It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but when my husband and I wandered into this derelict Newport home, we knew we had found a hidden jewel. We could see beyond the odd additions, the flock wallpaper and contact paper, the creepy velvet drapes and the heavily varnished wood, that there were beautiful spaces, wonderful flow and spectacular detail.  One thing we particularly liked about the house was that every room on the first floor had doors opening to the outdoors, be it a porch or balcony. Peeling back the layers to get down to the original beauty was indeed a labor of love.

Our first task, was to remove a large barn, poorly constructed sunroom and to rebuild the deteriorated front porch. The sunroom could only be accessed by walking up a ladder over a radiator and through a window in what was supposed to be the kitchen. We fashioned a new kitchen out of 3 rooms at the back of the house, with a careful eye to preserving the large sliding glass cabinet doors and making them the feature of the new space. After a productive trip to a salvage warehouse, I found the legs for the large kitchen island.  I worked closely with an online cabinet shop, to purchase all the doors and drawer boxes and my carpenter built the cabinets in the old style, right on the wall. The den was fitted out with a bar and built-ins using original doors and more salvage finds. Meanwhile, we commandeered a bedroom on the second floor and renovated it into a large master bath and dressing room. The old knob and tube wiring had to be replaced throughout and in the process, this required that we fully renovate a large guest apartment on the 3rd floor. All the heavily varnished wood was sanded down and painted to reflect the light that we craved. Much to our delight, the beautiful detailing became much more evident after it was painted. Continuing the family affair, our daughter Kirby Goff completed the project with color, furnishings and fabrics. After 7 months of mooching off kind friends and carting clothes in laundry baskets in the back seat, we moved into our new home.

Renovation: Historic home

Architect:
Gale Goff Architect
Newport and Little Compton, RI

Builder:
Ed Lacross

Interior Design:
Kirby Goff Interior Architecture & Design
Providence, RI

Photographer:
Anthony Crisafulli
Astoria, NY