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A 1940’s Sudbury Home gets a new Heart

28 January 2013

This single story home had a traditional layout with a long dark corridor, isolated rooms, and an uninviting guest entrance. The livingroom was too large, and the dining room was tight due to its location in the main traffic zone. We did some rearranging by switching rooms around and opening them up a bit. The house has a whole new look and feel without any addition!


First the dining area was moved into the generous familyroom which was then opened it up to the livingroom with a pair of French doors.
We then used the old dining area for casual seating where kids can do homework or chat with the chef. This move also freed up a tight traffic zone in the center of the house.
Most importantly we shortened the hallway by opening it up to the entryway and livingroom. Between these two rooms a large coat closet and entertainment center were inserted. The TV is hidden behind wood paneling above the built in bench that also houses the A/V equipment.


Finally, an opening was created adjacent to the existing fireplace to allow the hearth to act as a focal point. It’s warm pumpkin color is visible from just about everywhere in the home.

One of my favorite things about the livingroom is its combination of textures. The silk drapes extend along the entire wall lending organization to some irregularly spaced windows.



This final shot is taken from the front entryway. The stairs lead to the attic. Check out the little accent color on the banister. The French doors you see in the back go to the shared study. They were added to help bring light deep into the house and to active the corridor.



Funky Kid’s Room

17 April 2010

Here’s an image of the hallway with my son’s room beyond.  We pulled the black and white theme into the bedroom onto the painted checkerboard wood floor (a Martha Stewart moment).  The squares are small enough to allow for a chess or checker game in the middle of the room.  The walls are bright yellow and Tiffany blue.  Needless to say, the room has never again been this clean!

Check out the details in the hallway.  The MDF panels were glued to the wall, and then screws were added in the corners with acorn nuts.   The pictures are hung with wire and a series of acorn nuts allowing us to change the pictures as needed.

The bench was made from a Shaker Workshop kit. 

Bed and rug are from IKEA.

The Hay Loft

23 March 2010

 In the 1920’s the upper level of this carriage house was converted to living quarters.  Gas-powered equipment was stored in the barn by then, replacing horses, so the hay-loft was expendable.  The three-bedroom quarters created by the addition of dormers were intended for a farm manager and family.

In our renovation, the upper floor was gutted to the studs, however most of the original ribbon-fir flooring and pressed tin ceilings remain.   These, along with the dormers and low ceiling heights, drive the look and feel of the spaces.  The upstairs spaces were rearranged as follows: 

  • The Bathroom became the stairway
  • The Livingroom became the Master Bedroom
  • The dining room bacame the Studio
  • The original scary kitchen and laundry became the master bathroom
  • A bedroom was carved into a number of closets, a bathroom, and a laundry. 

The photos above are of the main hallway that runs from the top of the stair at one end to an exterior door at the other.   At 5 1/2′ wide, there was room enough to include built-in bookcases and storage.  The white enamaled paneling give it a fresh summertime feel.  The tin ceing is painted a reflective silver, and the walls are painted my favorite clear periwinkle.  Photos, furnishings, and carpet are black and white.

Details include acorn nut fasteners at the panels and picture hangers, a cat door built into the base of the bookcase, and a ‘secret’ compartment behind the cabinet doors.  Originally used for the heating system, the metal grate in the floor now has a glass panel below it allowing light to filter into the main floor below.

  • Settee – Shaker Workshop
  • Ceiling Paint – Ralph Lauren
  • Wall paint – Benjamin Moore
  • Custom bookcases – Warren Kundert
  • Carpet Tile – Flor

Casual Stairway

14 March 2010

 This new stair was slipped into a space where there was once a bathroom.  The goal here was to try to get as much daylight down into the lower level as possible.  This was done in several ways; first, the upper stone steps were constructed without risers allowing light to come through.   Also, a pair of skylights were added to increase the light already coming in from a Northwest facing window, and finally the sidewalls were panelled and coated with a high-gloss paint.

The specific configuration of winders above and landing below were controlled by height clearances at a main beam below.  The lower landing acts as additional seating, especially during parties.

Carriage House Kitchen

8 March 2010
The hard working part of this eat-in kitchen is the L-shaped island.  It helps to break up the large space into different ‘rooms’ and gives the chef a great view of the family activities.   Along the outside wall where once sat a barn door, a built-in bench now provides casual seating as well as storage below.  The island contains mostly drawers for optimum organization.  Counters are fabricated of Fireslate, and stainless steel with an integral backsplash and sink.   In the corner, a small desk provides space for homework and cookbooks.  Opposite, the long storage wall includes the fridge, oven, pantry, and a coffee bar.  A new screened porch is accessed from the kitchen.

Pendant fixtures: Ikea

Chairs: Ikea

Stainless steel table: DWR

Custom bench: Warren Kundert

Shades: Smith & Noble




Carriage House Dining Room

3 March 2010


The sofa is done in (so far indestructable) microsuede.

The dining room is in the center of the house, flanked by very natural posts.  You can see the kitchen island to the right which is set high enough so that you don’t see the dishes on the counter when you sit down to eat.  The overhead cabinets are suspended by rods and steel cables.   The chandeliers are from West Elm.  The built -in buffet has a n extra shelf above to increase serving space.  The  table is custom made by my father, Warren Kundert and is fabricated oftwo shades of bamboo.

Carriage House Livingroom

2 March 2010

Livingroom Panorama


We’ll get back to the exterior when we can get some good pics in the summer.

The Coffee Table


These photos show the conversion of the lower stable space.    This large open space contains kitchen, dining and living areas.  A new three-tiered floor slab was installed, including hydronic radiant heat.  The exposed timber framing and deck, and fieldstone walls, provide a counterpoint to the modern style, conveniences and furnishings.  The barn doors at either end have been replaced by walls of glass, including a new entry facing the 500-foot long driveway.

The Art Wall


The Wall of Storage


 An entire wall, the length of the space, is fitted with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.  From front-to-back, it provides coat storage at the entry, an entertainment module, bookshelves and toy storage for the living area, a buffet and credenza at the dining level, and appliances, coffee bar and pantry at the kitchen.  An L-shaped cooking island sets the kitchen apart from the dining area.  Floors are slate tile and Alder.  Cabinet faces are maple veneer.   All of the recesses at windows and doors are painted a very pale celadon green, and all cabinetry in these spaces is painted lilac.  We have judiciously used accents of orange and fuschia in the pillows and Marimekko wall hanging.