We bought our current home in Plymouth, MA, in March 2021, commenced a massive renovation a couple months later, and finally awoke for the first time in our new-to-us place on New Year’s Day 2022. This has … well it’s been a journey! It’s still not over with but then, one is never done doing and redoing one’s home, hm?
Here’s a before and after:
We found this ideally located spot in a wonderful downtown neighborhood together with my sister-in-law, whose husband had just gone into care. And, since names are important, we dubbed the place our Cape Casita de Tres Chicas – it’s a cape style home, and large tho it is, cozy enough for us 3 Mujeres.
At 6000 square feet, it affords 3 working adults plenty of corners to which to retreat, as well as common spaces aplenty. We have 2 primary bedroom suites, a full guest suite, a mudroom bridging the entry to the home from the garage, and a 1400 square foot finished ground floor/basement with completed storage space, a half bath, office, wet bar and gaming room.
Starting with the infrastructure, we completely overhauled what turned out to be deeply neglected plumbing and electrical systems. We converted from oil to gas heating, thoroughly insulated, and mitigated flooding caused by the town’s disinterest in public safety measures.
We gutted most of the main and 2nd floors, opening up the kitchen to create a continuously flowing space amidst the living and dining rooms. We expanded the primary bath on the main floor, updating the shower stall to a curbless entry with infinity drain, and adding a separate bathtub along with a custom walnut vanity and mid-century mod finishes. We cathedralled the upstairs suite ceilings and gutted both baths, and refinished the wood floor in the primary upstairs bedroom. No square footage was added, but it feels much more expansive and open now.
We modernized the finishes – streamlined ornate built-ins, favoring a transitional look to bridge between co-owners’ modern and traditional sensibilities. The outdoors have received initial landscaping updates, but remain works in progress. Overall our home feels cozy, peaceful, solid. We are quite happy and feel so fortunate.
Let’s start with curb appeal! Originally the house had traditional cape-style shutters and greying shingles. We removed the shutters, power-washed & stained the shingles, and painted the front door. To mitigate flooding, we added a granite apron across the entry to our driveway, effectively driving water streaming downhill into drains.
There were trees dangerously crowding and even overhanging the house – we trimmed and removed several to prevent mold build-up and avoid snow-bound disasters, things we never would’ve considered in CA!
There was a brambly, tangled mess of a garden at the entry to the home, an ill-considered hodgepodge of walkways, and a weird paver-covered parking spot right in front of the entry. We cleared that all out, added a front deck for a welcoming effect, and further mitigated basement flooding into the bargain.
Finally, we repaved the driveway, cultivated garden spaces and landscaped it all to tie in together. What previously appeared to be a parking lot finally looks like a proper front yard.