There is something soulful about a historic home. Who can resist gorgeous moldings, period mantels and other gracious architectural details like pillars, high ceilings, etc? And the patina, that only comes with time.

I think many of us have walked past an older house, admired its personality, and even envisioned owning such a treasure. But when it comes to renovating and restoring one – from gutting baths and kitchens to updating electrical and plumbing systems – few of us would say “bring it on!” (Having renovated a 1920s condo, two 100-year old homes, and an antique gem from 1804, my advice is to be flexible as there are always surprises.)

When Whitney and her husband, friends and longtime clients, purchased their stately 1850s home, they had planned to tackle the kitchen, a few baths and minor cosmetic improvements. Well, they ended up doing much more!

To start, it took six months and many hearings to get approval from the local historical board. Then the dated kitchen and baths were all gutted. Layers of old wallpaper begrudgingly came off. Moldings had to be copied and custom milled to match existing ones.

Acclaimed architect Digby Bridges of Bridges, Marsh & Associates collaborated with Whitney and her husband on the project. Whitney came up with many of the ideas, and she did a tremendous job sourcing everything – she’s not a decorator, but should be!

More than a year later, the family is finally back in their home. I am delighted to share this renovation. Many thanks to Whitney, who is busy being mom to her children, for taking time to share their home. And for GENEROUSLY providing her sources – complete list at the end.

The dark, dated kitchen before renovation. Notice the awkward corner sink and island located too close to the fridge. As mentioned, the kitchen was gutted. Major changes include relocating the doorway to accommodate the new island, and adding a breakfast bay with lots of windows. Reclaimed pine boards were installed to match existing flooring.

During renovation. All the electrical wires were replaced. This is the charming second staircase located in the kitchen.

This large room was the dining room, but the family is now using it as a casual sitting room – it’s directly off the kitchen. Many of the garish (not original to the house) moldings were removed.
The children’s bathroom before and during renovation. The American Standard 1919 tub was reglazed.
Two more before photos: a guest bathroom and frilly wallpaper.
Let there be light!!The new kitchen flooded with sunshine – isn’t it gorgeous? The breakfast area with door to the garage is a new addition. Architect Digby Bridges, Whitney and her husband did an incredible job transforming it from dreary to dreamy.

Note the stacked upper cabinets – a way to maximize storage in spaces with tall ceilings. The counter stools, newly painted in Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray, were Craigslist finds.

I adore this striking arrangement by Whitney.

Though the kitchen is light, bright and airy, there is warmth thanks to the reclaimed pine boards.

Whitney: what do you think of half shutters or tailored cafe curtains for the bay windows?

We can all use more storage space – love this clever corner cabinet above the bar.  The Carrara marble top is extended inside.

I volunteer to do dishes!Polished nickel faucet from Rohl. Backsplash ceramic tiles are Basics Snow White 3″ x 6″ from Architectural Ceramics.

This view shows the back staircase – there’s another sweeping staircase in the front. Hi, Whitney and Parker 🙂

Speaking of Parker, he wants to show you his room, all tidy and neat. Check out his new bed from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child. And it is upholstered in a friendly indoor-outdoor fabric – yay! The painted chair was a flea market find.

This adjoining room belongs to Parker’s sister. The antique iron bed was mommy’s childhood bed.

Because big sis was at school, Brighton kindly filled in. The marble mantel is original – there is an identical one in Parker’s room as well. All the fireplaces were relined.

Remember the children’s bathroom? Well, look at it now! It’s fun yet stylish. Wallpaper is Nairobi by Thibaut.

By the way, Whitney and I share a passion for gray and white!

Sconces from Waterworks. Medicine cabinet from Restoration Hardware.

A custom designed vanity with fluted feet.

Are you done, Loi? We’re ready for our nap!
Again, thanks so much to my friends for letting me share their beautiful home!!Whitney will be furnishing the rest of the house, and she likes to approach it organically: live in the space first, and then acquire what the family needs and loves as they comes across it. I look forward to featuring the other rooms as there are a few pieces from Tone on Tone 🙂

Digby Bridges of Bridges, Marsh & Associates

Walls and trim: Benjamin Moore Super White
Cabinets: Christiana Cabinetry thru Kitchen and Bath Studio
Cabinet hardware: Restoration Hardware
Pendants: Circa Lighting (antique nickel)
Ceramic tiles: Basics Snow White 3″ x 6″ thru Architectural Ceramics
Counter tops: Carrara marble (honed)
Sink: Shaws Classic Modern Apron Front
Faucets: Rohl
Breakfast table: Vintage
Breakfast chairs: Crate & Barrel
Vase: Ralph Lauren
Antique metal vineyard basket and candlesticks: Tone on Tone
Runner: Dash & Albert

Bed and skirt: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child (Perennials indoor/outdoor fabric)
Bedding: The Land of Nod
Sunburst mirror: Vintage
White chair: Antique
Rug: Stanton

Wallpaper: Thibaut Nairobi
Scones: Waterworks
Medicine cabinet: Restoration Hardware
Custom vanity: Masters Workshop (contact Eben)
Sink: Porcher
Faucet set: Newport Brass