At Drew House, a historic coastal property, Knickerbocker Group’s construction and design teams worked in tandem to breathe fresh life into the circa 1900s home. A series of previous renovations left an impractical layout and muddled aesthetic, despite this, the homeowners were drawn to the inherent charm and seaside location. They felt certain the home’s heritage could be restored and entrusted Knickerbocker Group to see the project through.
The ensuing renovation unearthed a series of structural problems requiring innovation and expertise. Both the garage foundation and attic mandated immediate attention. In the attic, a once unused space was transformed into a nautical-themed bunkroom with beds crafted to resemble yacht cabin berths, adding a touch of whimsy. Above the newly created and expanded garage, a dojo and gym, including a sauna, were added for modern convenience and respite. This wellness space connects to the main house through a glass breezeway, while softly lit, illuminated stairs offer a feeling of Zen upon entry.
At the top of the homeowner’s wish list—a new kitchen. To align with the home’s history, the design team selected classic colors, fixtures, and cabinetry, complementing the original character. Soft grey granite with a grain reminiscent of ocean waves was procured for the counters. An oversized island, pantry, and casual dining area transformed this once-cramped kitchen into a space made for cooking and gathering.
The formal dining and living rooms reflect many of the home’s most treasured original features. Rich mahogany woodworking, built-in cabinetry, and curved doors offer a sense of stately elegance. In the living room, the original wall scones, likely dating to the early 1900s, were restored and rewired. The team was thoughtful when renovating spaces not original to the home. Selecting flooring, hardware and finishes to meld with these decades-old design details was paramount. Several of the mahogany wall panels, for example, had suffered water damage, but the team was able to replicate the original detail and finish for a cohesive feel.
In the powder room, the homeowner wished to repurpose an antique Asian chest to be used as a sink, yet an extensive search failed to produce a chest that was deep enough to accommodate a vessel. In turn, Knickerbocker Group’s millwork shop created a piece that perfectly matched an antique design, finished in black lacquer by Fine Paints of Europe.
Upstairs, the primary bed and bath were reimagined to compliment the beauty of the ocean views. Soft blues, crisp whites, and serene greys work together to envelop a serene atmosphere that feels noticeably lighter than the home’s more formal spaces. A vaulted ceiling adds to the space’s open feel.
Drew House blends the beauty of years gone by with much-needed functional and design updates. While steeped in history, it is a home that now feels entirely relevant to how we live today.