DELETING A POOR AD­DI­TION

Old House Journal - - Design - By Court­ney Neff, Brunswick, Maine

With bet­ter space plan­ning inside, we don’t miss the ugly add-on. Hello to OHJ! Your reg­u­lar “Remuddling” page (and the oc­ca­sional “un­mud­dling”) gave us both the in­spi­ra­tion and the courage to un­cou­ple a 1970s ca­boose from our house. A shoe­box on a box­car, it was in­com­pat­i­ble in ev­ery way with this lovely if mod­est 1881 Vic­to­rian Ital­ianate home.

Al­though we do have old pho­tographs of the front and side of the house, we were un­able to find doc­u­men­ta­tion of the orig­i­nal rear el­e­va­tion. We de­cided to duplicate the typ­i­cal bay win­dow that re­mains on the front of the house. That gave us a ca­sual din­ing space near the kitchen, over­look­ing our new garden.

The newly ren­o­vated kitchen looks like it was al­ways part of the house, un­like its 1970s pre­de­ces­sor. It’s got a re­stored 1925 stove, a beau­ti­ful old slate sink, and quar­ter-sawn oak cab­i­nets from The Ken­nebec Com­pany. Their de­signer Jeff Peavey worked with my wife, Donna, who is a re­tired art teacher, to de­sign the room.

Other rooms in the house needed a lot of work, but we didn’t make any dra­matic changes. The liv­ing room has beau­ti­ful light from its orig­i­nal bay and an­other tall win­dow. We re­lied on sal­vaged ma­te­ri­als to lend au­then­tic­ity in our re­pairs and ad­di­tions.

This spring, our house was cho­sen to be the sub­ject for our his­toric neigh­bor­hood as­so­ci­a­tion’s Arts and Ar­chi­tec­ture pro­gram.

BE­FORE ABOVE The house with its box­car ad­di­tion. Now there’s a com­pat­i­ble bay on the rear, and up­per and lower porches have been re­stored. RIGHT

BE­FORE Part of the pre­vi­ous kitchen and a break­fast area were inside the bland 1970s ad­di­tion. ABOVE De­mol­ish­ing the boxy ad­di­tion ex­posed the orig­i­nal rear wall.

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