From admin on February 12th, 2010 in Winchester
Though she’s 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 hasn’t 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 Frankenstein’s.
“The Overhaul” had to take place, and here’s 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 porch—one 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 doesn’t mean austere, nor does it mean that Helen’s three kids don’t 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, she’s now living in 1900. And loving every minute of it.