Back to Life
A historic farmhouse in Rockland is reborn as an everyday country retreat.
(page 2 of 4)
The farmhouse was built in 1905, but Krewson’s research at Winterthur showed the foundation dates back to 1802, when the site was home to a manager of a mill.
A previous owner installed asbestos shingles on top of the original cedar siding, likely in the 1940s. Removing the shingles and replacing rotted clapboards revived the farmhouse ambience of the exterior. Krewson breathed more life into the façade with a coat of cheerful yellow paint and copper gutters and downspouts.
Because the house was originally designed to keep a family warm in winter, the six-over-six pane windows are small. Ceilings were kept snug and low, at 7-feet 2-inches high.
Krewson’s loving and faithful restoration called for keeping the windows the same size to preserve the cozy, intimate feeling. She coaxed a few extra inches of ceiling height out of the first story by exposing the floor joists of the second story above it. Workers installed panels of sheetrock between each joist to create the ambience of a rustic, beamed ceiling.
Painting the joists and panels white visually raised the ceiling a bit further without compromising the integrity of the structure.
“For me, it was important to maintain the turn-of-the-century, simple American design and to respect the overall look of the property,” Krewson says.
By sacrificing attic space, she gained lofty, vaulted ceilings in the second-floor bedrooms, adding natural light and volume.
A variance in place from the 1970s enabled Krewson to expand the property by 500 square feet: 250 square feet on each floor. But claiming the space wasn’t easy because there was an enormous boulder on the site. The builders couldn’t dynamite it out without endangering the existing structure. And the stone is so dense, jackhammers could not chip it out. So the contractor devised a system to build over the rock, fusing the structure to the boulder.
“If the world ends, my addition should still be bolted to that rock,” Krewson says.
That change also enabled her to create a new, more welcoming entry and to move the kitchen to the original entrance, where it would offer a spectacular view of the countryside. She managed to save the pine floors on the second story and replaced the boards on the ground floor with vintage planks from a salvage yard.
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