House Tour: Old Hill House

See how architect Ann Sellars Lathrop transformed a simple Cape into an extraordinary home filled with an abundance of light, space and comfort.

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  1. Before

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    Before the renovation by architect Ann Sellars Lathrop, the Old Hill House was a typical shingled Cape Cod with a two-car garage, in an older neighborhood in Westport, Conn. To see how the house was transformed into a more fitting—and spacious—Bungalow-style farmhouse for its owners, start the tour.

    Ann Sellars Lathrop

  2. After

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    By creating a continuous shed dormer on the second level, the architect added 600 square feet of additional living space. Rather than replace the original exterior wood siding, Lathrop convinced the homeowners to restore it by weaving in new shingles and lightening the color to an oyster grey. She further enhanced the home's street presence with a welcoming front porch.

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  3. Kitchen

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    Lathrop flipped spaces for kitchen and dining room, then took out ceiling joists in the kitchen to expose the roof rafters for a vaulted ceiling. Three skylights over the sink flood the room with abundant light (a theme that resonates throughout the house). The center island, made from reclaimed lumber, is topped with Carrara marble.

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  4. Great Room

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    The kitchen now looks out to the family room, providing an open space with natural light (and an open flow for a family with three children). The traditional oak strip flooring is original to the house, just refinished and stained in a richer, darker finish.

    Related:  How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  5. Living Room

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    In the living room, the scale is compact, but the space has been opened up with a clean, modern, and transitional style. Integrity windows from Marvin provide light, beauty, and energy efficiency. The paneled ceiling adds a distinctive touch and plays off of the home's new Bungalow-like aesthetic.

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  6. Family Room

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    The family room was built where a poorly constructed (and poorly insulated) back porch once existed. The room is made even more dramatic by its cathedral ceiling, wood beams, and natural light—from above and all three sides. "Always place windows on two walls or more," advises Lathrop. "It expands your space and brings natural light in." 

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  7. Built-ins

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    Built-in cabinets make great use of the space flanking the entrance to the dining room from the kitchen. Besides providing added storage, the cabinets are purposefully zoned—the one on the left features a microwave, the one on the right, a wet bar.  

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  8. Mudroom

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    By sacrificing one of bays of the original two-car garage, Lathrop created a mudroom, powder room, and an interior entrance where there was none before. Slate tiles provide the ideal floor covering for an area designed for utility and easy maintenance.

    Related:  How to Clean Slate

    Olsen Photography / Ann Sellars Lathrop

  9. Rear

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    From the rear, the house reveals its new height and dramatic family room addition. "Keep the roofline simple," advises Lathrop, "the simpler, the more economical. Gables may be cute, but they’re more expensive and they create thermal breaks."

    Related:  Roofing Roundup—7 of Today's Most Popular Choices

    Ann Sellars Lathrop / Olsen Photography

  10. For More...

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    For more house tours, consider:

    Hudson Passive Project

    Stone Farmhouse Addition

    A Green Dream Townhouse

    DeMaria Design