Friday, April 30, 2010

Maison des Jumeaux - the renovation of our country home

Maison des Jumeaux (House of the Twins) is our country home that we have lovingly renovated over the last five years.  It has been a huge undertaking!!!  As it always seems with old houses, there is always more to do...

Here is the story of the renovation.  Over the next few posts, I will be showing "before" and "afters".  I am starting the the heart of the house - the kitchen and family room.

A view of the pool and pool house

Bet you are wondering what the Empire State Building has to do with the story!!!!
Well read on....

As you can see from the list above the renovation was a daunting task.  Working with an architect,  I redesigned portions for today's family lifestyle but still blended with the original architecture. Another goal was to take the dark french normandy to a lighter, sunnier place.

This is the original kitchen before renovation.  On the surface, it appears to be a nice kitchen but underneath it all were layers of bad redo's since the 1960's.  All the cabinets were old and painted over many times and the flooring was a wood laminate that had been laid over vinyl.  The room is really large and the layout for cooking was very awkward.  In between the keeping room and kitchen was a dividing wall and a wet bar.   The kitchen was originally used for "the help" and never thought out as a cook's kitchen.

Here is the keeping room before renovation.  As you can see, it is very dark and old looking.  This is the furniture of the previous owners - not my taste!  (Don't want you to think that is my decorating- ugh) Notice the small window above the couch.  It is going to change.

We gutted the two rooms right down to the studs and started over.


In the photo above, you can see that we enlarged the window in the family rooms to brighten the space. Custom mahogany windows with insulated glass were made for  entire  front of the house.   Each window was hand made and fitted on site by a european craftsman.

Now for the after.....

Renovated foyer complete with limetone  floors.

Another view of foyer as you enter ...

Completed kitchen with oak and walnut cabinets.  

Another view showing open shelving, hammered nickel farm sink and island.

The chef's kitchen is comptete with professional range, warming drawers, two dishwashers, sub zero fridge/freezer, wine cooler and coffee maker.  There is also a baker's cabinet, walking pantry and mudroom that I will show in next post.  Too much for one post!

Next to the formal dining room, there is a dry bar with deep storage for linens.

Floor to ceiling cabinets showcases  glassware is a focal point as you enter the space.  It lights up like jewel box. 

Breakfast area defines the line between kitchen and family room.

Now for the family room...

The open hearth fireplace is the such a special feature.  It can never be replicated because of today's fire codes.  Can you see how different the space looks with the new large mahogany windows.  So much more light!!

As I said, there is still so much more to do to complete the design.  This my sample board showing all the  fabrics that will eventually be incorporated into the design.

Here is a shot of the turret.  We had to remove the exterior and insulate it.  Before the renovation, the turret acted as a wind tunnel that brought cold air downstairs.  We were freezing.  Now it is toasty warm! 

There is so much more to see in the renovation of Maison Gemeux.  I am just getting warmed up!!!  I hope that you will stop by again to see more!!

Au Revoir for now!!