Sometimes the simplest solution is also the best, especially when righting past renovation wrongs. So thought Rina and Brittain Stone after seeking the advice of architect Kurt Sutherland in solving the layout and traffic-flow problems of their 1749 Dutch Colonial’s kitchen in Accord, New York. . . The architect’s plan was straightforward: Bust out the bottom of the “U” to create an efficient galley with prep, cooking, and cleanup stations arrayed along two walls instead of three. . . After more than 160 years, period details such as painted cabinets, soapstone counters, and an apron-front sink unite the space with the rest of the 18th-century farmhouse.
Wendell T. Webber
The original section of the bluestone house had been built in 1680, before the invention of everything but iron, candles, and wool, and it was expanded several times in the centuries that followed. . . Though all the rooms were tiny, there were lots of them, and the house was actually quite large, without looking grand or imposing. It was high on a hill, with great views. . . “We ended up redoing every square inch.”
In 2009, they renovated and moved one of the barns, converting it into a loft-like space with oversize sliding doors on two sides, for about $125,000. . . There is a small loft, a bathroom and a kitchen with a poured-concrete counter and an exceptionally long dining table made from a slab of light reclaimed wood and table legs found by a friend in Switzerland.
Opening up a floor plan creates a more modern flow, especially when it comes to kitchens and dining rooms, where people tend to congregate the most, Sutherland explained. But it’s most important to save the historic value of the building as well. “We save historic details like molding as much as possible and we don’t remove walls that are important from a preservationist point of view,” he said, “but we do also create environments that are more reflective of how people live today, and certainly improve the energy efficiency of the home. . . The Kirven residence afforded the architect the opportunity to do a complete renovation of the home and grounds while maintaining the structure’s historical integrity. The substantial renovation and addition project, said Sutherland, included a complete re-insulation with a geothermal heating system and Green roof.