This wonderful old American Foursquare in Allenhurst, New Jersey, was built in 1905 and still had much of its original interior millwork, but the house had fallen into disrepair.
Degnan Design Group was hired to renovate and expand the house and spent 18 months with a team of craftsmen and restoration specialists on the project.
They’re telling us about this project today, so take a look!
An American Foursquare Renovation
A Vintage Photo of the House:
I love seeing old photos of houses like this from their “youth.”
Here’s another shot of the new exterior from the same angle:
The interiors were in rough shape before:
The living room today:
The Living Room Fireplace After:
Stained Glass Door:
Entry Hall and Dramatic Staircase:
The Back of the House:
With New Addition and Landscaping:
Degnan Design Group says, “We incorporated an array of energy technology components including geothermal heating/cooling, high performance insulation, and in floor heating that greatly enhanced the comfort and operating cost of the home.”
The new landscaping around the house adds even more to its appeal. So pretty!
I think Charlotte and Spottie would approve of its new look, don’t you? 🙂
Thanks to Degnan Design Group + Design Build for sharing this project with us.
Visit their page on Houzz for more photos and information.
Photography credit: Bill Wilson.
All I want for Xmas: a pair of chaises pointed at the TV in a cozy, small room. That, + an exposed brick wall + huge Coca Cola sign. Oh, and arbors galore, outside.
Ha! That’s what I thought when I saw those chaises. Then my husband & I would quit fighting over the one comfy chair we have.
…I love this beautiful house…and i am especially impressed that they had the courage not to paint everything white…they preserved so much character of the house by that single choice…it is a wonderful home…and that is purpose of a house…to be a home…blessings
tom degnan says
I agree with your comment on the use of color on both interiors and exteriors, so often we find owners who don’t explore colors in their homes – so in this case I want to acknowledge the owner /designer who provided the vision and direction in exploring the bold & vibrant selection of green earth tone hues which served as a compelling contrast to dark chestnut & America oak walls & ceilings.
tom degnan says
The décor and interior designer is Christine Craney Levy –
I didn’t know that — thanks, Tom!
I am in love with that kitchen!
This is the first time I’ve seen a kitchen so well incorporated into an old house. Most of the time it looks to modern or out of place. They designed it really well. Gorgeous house.
tom degnan says
Very nice to read your comments & appreciation for the homes transformation and redesign which our design/build firm managed for a wonderful family.
One of the most rewarding aspects for our design team is working with clients who are committed to preserving and reinvesting in old homes, rather then taking the demo & rebuild path which tends to render a bland streetscapes. We seek to capture our clients vision and dreams when crafting the design and construction of their homes- to achieve a unique home for their family.
In this case, we are fortunate our clients who embraced our collaborative process, which includes integrating their unique personal vision for their home & garden- an essential ingredient a successful project.
Cheers – Live creatively !
YES! It takes more than a great design and vision. It takes a client who is willing to work with the constrains of the original concept of the house, and a remodel team who can work with what is not only historically correct, but what a client realistically needs to make the house a cohesive whole. And this house is illustration of how beautifully that can work. Congratulations to them all!
This is what house love is all about. What an amazing transformation while holding onto to it’s integrity! Beautiful inside and out. When mere photos make me smile, it’s got to have something special going on. 🙂
The ONLY thing I didn’t like.. the panels of wood between the post on stairs & landing..:( Maybe in person they looked better… Otherwise…LOVE!!!
I live just south of Allenhurst and it is such a pretty town with so many charming older homes. It’s nice to see such a beautiful restoration!
anna whiston-donaldson says
Gorgeous! I am not a gardener, by any means, but that lush, colorful landscaping is breathtaking! Well done!
I would be in absolute heaven if I owned that house! Both the exterior and the interior woodwork are just stunning. It’s been beautifully restored – no more vinyl!! And Allenhurst is a very pretty town at the Jersey shore, where I’m from. The only thing I would do differently is not add the modern touches. (Some of the lighting is just bizarre.) But otherwise, it’s my dream house.
Laura in Sacto says
Be still my heart. I am in swoon heaven.
sharon / theprincipledtype.blogspot.com says
priceless to have the old photos. vintage. what is that sort-of bay window shape? with just two protruding windows making a ‘v’? haven’t seen something like that. and so loving the upstairs hall that goes around square. you (or at least I) don’t see those often and they are a favorite design feature of mine.
Hi Sharon! I looked on google and they’re called triangular bay windows, which makes sense because they’re shaped like triangles.
Thanks, Kim! I hadn’t heard that term before.
OMG! What a beauty!! Just breathtaking everything. Its decorated so so nice. Love that different couch & that staircase! Wow, thanks so much for sharing this one Julia. Yes the landscaping doesn’t hurt one bit. The before livingroom pic looks like a barn stable lol. Its So different, they did a really great job. I especially enjoy those interesting wall lights on the green wall. Im susre the house never looked this good. Lucky Owners!
My jaw is on the floor. Holy amazing that is some brilliant transformation. And those couches in the living room…I need to find them. I am sure the price will bring on a stroke, but I still want to know.
The couches were custom made by Andrew Grossman Upholstery located in Asbury Park. The fabric is Osborne & Little.
Rarely do I see porch alterations that I approve of. The re-design of this porch works better than either the original design or the first alteration, in my humble opinion. The interiors are amazing; fun and very livable. This is a wonderful example of how to update an old house without sacrificing its soul and architectural integrity. Simply beautiful!
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
I love seeing classics restored. Too often they’re bulldozed and replaced with uninspiring boxes with windows.
It’s especially cool to see the original photos.
Wow, this is gorgeous! The kiwi green is unexpected, but once over my surprise, I liked it. I just hope someone saved and reconditioned that old kitchen stove.
Penelope Bianchi says
Spottie and she would LOVE it! so well done! What a lovely job!!!
Alie B says
Craftsman isn’t my favored style (I’m a Victorian lover) but this is so well done! I love that the beautiful woodwork wasn’t covered, and that kitchen is absolutely fabulous. I find the green a bit jarring, but the owners must like it, and that’s the important thing. It feels like a comfortable dwelling. Kudos to everyone involved in this reno.
Susan B says
LOVE! Great use of color and keeping the gorgeous woodwork. Bravo!!!!
Overall, pretty nice renovation..keeping in lines with the original. I happen to love the interior bright green paint on the walls contrasting all that gorgeous original woodwork (thank goodness not painted & made to look like cheap wood) & how they pulled inspiration from the beautiful acorn stained glass..envisioning the mossy chartreuse greens against trees of a Oregon forest. Also dig the leafy fabric on the sofa..I’d cover the whole sofa ‘tho. I’d have kept the cool original stove, but hopefully they were responsible & donated it.
tom degnan says
We appreciate your thoughtful comments as well as all of the other responses on this ‘Hooked on Houses’ blog.
Since this is our firms project posted on HOH, we find it to be very enlightening forum allowing those who are passionate home design, architecture, interior design to share their personal views on a given project.
While we certainly understand there are some who believe preservation & restoration is the ‘right ‘ path when tackling old home renovation projects,
there are some fundamental considerations which we address during the planning phase working with homeowners. Like most projects we are hired to redesign/build, this particular home had been modified during the century that included two separate apartments when our clients purchased the home in 2014.
In fact there are varied approaches to tackling ‘old house renovation projects’ , there are occasional projects where the existing period home has been left unchanged over many decades , in these cases a program focused on historic preservation & restoration – seeking to maintain the original authenticity & components – if the homeowners are committed to this path.
Our experience working along the coastal towns of the Jersey Shore has been that rarely does one find the original home is worthy of a ” purists approach” to preservation & restoration. It’s also rare to meet homebuyer’s capable of making a significant investment to restore a home which is not comfortable layout for their families lifestyle.
While there are regions of the US, with well preserved historic districts had been established decades ago, which promoted the importance of preservation of important buildings & villages. It’s unfortunate that this movement was not implemented along many of the coastal villages of NJ & NY, where the development homes built during the early period of villages ‘summer cottages ‘ were built near the Atlantic Ocean.
Most of the older homes our firm is retained to transform have been modified since their original construction which was early 1900’s. So our design team most often meet the homeowners with homes which were dramatically altered as well as have awkward room layouts , small kitchens, limitied bathrooms , few closets , antiquated mechanical systems & detached garages.
If preservation /restoration is one’s passion – there are forums which are specifically focused on this approach such as National Trust for Historic Preservation (https://www.preservationnation.org/).
What I find so refreshing about the ‘Hooked on Houses’ is the appreciation for home designs of all styles, arch types & regions of the American streetscape ….allowing homeowners to offer a view into their living rooms .