Blue Note

Designed by David O’Brien Wagner

When we found our house, we knew it was a diamond in the rough. It had a big yard and was in a great neighborhood, but the home was too small and was rough around the edges. As an architect, I could see the potential, and we embarked on a multi-phased project to renovate the house for our family of five. Phase I included the expansion of the upper floor in 2012. Phase II began in 2019 with the conversion of a small kitchen, bath, and small bedroom into a combined kitchen and family room and powder room.

The front two thirds of the home include a front porch, living room, stair, and dining room. These spaces retain much of the home’s original charm with warm aged birch flooring and trim, and painted box beam ceilings. The remodeled back/north side keeps the original doorways, but they are now framed with a wall of cabinets and book shelves. The new family and kitchen area is opened up into a single space with the aid of a steel beam and column. The beam and column, though modern in design, are painted white to echo the historic box beams in the front of the house. We brought touches of warm wood to the new space, while using whitewashed floors, white cabinets, and whitewashed wood paneling to keep this north-facing room as bright as possible.

To create a connected family space, we removed series of dysfunctional spaces. While this part of the home is only 16 feet by 27 feet in size, the effect of opening this up was transformative. Not just in terms of space efficiency and programmatic function, but particularly in how we now have a space that combines meal preparation, dining, and living. We now spend a greater amount of time together as a family, and that is the real transformation!

Did I mention the screen porch? This is maybe the best part! On a summer day, opening up the double doors expands our living space another 50% and becomes a place to be immersed into the garden.

Construction by Showcase Carpentry
Cabinetry by Fineline Cabinets
Structural Engineering by Align Structural
Photography by Corey Gaffer

2022 Home of the Month Award