Brett Waterman Home Restoration • 1896 Queen Anne Victorian
A single family had owned this home for over 50 years. Modifications they made in an attempt to modernize over decades had sapped most of the original charm from this spacious fin-de-siècle home. Waterman's team restored woodwork where possible, re-established internal structure and added period appropriate embellishments to reignite its 120-year-old beauty.
Two From One
"Not only did we restore the original finishes and materials on the inside and outside, we reinstated formal room separations that were removed at some point," Waterman said.
Step one for Waterman's team was stripping the woodwork down to original material and refinishing in a period appropriate stain, including refinishing the hardwood flooring.
They created separation in the front room by defining two spaces from one large area that had been opened up in previous decades. The installation of a pair of pony walls and matching columns split the space into two rooms—an entry hall and a parlor.
The entry hall offers access to the staircase, and also features some out-of-the-ordinary seating. "We salvaged an old pew," Waterman said.
In the parlor, a wall-sized shelving unit was removed in favor of the new pony wall and antique furniture. The pièce de résistance in the parlor, though, is the rebuilt fireplace. The fireplace surround had been removed completely during attempts to modernize the house. Some sleuthing, combined with inspiration from the house itself, allowed the team to fabricate a period-accurate centerpiece for the parlor.
Restored Antique Fixture
A solid brass chandelier from the Victorian era was salvaged, cleaned and rewired to make it safe and functional hanging in the entry hall. New blown-glass shades maintain the restored period aesthetic.
New columns with crenellated cornices were constructed from sugar pine and redwood, and stained to match the original woodwork uncovered on the staircase and baseboards.
Complicated and intricate stenciling above the picture rail in the entry hall also helps separate the room into two spaces. When it comes to Victorian accents, it's almost impossible to be too complicated and ornamental.
A Fireplace Focal Point
The dimensions of the fireplace were derived from shadow lines in the paint. Its multi-stage, columnated appearance was inspired by visual and decorative elements from other fireplaces in the house.
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