Open­ing up a small, en­closed room with a bank of Queen Anne win­dows cre­ated a sunny re­treat that’s per­fect for the 1888 house.

Old House Journal - - Contents - By Deb Wood

Adding a Vic­to­rian con­serv­va­tory fixes a re­mod­el­ing.

When my hus­band, Duke Elling­son, and I set foot into the Vic­to­rian Queen Anne house, built in 1888, we knew this was the one for us. The house is solid and well built—and most of the wood­work had never been painted. The pre­vi­ous owner, a re­storer of church an­tiq­ui­ties, had sta­bi­lized the struc­ture. Nev­er­the­less, there was still plenty of work to do.

We read OHJ cover to cover, and we’re not afraid of de­mo­li­tion, be­cause it doesn’t take any skill. As we re­moved dropped ceil­ings in rooms all over the house, we grew cu­ri­ous about a small, nar­row bed­room on the south side. Al­though it faced south, it had only one win­dow, an odd hor­i­zon­tal that looked like it was put in some­time in the 1950s.

We came into pos­ses­sion of some his­toric pic­tures of the house, taken around 1900. As it turned out, that room had been a side porch. The space re­tained the orig­i­nal, cof­fered porch ceil­ing. We wanted to open it up and have some­thing re­ally sunny. We thought: It used to be a porch, so why couldn’t we make it into a sun porch or con­ser­va­tory?

That got the ball rolling. I tend to cre­ate my ideas and then try to find peo­ple who can work with me on them, so I started by sketch­ing the win­dows I wanted. They’re in the Queen Anne style, where small, square panes of glass sur­round a large pane

ARCHIVAL BE­FORE ARCHIVAL An early 1900s photo shows that what is now the con­ser­va­tory room was orig­i­nally an open porch. BE­FORE The room, a for­mer porch, looked like a face­less bump-out when th­ese own­ers bought the house. LEFT Storm win­dows pro­tect new, cus­tom-made win­dows.

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