Jul/Aug
2018

100-YEAR-OLD FARMHOUSE: RETAINS ORIGINAL CHARACTER AND CHARM

Written by TRISH AMUNDSON, Photography By FAGAN STUDIOS
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A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED HOME UPDATE CREATES LARGE, OPEN SPACE WITH RENEWED PERIOD DETAILS, INCLUDING VINTAGESTYLE FARMHOUSE SINKS. WHILE MAINTAINING THE ORIGINAL CHARACTER OF THEIR 1910 FARMHOUSE, DAVE AND BECCA BENNEROTTE DESIRED A LARGE SPACE THAT WOULD ALLOW THEIR FAMILY OF FOUR TO COMFORTABLY GET READY FOR WORK AND SCHOOL EACH MORNING. THEY ALSO WANTED THE CONVENIENCE OF A MAIN-FLOOR LAUNDRY, IN ADDITION TO THE MUDROOM.

“We had a typical farmhouse kitchen for the era, which was very small with almost no counter space,” explains the couple. “We made the decision to move the kitchen to where the living room was and turn the old kitchen area into a mud/laundry room space that was currently in the unfinished basement.”

WORTH DOING RIGHT

The Bennerotte home includes original hardwood pocket doors, colorful stained-glass windows, oak pillars and oak flooring. “We love these characteristics of our home and wanted to incorporate and accentuate them. To us, it just doesn’t make sense to take something with character and replace it with something modern,” the Bennerottes say.

Mickey Elias of Elias Construction, who has been renovating homes in the Rochester area for more than a decade, agrees wholeheartedly. “Remodeling an historic home is something worth doing right, so take the time to think about the existing feel and character of the home, to make sure those special details are not lost in the process. You also want the new space to flow and be functional,” he says.

“Hiring an experienced team to tackle an historic remodel that inevitably includes unexpected challenges is worth every penny,” advises Elias. His team completely redesigned the main floor of the Bennerottes’ home. They created new, space comprising unique and quality amenities. Moreover, they maintained the timeless era and vintage style of the home.

FARMHOUSE FLAIR

“Farmhouse style is relaxed, simple and unpretentious. Farmhouse kitchens are hardworking and purposeful, relating back to a time when families lived off the land and prepared their bounty,” says Jessica Markley, marketing manager and interior designer at Elias Construction.

Markley notes common elements of a classic farmhouse style include planked-wood floors and exposed beams. “You will often see classic apron-front sinks made of fireclay or cast iron and open shelving to keep heavily used items close at hand. White shiplap walls and white cabinetry also are hallmarks of this style, with harvest tables and distressed furniture that convey a warm, rugged welcome,” she shares. “Finishes such as galvanized metal and oil-rubbed bronze are often used. Farmhouse style originally developed out of necessity, and many features can be integrated into today’s modern homes.”

FABULOUS FOCAL POINTS

Blending old and new, the Bennerottes kept the original wood flooring and added custom quarter-sawn oak cabinets. A beautiful kitchen backsplash ties together brown and green hues from the stained-glass windows and copper that accentuates cabinet hardware. It also complements a new, attention-getting copper farmhouse sink. With a stunning apron-style front, the roomy piece adds both functionality and form. “The copper sink is something that I always wanted, and we really used that as the focal point for the kitchen remodel,” says Becca.

In the mud/laundry room, a hardworking fireclay farmhouse sink showcases the beauty of the space. The modern, yet rustic basin offers a durable solution for dirty hands and laundry, providing a nice contrast against darker cabinets and flooring. Stacked laundry units are concealed behind sliding doors and allow for more counter space.

COMFORTABLE FUNCTION AND CHARM

Today the Bennerottes are making new memories in their updated, century-old farmhouse, and they remain dedicated to maintaining its period spirit. “Our favorite result is simply more space in the kitchen. We all tend to congregate there,” says Becca. “We’re also pleased with how everything tied together and created a remodel that is functional and looks amazing.”

The family gathers at the kitchen island to eat breakfast and prepare for the day, while taking in spectacular views of the sunrise through a sparkling new window. At the same time, Dave, Becca, Brayden and Ethan can see clearly how everything fits together perfectly in their remodeled home. Everything — including comfort, charm and love—and even the farmhouse sinks.

Trish Amundson is a Rochester-area freelance writer, who loves to decorate and update her old farmhouse.