A Spectacular Modern Carriage House Conversion in Newburyport MA

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of a conversion house project. I’ve showcased several projects over the years and I’m so excited to share a new one that is currently on the market in my favorite city of Newburyport, MA. I saw this modern carriage house conversion project originally when it was on the Newburyport Holiday House Tour in 2016. Designed by Andrew Sidford Architects, this house was originally conceived of as a performance space with two apartments and was part of a larger property. This house is now on the market and I wanted to share it with you.

From the real estate listing: “This unique, award winning property is a true hidden treasure located in the heart of Newburyport. A converted carriage house c.1850, this post and beam home boasts a complete renovation and adaptive reuse as a state of the art performance venue, perfect for open studio, musical practice, a jam session with your band, or simply a fabulous single family home. Two modern living areas include a 2-bedroom apartment, along with a separate 1-bedroom apartment, two- car garage, and beautiful views of professionally landscaped lawn and gardens complete this home. Live, work, and play in this amazing one of a kind property.”

This Old House and the Architects Plans

Newburyport Modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect before
photo courtesy of Andrew Sidford

In my opinion, Andrew Sidford is one of Massachusetts’s pre-eminent architects when it comes to the renovation of antique homes while integrating a modern aesthetic. Above is the original 1850 carriage house – lovely bones, classic architecture.

Newburyport Modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect sketch
photo courtesy of Andrew Sidford

 

Newburyport Modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect rendering
photo courtesy of Andrew Sidford

Newburyport Modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect rendering beams

These plans above give you a hint of what’s to come inside.

Modern Carriage House Exteriors and Grounds

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect exterior 3
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis

From the outside, the house maintains its historical roots and includes lush landscaping. The only hint of what’s to come inside is the modern double height front entrance, which is partially obscured by the tree.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect exterior 2
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect exterior 1
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect Exterior 4
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect exterior 5
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect exterior 6
photo courtesy of Williams Raveis

Even in winter the front entry isn’t overwhelming the original architecture.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect Linda Merrill photo exterior
photo by Linda Merrill
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect Linda Merrill photo front door
photo by Linda Merrill

When I visited this modern carriage house on the holiday tour and got to the front door, I knew there was something very special coming. The front entry included very light, almost floating front steps. The glass entry wall was flanked by old beams bringing the double-height wall of windows down to human scale by neatly framing the front door.

Modern Carriage House Interior Wow Factor

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect Linda Merrill photo entry looking up
photo by Linda Merrill

Every so often, I enter a space and it’s so overwhelmingly good – surprising, beautiful, special, whatever adjective works for the moment – that I will literally burst into tears. It happened when I took the photo above. I entered the house and looked up – and the surprise of the interior space was nearly overwhelming. As I recall, the tour people at the front door were encouraging me to go on up to the main floor – but I just had to stand right there and take it in.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect Linda Merrill photo interior looking up 2
photo by Linda Merrill

The open space main floor was completely stripped to the rafters and the original timbers remained – all the up to the roof.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect Linda Merrill photo interior 1
photo by Linda Merrill

Here are the real estate photos, which capture the space in its detail and mass, as real estate photos are meant to do.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 1
Photo courtesy of William Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 4
Photo courtesy of William Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 5
Photo courtesy of William Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 2
Photo courtesy of William Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 3
Photo courtesy of William Raveis
Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect Interior 6
Photo courtesy of William Raveis

 

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 7
Photo courtesy of William Raveis

 

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect interior 8
Photo courtesy of William Raveis

Glass block floors allow the light from the cupola to flow downwards.

Newburyport modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford architect interior 9
Photo courtesy of William Raveis

And finally, how beautiful does this house look in the evening? The only time of day that you get a sense from the outside what the insides are offering.

Newburyport Modern carriage house conversion Andrew Sidford Architect nighttime
photo courtesy of Andrew Sidford

As mentioned above, this space was conceived of as a performance space – but with careful space planning and the right furnishings, it could easily make for a show stopping living space.  Or, imagine it as an artist studio and gallery. So many possibilities.

More photos and the real estate listing of this property are available at William Raveis.  And more photos are here at Andrew Sidford Architects.

If you know of a fantastic conversion project, I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo Linda Would you like my Favorite Tips for a Well-Decorated Home? Click here!

4 thoughts on “A Spectacular Modern Carriage House Conversion in Newburyport MA

  1. Honestly (and sorry to kick off my joining your community, Linda, on a sour note): I detest what they have done, inside and out.

    I think that the beauty of these houses arises, in part, from their symmetry, and the “out of kilter” new glazed entrance disturbs and despoils the front elevation by not being kept purely central. Internally, I love the classical layout of older American homes, and I find the materials used here utterly discordant. If I’d gone away and came back to find this done to my home, I would weep. And then call my lawyer or a hitman. Not sure which.

    I have seen old properties (especially here in England) reimagined with modern materials, which result in a highly creative dissonance and design tension which is wonderful…I didn’t have that reaction here, sadly. Bring back the walls, the ceilings, the plasterwork, the hardwood floors polished for centuries…

    I don’t have children, but as a family home, I would live in fear of broken limbs or necks with those stairs and hard surfaces!

    Gosh, sorry: I sound like such a curmudgeon today!

    Best wishes

    Denise

    PS. I shall challenge my prejudices by returning to these pictures, I promise.

    • Hi Denise – all opinions are valid! One of my new favorite shows is Grand Designs – do you watch it? I’ve been catching up the last several seasons. So many great projects and a lot of modernity juxtaposed with historical homes – which I really like. I do have to say with this house in Newburyport – the photos don’t do it justice. It truly is a spectacular surprise to walk in an feel the volume of the whole house rising above. As for safety – the stairs all have side panels so falling off wouldn’t be an issue – and I’m saying this as a very clumsy person who gets vertigo on open stairs! Have a great weekend! Linda

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: