From Margaret Everton on February 12, 2010 in Winchester
Though shes alive today, Helen Raynham really lives in the year 1900. What I mean is that her home is a majestic, imposing, and regal Queen Anne Duplex, situated on a plot of lush green grass in gentrified Winchester, Massachusetts. But the idyllic dwelling place hasnt always exuded with historic beauty and century-old authenticity.
The Queen Anne Before Remodel
A lot had to change. For example, take the aluminum armor that the house had acquired at some point in the past. It had to go. Spots of disrepair, layers of shoddy remodeling, and years of tightwad love touches had turned the once-beauty into a monster of a house. And its 6,000 square feet and three stories of rooms were just as unwelcoming of a home as Frankensteins.
The Overhaul had to take place, and heres how they did it. It started when the renovators came to the front door. They had the task of marrying a duplex into a single-family dwelling, and that began with consolidating two doors into one.
Following the front door project, architects and owners collaborated to create a beautiful porchone of the most beautiful and enduring features of Victorian-era homes. The house flaunts a wraparound porch which warms up its entire curb appearance and lends a welcoming aura to the otherwise imposing structure.
Inside, detail was key for bona fide restoration. That genuineness came in the form of origin-style handrails, beautiful balustrades, broad staircases, French doors, massive mantels, and dark woods. The result of all the detail-labor is a home that is as honest to its heritage as George Washington was to his dad.
Historical doesnt mean austere, nor does it mean that Helens three kids dont enjoy their legendary dwelling. With subdued tones and low lights, some sections of the house are as cozy as can be. Other features like the open floor plan and cheerfully-colored exterior are as enjoyable for the family as they are to the historical club society members who gawk over the house.
Helen may have been born way after the house was first built, but thanks to some hard work and a lot of love, shes now living in 1900. And loving every minute of it.