A reader recently finished a renovation on a Windsor Terrace townhouse and wanted to share their experience. When they bought the 17 foot-wide home about two years ago it was being used as a two-family rental and there wasn’t much detail left. Says the owner, “the way it was divided up, it was like a dark hive of small rooms. We wanted to open it up as best we could, to make the ground floor as loft-like as possible.” The owner is quick to admit that neither he nor his wife are particularly handy or have the experience required to undertake such a renovation–from figuring out the big picture to the endless details, the whole thing seemed daunting. After a quick search they choose architect Alexandra Barker, a principal with Barker Freeman Design Office, a local firm familiar with row houses. Though the owner wanted an open, light space and a modern feel, they also didn’t want the space to feel cold and felt it was important to keep the few original details that remained. They were able to strip and refinish the newel post, banister and the vestibule door which help to warm up the clean, open feel they were looking for. The most dramatic change was their choice to open up the back wall on the ground floor to bring in more light and help the narrow house feel a bit larger. They also added skylights on the top floor. They put in new wood floors as the old ones were in poor shape and could not be salvaged. Upstairs they created a room for each of their children and a master bedroom. In the center of the top floor, the architect created a library that doubles as a guest bedroom that can either be left open to the hall or closed off by sliding doors. See lots more photos — including before, during and after pics — after the jump.
The front stairs and hallway before the renovation. The wall to the left came down as part of the redesign.
The kitchen before the renovation.
One of two first floor bathrooms before the renovation.
Gutted down the studs during the renovation.
The new kitchen. The large windows looking out over the back yard are to the left and the living room with exposed brick is to the right. The kitchen island has become a natural gathering place.
The mantlepiece in the living room is made from one of the joists that had to be replaced in the renovation. The owners wanted to expose the brick to help warm up the space.
The new upstairs bathroom. Downstairs there is just a powder room.
They dug out the basement by 20 inches and finished the space to create a kids playroom.
After Photos By Francis Dzikowski/Esto