Vintage farmhouse modern style renovation

Design Challenge: Antique Farmhouse Renovation

Do you own a historic home? Are original or outdated design elements keeping you from getting the interior look and feel you want? An antique farmhouse renovation can completely transform your older home into a more open, modern space while still honoring its historical roots. Our featured homeowners in Sherborn, Massachusetts, own a white clapboard farmhouse built in 1916. It’s a beautiful ode to the area’s history, but its kitchen was dated and the floor plan wasn’t quite up to par with the family’s vision for their home. Since we partnered with the family for a bathroom remodel in 2020, they trusted us to take on this second, much larger project in 2022.

The Challenge:
Remodel the Kitchen and Open the Floor Plan

For this remodel, the homeowners wanted to improve the layout of their dated kitchen. They wanted to add a large island that would provide more seating for their family of 5. With three daughters, two of whom are in college, they wanted to create plenty of places for family and friends to sit, visit, and dine together. The couple are massive Grateful Dead fans. They host an annual themed party at the old farmhouse, so the kitchen renovation would give them more space to enjoy their gatherings. Whether hosting fellow Deadheads or their daughters’ friends, they were ready to celebrate in style.

While they were at it, the homeowners also wanted to add a mudroom for additional storage space, as well as easier (and tidier!) entry into their home. They have two dogs, so the mudroom would allow them plenty of extra space to take off their shoes and wipe their feet (and paws!) before entering the house.

The new kitchen would not only have a better layout and more seating than the previous one; it would also allow for better flow through the 440-square-foot area, as well as more natural light. But there was one major problem standing in the way: an unused brick chimney, original to the home. 

To open the floor plan the way the homeowners wanted it, we’d need to find a way to safely remove the chimney without compromising the integrity of the home. This is a common issue we see here in New England, especially in old farmhouses. Houses from historic Sherborn and similar towns often need additional preparation work done as part of a renovation project.

The old farmhouse’s chimney stood right in the middle of the area that needed renovating, so that problem had to be addressed before we could start on anything else. Our team removed the chimney and added structural steel beams for reinforcement. This facilitated the open floor plan and opened up possibilities for us as we began the remodel.

With the floor plan wide open, our team designed an expansive island, which included a convenient wine fridge, gas stove, microwave, and plenty of storage and seating space. We added updated flooring, lighting, cabinetry, tile backsplash, plenty of counter space for cooking and entertaining, and even a built-in desk. The beautiful and functional mudroom is accessible through a sliding barn door. It includes plenty of natural light, extra storage space, and hanging hooks for the family’s coats and outerwear. Everything was completed just in time for the next Deadhead party – and Jeff and Mike are invited!

Thinking About Renovating Your Antique Farmhouse? 

Renovating this sprawling home was a fun and rewarding project that turned out beautifully. If you’d like more ideas about how to approach a historic home read our article about what you should know. If you’re on the fence about renovating your historic home, we can help.

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