HOUSE TOUR: English Country Interior – Before

A whole-house remodel is a long, slow process with many months between the “before” and the finished product, and our current project is no exception. But finally, our English Country house “after” is in our sights!

The house as we found it had an English Tudor exterior, painted purple with a bright yellow door, and an interior with a good layout but a few issues (e.g., a dining room niche that was curiously off-center and a kitchen full of angles in an inefficient, confusing layout). Along with the more serious issues was a general lack of identity – the Keeping Room had a vaulted ceiling with attractive Tudor style-appropriate half-timbered trim but also unattractive half-round windows that bore no resemblance to the style. Mantels and bookcases were also disjointed in their style, appearing almost as if they’d been borrowed from another jobsite.

Since the original construction of the house had begun just before the real estate crash of 2008 and it went on the market unfinished and “as is”, it seems the house had a quality beginning but a less desirable finish. The next fourteen years saw no real improvement. Read along for a glimpse of some of the main changes we’re making to the main floor that will open up the space and impart a clean, classic English look!

Foyer – we’re shooting for a London townhouse look for the foyer, so will replace the “Old World” railing and overused runner carpet pattern with more classic ones.
Study – we’re giving this small, nondescript room an identity by adding built-ins and ceiling beams. The look will be a masculine English library with a hint of Asian.
Dining Room – we’ll correct the off-center niche in this otherwise well-proportioned space. Coffered ceiling beams will complete the English country look.

Living Room – we’ll add a new built-in bookcase, paneled fireplace and ceiling beams to this room to create a refined classic style in the formal-casual space.

Keeping Room – we’re opening this vaulted space to the new sunroom at right. The arched windows will be replaced and the new mantel will be full-height.
Keeping Room – these windows will be replaced with double French doors to create a more convenient access from the kitchen to the patio, pool and backyard.
Kitchen – we’ll replace all cabinets with painted Shaker-style inset door cabinets with marble countertops. We’ll also add new appliances (except for the refrigerator).
Kitchen – we’ll remove the small island, add a large island, move the refrigerator to the right and add glass-fronted cabinets that reach to the ceiling.
Butler’s Pantry/Hall – we’ll remove these cabinets and use a mahogany china cabinet in its place, which will break up the expanse of painted cabinets.
Breakfast Room – we’ll open this room to the new sunroom at left. Wainscoting and wood on the vaulted ceiling will visually separate the space from other areas.
Side Entry – we’ll open up this area by removing a closet and widening the doorway to the laundry and garage. Pocket doors will be installed in the new doorway.
Laundry Room/Mudroom – we’ll remove framing in the corner to open up the small room and will also install new cabinets and a stacked washer and dryer.
Side Entry & Breakfast Room – we’ll open up the entry area by removing the closet at right, creating a large cased opening to the sunroom and reducing the column size.
Sunroom – we’ll convert the former screened porch to a sunroom with windows on three sides. We’ll retain the wood ceiling and add wood walls and flooring.
Sunroom (exterior) – we’ll clad the exterior of the former screened porch with cedar shakes to blend in with the existing home. We’ll also a cute faux window with shutters.
Main Bedroom – we’ll add wood paneling and beams to the 14′ high ceiling in this octagaonally shaped room. The heavy shutters will be removed.
Main Bathroom – we’ll add more natural light with a larger window. The built-in tub will be replaced with a sleek freestsanding one with a classic tub filler.
Main Bathroom – we’ll replace the cabinets, remove the angled closet and add a new, glass-enclosed shower. The tile floor will be replaced by hardwood flooring.
Powder Room – we’ll replace the vanity in this space under the stairs with a campaign-style cabinet and add a wall-mounted faucet and new lighting.
Upstairs Office – we’ll replace the carpet with hardwood, raise the low desk to a standard height and redo the look with paint, new doors and top.
3rd Floor Media Room – we’ll remove the raised platform and replace the carpet with LVP flooring to create a sleek TV and movie-watching space.