Winchester House
"We're not going to change much up here at all," said homeowner Kim Whittemore, as she pointed to the formal living and dining rooms at the front of her 1922 Colonial Revival in Winchester, Massachusetts. But as she and her husband, Bruce Leasure, navigated a cramped rear hallway and a matrix of doorways to enter what once was the outdated kitchen, it became clear that they wouldn't say the same about the back rooms. The rear wall of the house was gone, recently removed by This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and his crew, and it's wide open to the backyard. "This is where all the action is taking place," said Bruce, amid the whine of circular saws and the slap of plywood dropping onto the joists of a small kitchen addition.

And so began the work on another This Old House television project. After give-and-take between drawing board and checkbook, the plans— by local architect David Stirling — were finished. Along with the new eat-in kitchen and redesigned rear entry, the master suite was reconfigured to enlarge the bath. Plans called for a media room and a wine cellar in the basement and an office and a cedar closet in the attic. But for the most part — and certainly with a view to the front facade— the house's exterior appeared unchanged when the crew wrapped up just before Christmas. "Since the first time we saw the house," said Kim, "our thoughts have been not about what we want to change but rather about how much we want to keep it the same."

Ask TOH users about Home & Real Estate

Contribute to This Story Below