Artful Renovation: Bringing 1700s Design Into The 21st Century

Chesapeake Home

I'm always intrigued by the details of historic renovations in the homes that are not just for show preservation but for everyday living. Is it really possible to live a comfortable 21st century lifestyle in a house that's 300 years old? And if so, how can you maintain the historic character during the updating process?

The owner of Strawberry Hill, a historic home in Sparks, Maryland built around 1700 entrusted her house to the capable hands of three individuals: designer, Susan Banks of Jenkins Baer, Chad Neal of Whispering Meadows, Inc., and architect, Jeff Penza of Penza Associates Architects. Chesapeake Home explains that nearly the entire first year was devoted to assessing and repairing the structural damages of the house. As with many old homes, previous renovations created a host of challenges that needed to be addressed, such as a support beam that had been shortened in the 50s to make room for a HVAC unit. Other challenges included the task of getting through the 30 inch stone walls of the original house in order to update decrepit wiring.

Once the structural and functional areas were addressed, the team began sourcing materials in keeping with the historic nature of the home. Many materials were salvaged from homes in nearby areas such as Glen Rock and Hanover, Pennsylvania. The result is a home teeming with period details and radiating old Maryland feel.

To see more of the house and to learn more of what went into the renovation check out Chesapeake Home's full article.

Image: Anne Gummerson for Chesapeake Home