Michael's Grand Victorian

Michael's Grand Victorian

Tanya Lacourse
Jun 22, 2010

Name: Michael Cote
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Size: 2,800 square feet
Years lived in: 6 — owned
Who else lives there: Hunter, a Golden Retriever

Michael Cote is a finish carpenter, a custom kitchen installer, and apparently a person who does not shy away from large projects. For seven years he had been living in a modest home on the East side of Manchester admiring a beautiful but dilapidated Victorian across his yard. When it went up for sale, he bought it. Six years later he has turned it into a grand Victorian.


Defined by spacious rooms, high ceilings, and elaborate attention to detail, this Victorian period home (circa 1895) has become Michael's main source of design inspiration. The home boasts rich colors of red and natural wood throughout. The main floor is comprised of a front hall, small den, a parlor or sitting room, a dining room, an eat in kitchen with butler's pantry, a half bath, back mud room and back staircase. The upstairs has three bedrooms and a bathroom and a small, separate one bedroom apartment which he rents out. For this tour I will only be sharing the main living space, as the upstairs isn't ready for showing.

There is a lot to take in here but allow me to point out some special details. He has replaced all of the windows with beautiful wood sashes and grills and all of the doorways have large elaborate headers. The lighting in the kitchen is exceptional with under cabinet lighting on a dimmer, overhead recessed lighting and even in-cabinet lighting which reflects beautifully through the glass shelves. The wallpaper in the dining room is stunning and most of the furniture is accurate to the era. Michael has done all of the restoration himself including building the kitchen, wallpapering, painting, and refinishing all the woodwork and flooring.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Favorite Element: The home itself, the woodwork, the Victorian period.

Biggest Challenge: The outdoor siding! I have been working on it slowly for the past 5 years.

What Friends Say: They can't believe how much character the house has. They comment that the kitchen, event though it's new, looks like it belongs to the house.

Biggest Embarrassment:The front porch. It's rotting and the house looks like a dump from that side. (It looks decent from the other sides though!)

Proudest DIY: The kitchen. It was the biggest and most expensive project in the house and it turned out exactly how I wanted it. It's my favorite room.

Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen. I didn't skimp on anything in this room. I have two dishwashers, a wine cooler, a pot filler, a professional range, and dual wall ovens.

Best Advice: The longer you take to renovate a room or a house, the better it comes out.

Dream Source: No dream source, just a dream that all of the major work will be finished soon so that I can focus on regular, normal house maintenance.

Appliances: Carriage House Kitchen and Bath, Manchester

Furniture: Antique stores and I bought the grandfather clock from Delaney Antique Clocks in Townsend, Massachusetts.

Lighting: It's mostly recessed lighting. The kitchen pendants are from an antique store who claimed they were in the Vanderbilt Estate in NYC which was torn down.

Rugs and Carpets: Auctions

Tiles and Stones: Boston Exchange

Window Treatments: JC Penny

Paint: Benjamin Moore Aura

Flooring: All original except the kitchen

Thanks, Michael!

Images: Violet Marsh Photography

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