All Projects Somerville, Ma

Renovated, Top to Bottom

Bathrooms Interiors Kitchens Whole House

These clients in touch with a long wish list. After living in their home for nearly twenty years, they were ready to undertake the substantial renovation they had long been dreaming of and address longstanding concerns about their basement.

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Focusing on dreams......

Avid gardeners, they spend a lot of time in their backyard; but views and access were blocked by an unused back stair. They also love to cook and entertain, but their kitchen was cramped, dark, and isolated from the rest of the house

With three school-aged children sharing two bedrooms and the entire family sharing one and half bathrooms, space was at a premium. Access to the third-floor was by treacherously steep stairs, and last but not least, their basement was chronically wet, and the framing was in evident need of reinforcement.



Designer Josy Raycroft made two pivotal, early design moves. The first was to remove the back stair. This allowed the kitchen to expand towards the back of the house, providing for generous counter space and storage, as well as direct views and access to the backyard. The stair removal also enabled the primary bedroom to migrate towards the back of the second floor, freeing up floor space for an additional full bathroom and a generous closet. On the second floor, we also closed off a doorway between the primary bedroom and an adjacent bedroom, creating a private bedroom suite for our clients, and we renovated the existing full bath.





The second pivotal design move was to replace the steep stairs to the third floor with a spiral staircase. Leaving the stairs in place wasn’t a good option; and a conventional set of stairs would have required a dormer for head height, which was a budgetary non-starter. The exquisitely crafted spiral creates a sense of connection and cohesion that had been lacking. Now properly insulated, and heated and cooled by a minisplit heat pump, the third floor boasts a cozy bedroom and a comfortable home office.

More prosaically, in the basement we worked with our structural engineer to reinforce the floor framing, installed a French drain and sump pump to manage the bulk water, and insulated the walls. While these may not have been the most exciting aspects of the project, they were at the top of our clients’ priority list and among the most important improvements we made. It’s hard to overstate the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home’s structure is sound and your basement is warm and dry.