Renovating an older home with constraints that the historic elements remain can be a challenge for any remodeler, especially when the homeowners are looking for a greater connection to the outdoors. This home in Blue Hill, Maine, was originally built in 1849, and according to historic district requirements the parts of the house visible from the road needed to remain historically consistent.
Elliot and Elliot Architecture and Jon D. Woodward & Sons added functionality while respecting the original structure by salvaging an unfinished barn connected to the property via an ell and reinforcing its structural framework. The team added more living space by moving the kitchen from the main house into the barn, which now has three floors, with a gallery space on the second floor. A low-profile skylight embedded in the ceiling provides natural light throughout the second-floor gallery space and shines directly onto the kitchen island on the first floor.
The street-facing side of the barn is filled with steel-framed glass panels that can be covered by sliding wooden doors for privacy. The stairs are positioned directly behind these windows, providing access to all three floors. At night, the large windows allow the interior light to shine out onto the lawn. Toward the back of the house, contemporary design elements are more visible. Two large bump-outs provide an updated take on traditional bay windows, allowing the interior to interact with the outside gardens, and large steel-framed windows create an opening into the kitchen. Inside, the designers opted for a modern design, keeping everything clean and minimal.
The completed project manages to update the interior of the home without sacrificing the classic 19th century Maine architecture and even updates and incorporates the barn that had been abandoned.