, this Colonial Revival-style home required a complete renovation. The home’s location within the Chevy Chase, Maryland, historic district also mandated Historic Preservation Commission approval for additions or alterations. The firm helped navigate the historic review process, receiving approval for a two-story addition to the rear of the existing house with additional one-story garage and mudroom wing.

The renovation opens up the first floor plan, providing a sight line from the front door through the house to the rear addition and out into the backyard. In the rear addition, the new kitchen and family room provide functional spaces much more attuned to modern living with a laundry room and full master suite on the second floor above. A fully competed basement and a converted attic become realistic living spaces for larger families or guests.

The renovation achieved 21st century functionality while maintaining the home’s historic character, adding 3,014 square feet to the house for a total 6,667 finished square feet with seven bedrooms, five full and one-half baths and attached two-car garage.


Siding: James Hardie
Decking: Aeraties
Roofing: GAF slateline
Fireplace: Astria Georgian 42 pre-fab wood burning unit
Trim: AZEK, with some custom wood runs
Windows/doors: Marvin Integrity in a stone white clad finish
Kitchen cabinetry: Heartwood Design
Trimwork: Gibson Homes
Built-ins: Gibson Homes

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