clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Lexington Colonial Before and After: Space for the Whole Family

A young Colonial gets a knockout kitchen with views of the house's best feature—the backyard—with help from the This Old House TV crew

Exterior Enhanced: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The setting was perfect. The house was not. That didn't stop Jeremy and Jody Kieval from buying their 1966 Colonial, in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 2011. After all, it sat on a three-quarter-acre lot bordering 100 acres of conservation land in their dream neighborhood. "Jeremy had the vision right from the start," says Jody, recalling that on their first visit he sketched out a plan for opening the rear of the house to the view. They moved in with their three young daughters and lived in the house for several years before starting the remodel.

Shown: A new farmer's porch adds a welcoming element to the front of the house, and its roof ties the old house to the addition above the garage.

Architect: Bill Hubner, Incite Architecture, Lexington, MA

Landscape: Timothy Lee Landscape Design, Lexington, MA

Porch columns: Turncraft

Windows: Harvey Building Products

Porch tile: Roma

Less-Cohesive Exterior Design: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The stunning result, seen on the current season of TOH TV, includes: an 800-square-foot addition over the garage that created space for two additional bedrooms, a bathroom, and a second laundry room; a large, windowed kitchen; an expanded mudroom with access to the garage; a three-season porch and deck in back; and a welcoming porch out front.

Deck With Corner Stairs: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

For architect William Hubner, a key factor was making sure the addition felt harmonious. "The rooflines of the addition are designed very carefully not to overwhelm the existing house," he says. "We pulled back the connector piece and had the gable roofline swoop down to the first-floor eaves line." At the back, the porch came down to make way for a 9-foot kitchen bumpout and a three-season porch, both with walls of windows for unobstructed views. To support the addition on a lot where digging a foundation was a no-go because of its wetlands adjacency, TOH general contractor Tom Silva used 11 concrete piers.

Shown: The old porch made way for an expanded kitchen, a three-season porch, and a new deck with corner stairs.

Gutters: Englert LeafGuard

Unsightly Back Porch: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Fine-tuning the layout of the 22- by-24-foot kitchen also took some doing. Kitchen designer Michele Kelly, of Venegas and Company, landed on the idea of two islands as a way to create distinct zones for prep work and gathering. Now the Kievals have a proper cook's kitchen, not to mention separate rooms for the girls and a great room that works for day-to-day use as well as for entertaining. They can finally enjoy not only the perfect spot, but also the perfect house.

Shown: The old screened porch was demolished.

The Kieval Family in the Kitchen

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The three girls gather with their parents, Jody and Jeremy Kieval, around one of two kitchen islands.

Kitchen designer: Michele Kelly, Venegas and Company, Boston, MA

Central Kitchen Hub: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Two kitchen islands create generous traffic corridors and distinct zones: one near the range for prep and another where the family can gather. Touches such as antiqued mirrored panels with decorative grillework for separate freezer and refrigerator columns upped the style.

Flooring: Lumber Liquidators

Countertops: PentalQuartz

Range: Wolf

Cabinetry: Signature Custom Cabinetry

Refrigerator and freezer: Sub-Zero

Custom Vent hood: Amore Design Factory

Sinks, faucets, pot filler: Rohl

Island Pendants: Hudson Valley Lighting

Faux Brick Kitchen Floor: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The original kitchen with its brick-look floor.

Light-Filled Everyday Dining Area: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

An eating area along the kitchen's new rear wall of windows stands in for the dining room for everyday meals. Two sets of French doors lead to the deck and three-season porch, respectively.

Hanging fixture: Hudson Valley Lighting

Kitchen Radiant Floor heating: Uponor

Seldom-Used Dining Area: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

An odd fireplace-and-indoor-grill combination—rarely used by the family—made way for the kitchen renovation.

Storage-Heavy Mudroom: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Cubbies in the mudroom encourage the girls to shed their gear before hitting the kitchen on the way in from the front porch. Garage access is around the corner to the right.

Interior designer: Robin Gannon Interiors, Lexington, MA

Interior and exterior hardware: EMTEK

Materials for Cubbies: The Home Depot

Laundry-Packed Mudroom: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

A stackable washer and dryer in the addition above the garage supplemented the old mudroom-hogging laundry area.

Handsome Three-Season Porch: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Just off the kitchen, the enclosed porch is comfy most of the year thanks to electric radiant floor warming and glass panels that swap out for screens in warm weather. Shiplap pine decking on the uninsulated walls and vaulted ceiling creates a rustic look.

Expansive Sunroom: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The old sunroom overlooked the backyard.

Great Room Gets Greater: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Interior designer Robin Gannon envisioned the new media wall, which features reclaimed wood doors that slide open on barn-door hardware to reveal the television. Surrounding cabinetry mimics the doors' panels, providing a traditional architectural element and additional storage for media and games.

Media-wall built-ins: Matthew Allen Construction, Bedford, MA; 617-416-1034

Great-room chandelier: Restoration Hardware

Painfully Dated Great Room: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Despite its cavernous size, the 1980s addition lacked functionality.

Bathroom With Zones: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The new second-floor bath serves the two new bedrooms, leaving the old bath to the youngest girl and guests. A door between the double-sink vanity and the shower/toilet area, which has its own sink, makes it easier for two to share the space.

Bathroom cabinetry: Woodpro

Bath fan: Panasonic

Crowded Bath Space: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

All three girls shared this small bathroom before the addition over the garage.

Unique Girl's Bedroom: After

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The bedrooms were designed to reflect the girls' personalities. Here, a polka-dot wall covering on the ceiling, a swinging chair, a piano rug, and whimsical wall decals suit a lively and music-loving young girl.

Interior designer: Jared Sherman Epps, JSE Design, New York, NY

Polka-dot wall covering: JuJu Papers

Dandelion decal: Wallums

Hanging chair: IKEA

Piano rug: Rug Studio

Storage bed: Sleepy's

Sibling Shared Bedroom: Before

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

The youngest two girls shared this bedroom before the remodel created separate sleeping quarters for the siblings.

Floor Plan: First Floor

Illustration by Ian Worpole

Bumping out the rear wall on the first floor accomplished a lot, expanding the kitchen and creating direct access from it to the great room, back deck, and new three-season porch.

Floor Plan: Second Floor

Illustration by Ian Worpole

The second-floor addition includes side-by-side bedrooms, a bathroom, the second laundry, and a common area with a built-in window seat.