A modern family touches some history when it updates this old house.
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Down came all the walls, which restored an open space large enough for an eat-in kitchen that is an inviting gathering place. The rustic wooden table in the center of the room is a multi-purpose surface for dining, homework and entertaining. French doors flanked by transoms open to a porch with graceful columns that usher in views of the garden.
The couple had considered installing a fireplace, but that didn’t work out due to structural constraints. So they reinterpreted that architectural element as a decorative mantel above the commercial-style range where Alonso enjoys making Cuban dishes that reflect her heritage. “Maria is a wonderful cook who keeps all the burners going at once,” Horton says.
Hand-made tiles on the backsplash depict colorful roosters and Colonial-era gardeners. Painted and stained Shaker-style cabinets are accented with bin pulls for a vintage look. There’s a big, deep sink on legs with a plate rack above it that looks as if it would have been at home in the kitchen when the farmhouse was built.
A master carpenter, Horton’s grandfather helped to restore Lafayette’s headquarters at Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford. In the farmhouse, he crafted an elegant banister for the staircase from American chestnut.
“It gives me a good feeling to run my hands over something that has been smoothed by many hands over the years,” Horton says. “That it was made by my grandfather makes it even more special.”
But the house is not a time capsule. Within its plaster walls are amenities that help to ease the flow of an active contemporary family. There’s a second-floor laundry room—with a large-capacity washer and dryer—equipped with a fold-down ironing board and built-in storage.
“In New York, we learned to use every inch of space,” Horton says.
These days, the family has more square footage—and utilizes every bit of it.
Page 4: Connecting, continues...