What’s Old is New Again
This season, This Old House TV is overseeing the transformation of a ho-hum house into a thing of beauty as they add a bit of extra space and a lot more curb appeal to a 1940s Colonial Revival along the Charles River. Here’s a look at the house before TOH general contractor Tom Silva and crew get started.
Take a Sneak Peek at the new season of This Old House, premiering on PBS on October 7.
Check out the webcams to follow the project in real time.
Fixing a Featureless Façade
The main problem with Raveen and Allison Sharma’s 1940s Colonial Revival (with Georgian influences) is a jutting garage and its flat roofline, which is incongruous with the main house’s hipped roof. Working with architect Christina Chu, Tom and the rest of the TOH team will add character and curb appeal using a few different strategies, including a projecting entry hall addition, a new front window, and a fresh paint job.
From Cramped to Cavernous
The wall opposite this stone fireplace will be removed, opening this cramped room up to the new rear addition, which will house the TV room. The existing part of the basement will be turned into an activity room, complete with a ping-pong table. A new drywall ceiling will cover the pipes, and new laminate wood flooring will replace the tile.
A More Welcoming Entry
A projecting entry hall addition will frame a much larger front door that will include sidelights. To the left of the door, a new pergola will mitigate the protrusion of the garage.
Maintaining the Style
While all of the old casement windows will be replaced, the homeowners have opted to stick with casements, which will be made from fiberglass instead of metal.
The back of the house faces the Charles River, though this rickety sunroom isn’t an ideal place to take in the views. The sunroom will be demolished and replaced by a two-story addition. The first floor of that addition will be attached to the walk-through basement and serve as an entertainment room, while the second story will be an informal gathering space with large windows through which the Sharma family can take in the views.
A New Homestead
Raveen and Allison Sharma bought the house because of the leafy tree-lined neighborhood. While they admit it has some fine attributes as is, they’re looking forward to the enhanced river views the remodel will deliver, as well as the additional space for them and their two children.
Dark and Dreary
Walking into the house from the current entry hall (located behind the French door on the left), one is confronted by a wall of heavy dark-stained knotty pine and bulky shelves. Architect Christina Chu’s plans call for removing that shelving and lightening up the area by painting the woodwork. Her design also adds a little space via a new entry hall that will project outward from the front of the house.
More Light and Views
The wall behind this living room sofa will be partially removed, opening the room up to the new sunroom. The attached dining area will remain in the same spot, though new windows will be cut into the wall, affording views of the river.
One Last Look
An interior view of the existing sunroom, which will be demolished and replaced by a two-story addition that will include a rooftop deck, accessible from the master bedroom.
Carving out a New Kitchen
The house currently has two separate dining areas located right next to each other. By removing the wall that separates the kitchen and the informal eating area (in the background), TOH general contractor Tom Silva will create one big kitchen complete with a central cooking island. The formal dining room (in the foreground) will remain where it is, though some of the dark shelving that surrounds it will be removed, creating a lighter, airier feel.
A Necessary Adjustment
This attractive archway will be sacrificed in order to open the new kitchen up to the great room—and some fine river views, to boot.
Making Way for a Dream Kitchen
The existing kitchen will be mostly unrecognizable once the remodel is complete. One thing that will remain the same, however, is the position of the sink. Allison likes the fact that the front-facing window above it lets her keep tabs on the neighborhood—and her kids who often play in the front yard. Her view will be even better after the remodel, since the architect calls for a larger casement window there.
There are currently two upstairs bathrooms, which are connected by a pass-through room containing a shared bathtub. The new plans call for two brand-new bathrooms: one in the hallway, and one connected to the master bedroom.
A More Beautiful Bedroom
The master bedroom will receive new, built-in cabinetry, as well as access to a rooftop deck that will be constructed above the new sunroom addition—a perfect spot for Raveen and Allison to enjoy their morning coffee.