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1845 Home/Historical Renovation in Kennebunk, ME

Updated: Mar 20

Kennebunk is home to a variety of old homes and historical architecture. This client wanted to replace/renovate her existing 1845 first floor: flooring, paint, furnishings and more.

The budget is set at $30,000. The client wanted new flooring, wainscoting installed, new paint, new furnishings and window coverings. Her design choice was a historical teal blue — with soft grays and white accents to compliment.

The existing floor planks in living room, kitchen and living space (over 150 years old!) — some of which measured out to be 19 inches and are pumpkin pine planks — had been restored and renovated perviously over the years. Finally though — the flooring was warping and uneven.

As project manager, I pulled in contractors with historical renovation and flooring experience. We finally settled on a contractor that was able to show us the existing floor and its subfloor in the basement. We were able to see the subfloor and the existing strong beams still there holding up the house. Although the old planks are gorgeous — the client decided to go with engineered hardwoods throughout which will make the floor even and not dipped in places. The contractor will use the old planks to create a wainscoting in the living room (which the client has requested) below the existing hose hair plaster walls.

New paint will be applied to the existing horse hair plaster walls — without much touch up. Horse hair plaster can be a nightmare to fix and it is recommended that it stay if possible. Soft furnishings include a new couch, living room table + chairs, lighting and sconces (which are to be replaced to reflect a modern aesthetic), rugs, ottomans, window coverings, comfy big chairs and more.

Bringing a historical home into a more modern aesthetic can be a challenge and it's vital you management the project with delicacy. Finding the correct contractors is also vital — because not everyone can or should work on an old home. I was able to deliver this huge project in stages (which is still happening right now) on the client's timetable and budget.

Update: November 2023. Project is finished! On budget, smooth vendor relations, easy transitions. I project managed bringing in vendors: flooring and paint. I vetted them before the client hired them and then managed timelines for client. Home is now updated with modern floors, new furnishings, new cohesive paint, new rugs and repaired 200 year old walls with new shiplap.

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