Remodeling a home can trigger a range of emotions: “Yay! Well-preserved wood floors beneath the carpeting!” to “Oh, no. Old wiring.” To transform a house from old to new again you have to highlight its strengths while minimizing its weaknesses. This is just what Libby Kirwin’s team does best. We occasionally collaborate with Libby Kirwin Renovation + Design Consulting to not only modernize homes but ensure wiring is up to code and meets the needs of the homeowner.
This home in Newport, RI, was one of the first houses built in the neighborhood, if not the first! What drew Libby’s team to this farmhouse-style home was that it was a diamond in the rough. Its lot size was double what others were in the area and the layout only needed some slight modifications. Griff Electric was called in to rewire the entire home, add light fixtures, and upgrade the systems.
Solange Richards, LKRDC Realtor, says this renovation has been her favorite project to date. We asked her to share more about the upgrades made to the home, here.
Why did the home have to be rewired? One of the first quotes we get whenever we remodel a home is electric. You can’t upgrade without the right amount of power, and you really can’t design until you know where you can plug-in fixtures and illuminate the space.
What are the best features of this home? This entire home is a favorite of mine. From variation of tile to the elongated mirrors with lighting designed into the mirror. I love the back entry/laundry area. We pushed a wall back to expand the entry and added some built-ins and a beautiful light fixture. We polished the existing Dutch door that leads to the backyard creating the perfect farm house-feel.
But to sell a house curb appeal is important and this went from the worst house to the best house on the street. When we removed the shingles and saw that the clapboard siding underneath was in good shape it was better than Christmas morning! We also had some amazing exterior lights that really pulled the look together.
How did you select the lighting fixtures? Lighting makes the room so a lot of thought goes into our lighting design. The kitchen and bathrooms had a combination of recessed and decorative lighting. We chose pendants in the main bathrooms rather than sconces and added full length mirrors above the vanities to reflect the fixtures. The stairway also got some special treatment: it’s tall and narrow so we chose a fixture that cast lots of great shadows. It turned the walls of the stairway into a work of art. A statement light fixture like that can inspire the design of the rest of the space.
Which room was the most challenging to design a lighting scheme for? I guess I would say the master bedroom was our most “innovative” idea. We added two pendants flanking the built-ins to be used as bedside lighting. I love a good two-for-one and reflecting a pendant in a mirror gives you exactly that!
Visit Libby Kirwin Renovation + Design Consulting to view “before + after” photos of this home. Want to read about other homes we transformed with LKRDC? Check out “How To Light Up a Room” and “Renovating Libby Kirwin’s Kitchen“.