Modern Luxury Meets Historic Charm

We are fortunate to live in a part of the country that boasts many lovely historic homes—rich in details that speak to the domestic and cultural concerns of the past, charming in their aged beauty. But as any homeowner who lives in an older house can tell you, modern life and historic buildings do not always marry happily.

At Schrader and Company, we are proud of our decades of experience in renovating and remodeling historic homes. We share our clients’ genuine love and appreciation for the quality of old construction, and strive always to treat these special projects with accuracy, an eye to preservation, and a bit of reverence.

In this particular project spotlight, a new bathroom was created for clients who love their colonial home for all of its historic charm, and wanted an aesthetic upgrade that would give them modern luxury without jarring the style of the rest of their gorgeous house.

As is often the case with historic post and beam constructed homes, the planning and logistics for mechanicals posed a bit of a challenge, but one that the Schrader and Company team was well ready to handle.

Expertly crafted by Project Manager Jeremiah Mills, the new bathroom was built within the existing bathroom space, but the fixture locations were changed. A small, non-functioning, neo-angle shower was replaced with a new custom tiled shower. The built-in corner soaking tub was replaced with a new free-standing bathtub. The toilet was relocated to a more private location, and the vanity was moved from an alcove to a more open area.

The vanity cabinet is in a furniture style that sets the tone for the entire room. It includes inset doors, open toe space with furniture style legs, a slate top, and matching recessed medicine cabinets. One of the most unique features are the vessel sinks, handmade by the client who is a talented potter. Other style elements include brick tile flooring in a herringbone pattern, painted flat panel wainscoting, custom tiled shower with a glass enclosure, and a luxurious bathtub.

Project Planner John Hudson looks back on the project as a wonderful example of a modern upgrade that perfectly compliments a historic home. 

“All of the pieces fit together to create a historic feel for a totally updated master bathroom. The clients made perfect selections to fit the aesthetic of their home. And the vessel sinks are true works of art.”

The clients love their updated bathroom, and we take great satisfaction in helping to make a historic home work well for a modern family.

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Making a Historic Home Work for a Modern Family

Everyone loves the irresistible charm of an older home. There is much to recommend them–charming mouldings and wide-plank wood floors, abundant nooks and crannies, and a sense of history that can both transport and ground us. But it can also be challenging for modern families to live in spaces designed for a different time and a different way of life.

When issues like this arise, renovation is often the answer. Such was the case in this Project Spotlight, in which we transformed a late 19th century home to better suit the needs and wants of contemporary living.

This large-scale remodel involved the renovation and redesigning of several rooms. A first floor bathroom was completely renovated. A laundry room was moved from a closet-like space in the kitchen to its own second floor location, with much more storage and usable space. A former changing room/walk-in closet off of the master bedroom was re-divided to allow for several upgrades, namely a true walk-in closet, a dedicated master bathroom, and an additional bathroom for the client’s daughter.

These renovations solved the client’s chief problems of needing more bathrooms for their family, and much more storage. As always with a historical renovation, there were inherent challenges that called for innovative solutions.

Project Manager Jeremiah Mills led a field team of talented craftsman in meeting those challenges. There were issues of structural flooring and framing. Lots of hands had touched this more than 100 year-old home, and a solid and straight foundation was needed before any further work could commence. Because this remodel called for lots of work on bathrooms, and we did not want our clients to be overly inconvenienced while the work was taking place, we planned and installed a temporary fiberglass shower unit in the first floor bathroom for their use during the renovations. We removed it when the work was complete.

When it came time to focus on the design elements, it was important to make choices that would reflect the traditional style of the home, while incorporating modern aesthetics. Interior designer Brooke Stollery was on hand to help marry the historic with the contemporary.

“The clients wanted to create a simple ‘boutique’ feel while still suiting the character of the historic home,” says Brooke. “I think the new clawfoot tub, mosaic marble flooring, and traditional, antique style of the selected fixtures pulled that together really nicely.”

We also milled trim to replicate what was already existing in the home to create a cohesive look to all of the rooms. Custom Schrader cabinets in the new laundry room, double pocket doors, and refinished wood flooring and stairs also elevated and improved the look of the whole house.

“Our clients were wonderful to work with and we take tremendous pride in knowing that we were able to take the home they loved and make it work so much better for their family,” says Project Planner Brian Taber.

The end result is a charming example of how respectful updates to a historic home can make all the difference for the families that inhabit them, keeping them livable and well-loved for many generations to come.

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