Old House Journal - - Reader Favorite -

restora­tion, the cou­ple had plans drawn that imag­ined the base­ment as a pan­eled, East­lake mas­ter suite. An ad­di­tion to the south al­lowed for a new 6 ½' x 12' mas­ter bath­room.

Walls and ceil­ings in both rooms were cov­ered in pan­els of cherry tongue-and­groove boards framed by mould­ings. All of the wood­work was cut, in­stalled, and stained on site—a la­bo­ri­ous process that took over a year. A rare, R. J. Horner faux bam­boo bed­room suite, made of solid maple with ac­cents of del­i­cate bird's-eye and tiger maple ve­neers, was given cen­ter stage. Or­nate gaslight-era light­ing by well-known mak­ers, in­clud­ing Philadel­phia’s Cor­nelius and Baker, added to the room’s am­bi­ence. Re­pro­duc­tion fit­tings for the mas­ter bath— like the sub­stan­tial, cast-iron 'Vin­tage' bath­tub from Kohler—were cho­sen for prac­ti­cal­ity as well as pe­riod ap­peal.

The wife is an avid an­tiques buff and col­lec­tor. Soon rooms be­gan to fill with 19th-cen­tury carved fur­ni­ture, mu­seum-qual­ity light­ing, and col­lec­tions of Vic­to­ri­ana, from un­usual sil­ver­plate to carved mar­ble pa­per­weights and memo­ri­als. It was some­time about mid­way through the base­ment re­mod­el­ing that the cou­ple re­al­ized they were here to stay.

The next project was the 145square-foot gal­ley kitchen. The space had been mod­ern­ized with an over­bear­ing row of white lam­i­nate cab­i­nets and a cheap sink. White vinyl tiles cov­ered the walls, and im­i­ta­tion brick re­silient floor­ing over­laid the orig­i­nal fir. Hav­ing de­signed the mas­ter suite, ar­chi­tect Steve Ryn­er­son un­der­stood his clients' vi­sion: He would need to de­sign a jewel box that cel­e­brated the Aes­thetic Move­ment pe­riod with­out de­fault­ing to mod­ern in­tru­sions: no gran­ite coun­ter­tops, no stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances, no ef­fi­cient food-prep sta­tions set within miles of coun­ter­top. The room was torn down to the studs. East­lake pan­el­ing was de­signed to en­velop walls and ceil­ing. Un­der the strict tute­lage of an English cab­i­net­maker,

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