Even though a tiny cottage stood on the back property line when we bought it, we considered this a building lot. To build a new home in the craftsman tradition and honor the historical style of the neighborhood was always the plan.
Three trees came down in the process. We didn't intend to remove them, but a couple seasons of gpysy moths had weakened the large, old chestnut oaks and they were deemed unsafe by the arborist. One of those trees was given new life milled into large thick sections for mudroom built-ins.
Using local materials is a hallmark of classical residential construction, and the romance of that tree overlooking its original spot out the side door didn't get by us either. Paul used a large single section to create book-matched wood grain across the front drawers.
Across from the cubbies is a built-in bench seat with flip down back just deep enough to house walkie-talkies, flashlights, and bike locks. 'Simplicity is the Key to successful living' poster by Nick Dewar, framed locally by Takoma Picture framers.
Admittedly the floors were rarely this clear even with all that good storage. Shoes, backpacks, coats, sweaters, jump ropes, and basketballs for five people can overtake a room faster than I wanted to keep up with it. I went through periodically to edit the clutter.
Speaking of clutter, our playroom was in the front of the house setting the great room apart in the back for privacy away from the street. That large closet in the corner was fitted with deep floor-to-ceiling shelves for board games, bins of Legos, Littlest Pet shops, and Kid-craft stuff -- that's where it all lived.
Details like the solid pocket doors had visitors questioning the age of the house.
Often that floor was covered, but that's life. That's why I chose a cozy tufted wool rug for warmth and softness.
So when you enter the front door the playroom is on the right; to the left a circulation foyer we always referred to as the library. We thought one day we'd put some built-in shelves there or maybe a piano. We never got that far, but the new owners are doing just that.
Down the hall just a bit to the left, through the glass door, is the mudroom. The original watercolor, entitled The Road Home, by Molly Kugler Dickinson, had to be mine.
Paint color on all the main walls is Duron's Burberry Beige. The playroom is Ralph Lauren's Rhodes Point, which reminded me of menswear Kakhis. Beadboard on the hallway ceiling between the timbers is painted one of the old discontinued Martha Stewart/ Sherwin Williams colors.
Powder room walls are tiled in bone subway by American Olean with complimentary moldings. The baseboard was special ordered from a custom Spanish tile company. Natural slate mosaic underfoot in that little shower was great for hosing off sandy kids after the beach, or muddy feet from the yard.
The oval mirror frame was made by my Grandfather in his cabinet-making days. Heavy beveled glass from a local fabricator was added after years of hanging it empty. It seemed to fit the finishes perfectly.