2597 Exeter (1983)


An intriguing blend of modern and old affords great livability and comfort in this brown, shingled farmhouse, the first to be built on Exeter Road in 1916. Extensive interior renovations made as family projects with all members, whatever age, sharing in the labor, make this a home of the 1980s.


Focal features are the renovation in the kitchen and living room and in three of the bedrooms, two with associated lofts. In all these the existing space has been redesigned to accommodate family activities and interests.


The present kitchen and breakfast area was created from the old kitchen and porch with the addition of glassed-in space. The wooden kitchen counters are new, but the cabinetry, which hails from the 1950s, was simply given a 1980s look by replacing the metal handles and drawer pulls with natural wood bars.


The living room also is a combination; this time the walls to the porch-den at the fireplace end of the room were removed, merging the two rooms into one partially divided by the now free-standing hearth with the lowered mantle and a natural wood plank along the ceiling serving as decorative accents. Within the room a blend of modem chairs and old chests looks inviting. The partially hidden music room merges into this open living space from behind the fireplace.


On the second floor three of the four bedrooms have been part of the space recombination. In one, the wall to an adjoining porch under the sloped roof was removed, revealing a step-down area, the perfect size to nestle a teen-ager's bed. Across the hall the stairs to the third floor landing suggested a wonderful vault over the bedroom, which has been turned into a private loft retreat accessible only by ladder.


The master bedroom is well on the way to becoming a two-storied private suite. The main room on the second floor has been converted into a sitting room with two large armoire-like cabinets to make up for a lack in storage space. A ladder leads up to the skylighted sleeping loft.


The deep, pleasantly landscaped back yard is not to be missed on the way out. Here a deck off the breakfast area allows a fine view of flowers, screening shrubs, and a peek at the garden beyond.