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
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.
These plans above give you a hint of what’s to come inside.
Modern Carriage House Exteriors and Grounds
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.
Even in winter the front entry isn’t overwhelming the original architecture.
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
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.
The open space main floor was completely stripped to the rafters and the original timbers remained – all the up to the roof.
Here are the real estate photos, which capture the space in its detail and mass, as real estate photos are meant to do.
Glass block floors allow the light from the cupola to flow downwards.
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.
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.
If you know of a fantastic conversion project, I’d love to hear about it!