Wood Flooring Sets the Tone for the Contemporary Renovation of an Old House

White stained wide plank pine flooring adds modern flair to a lakehouse.

Clients came to architects David Burdett and Stefanie Werner of DAS Studio  in NYC with a design dilemma: their lakefront house did not take advantage of the property’s views. And the building was divided into many small rooms, creating awkward spaces that were not functional for contemporary living. The clients wanted a clean, light, and modern aesthetic, but they also wanted to pay tribute to their home’s rural setting and past.

The solution that DAS crafted involved gutting the house to create new, larger interior spaces that maximized the lake views.  To honor the homeowner’s modern aesthetic while simultaneously acknowledging the home’s rural location, they came up with the idea to use a very traditional wood floor, wide plank pine flooring, but to finish the floor with a white stain  for a light, clean, modern look. The homeowners, who were both actively involved in researching and selecting the products used in their home, turned to a local sawmill, Hull Forest Products in Pomfret, Connecticut, to make their wood floors.  Hull Forest Products, which ships its floors mill-direct nationwide, was able to supply wide pine floors up to 19 inches wide with plank lengths of 12+ feet.

Grain and color view of white stained Eastern White Pine flooring.

To achieve the look shown above, the floor was stained with one coat of Duraseal Country White. Then the floor was lightly buffed and sanded, and another coat of Country White was applied. The floor was then finished with four coats of Duraseal Traffic water based poly, satin finish. The grain pattern of the pine floors and the white coloring were a perfect match to the project’s design criteria.

To link the three floors of the house functionally and aesthetically, the homeowners commissioned custom thick stair treads from Hull Forest Products, who made them from the same wood used on the floors. The stair treads are a perfect match for the floors, and they create a seamless flow between the home’s three levels. The stairs function as a bridge between floors and time periods, for, as Burdett points out, “the stair design contrasts the chunky heaviness of the solid wood treads with the slender detailing of the [modern] steel stringers and balustrade.”

Custom stair treads from Hull Forest Products

The completed house, with work done by West Mountain Builders of Washington, Connecticut, displays the successfully executed design and vision in every photo. As Burdett says, “It is a contemporary renovation of an older house, working with existing proportions and heights to achieve a contemporary living space that is respectful of the original house.”  The home is a poster child for how to reconfigure an old house to be a gracious and suitable host for a whole new generation.

Resources:

Custom wide plank floors and stairs by Hull Forest Products, CT,  www.hullforest.com

Design by DAS Studio, David Burdett and Stefanie Werner,  www.das-studio.us

Construction by West Mountain Builders, Washington, CT

Photos by Michael Bowman Photography, CT

Warming Up a White Kitchen with Wood Flooring

The homeowners chose the natural Hickory wood floor because its character and color added a rustic element to their space. They also wanted a durable wood that would hold up well for their family, which includes two dogs. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

Looking for a modern kitchen that’s also cozy?  For a primer on how to warm up an industrial space with warm wood tones, check out this white kitchen in Boston’s South End.  The cooler elements (white brick, white macaubus quartzite, white cabinets) juxtapose with the warm variegation of the Hickory wide plank floors, upping the cozy factor. The copper faucet and pot rail add another warm element.

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop in Charlestown, MA, transformed  the space’s quirks, including an old pizza oven and a triangular shaped alcove, into functional shelving (made from leftover hickory flooring) and extra storage space. With no upper cabinets, the space is open and filled with natural light.

Warming up a white kitchen with a variegated wood floor.

Natural American Hickory wood flooring with grain and color variation contrasts beautifully with the white elements, adding warmth and life. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

The homeowners used Hickory flooring throughout to add a warm lived-in feel to an otherwise industrial and modern space and help pull the look together. The warm toned wood continues up the stairs with modern square edge and square ended Hickory treads and risers laid over white painted wood. The high color contrast between the light sapwood and the darker heartwood in the Hickory flooring and stairs adds texture and warmth–like a cozy blanket–preventing the space from feeling stark.

Hickory stair treads and risers with square edges and ends.

Hickory stair treads and risers with square edges and ends make a decidedly modern profile. Applied over a white background, they draw the eye up. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

The original stairway in the home was traditional, and the homeowners wanted to modernize it, but due to building codes, they could not change the footprint of the original steps. Together with their c0ntractor, Michel Beaudry, and their architect, Bunker Workshop, they devised a zig-zag pattern that ensured each tread was the same size as it had been previously,  but with a modern line and no overhanging nosing. Hull Forest Products custom milled the Hickory treads and risers to their specifications.

The homeowners wanted to source their floors locally, which led to their decision to choose Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the greater Boston area, and a producer of custom-milled wide plank floors and stairs from local wood.  “We absolutely love our floors,” say the homeowners, who completed their home renovation in 2014. “Their character is one of the favorite characteristics of our home.”

The wood flooring and stair parts shown in the photos above are Hull Forest Products’s natural grade Hickory, with knots and color variation, finished with a water based poly. No stain was used.

This apartment has been featured in The Boston Globe, Apartment Therapy, and The Anatomy of Design.

 

 

Step Up the Style in Your Home With a Custom Staircase

Birdseye maple custom staircase from Hull Forest Products.

We milled stair treads from birdseye maple to complement the hard maple flooring we milled for this home in New Hampshire's Lakes region.

Stairs are utilitarian–but they can also be a work of art.  Imagine ascending and descending a  beautiful stairway each day.  Shouldn’t you take the time to make sure your stairs are not just  functional, but lovely? Here are a few photos of custom staircase treads, risers, nosing, and landings we have crafted for our clients.

Birch flooring and staircase from Hull Forest Products.

Clients often ask us to craft stair parts that will match or complement the floors they commission from us. The treads and landing of this birch stairway exactly match the natural birch flooring we made for the home.

Looking for more ideas? You can browse more staircase photos at our stair gallery, or you can see our stair projects  at houzz.com.