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HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE | New Name, New Logo, Cambridge Residential Renovation, & More

Charlie Allen Renovations, Inc. | 91 River Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
617.661.7411 | info@charlie-allen.com | www.charlie-allen.com


FEATURED PROJECT: Three Story Renovation

Lots of thoughtful fixes throughout a Cambridge triple-decker improved the living situation for a couple moving in together for the first time, and for their tenants too.

  Newton Simple Fixes  

Removing walls in the kitchen on the first floor, where our clients live, and on the second floor, which is home to their tenants, resulted in bigger, brighter, and better workspaces for everyone.  New finishes and fixtures and repaired and repainted cabinetry add to the appeal of both rooms.

The first floor living room is set for winter with a new zero clearance gas fireplace surrounded by a black granite surround and a custom-made mantel designed and built by CAR Project Manager Steve Weber. 

Because our clients often work from home, we added two subtle workstations within built-in bookcases between the dining and living rooms. 

The master bathroom needed a complete update.  Our clients selected porcelain tile in a horizontal design above the chair rail with the same tile laid placed in a diagonal design below.  We installed new fixtures and painted with Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White.

Newton Simple FixesWith two adults now sharing the master bedroom, more storage was necessary.  We created bump out closets on either side of the windows, placing shelving within (eliminating the need for bureaus) and inset mirrors in the doors. 

Radiators throughout were in bad shape.  Scraping and painting them in a hammered bronze color brought them back to life with great period character.

We upgraded the home's back porches by adding a Snap-It ceiling to the lower two porches, which collects rainfall and guides it into gutters and downspouts rather than letting it fall into the space below.  A new porch on the third floor quickly became the homeowners’ favorite spot for relaxation, and a new spiral staircase provides safe access between levels.

Our partner on this project was Woodworth Architects in Newton, MA.


10 THINGS TO CONSIDER If You’re Planning a Kitchen Renovation

10 Things to Consider1. Observe your movements when cooking in your existing space.  Does the current placement of workstations and appliances work for you or would a different layout make for a better cooking experience?

2. Everyone always ends up in the kitchen.  If you like to entertain, do guests have enough room?  Is there space for drinks or appetizers?  Are guests in your way or can you cook with company?

3. Do cooking smells linger?  A re-designed venting system might help.

4. Is the space safe?  The kitchen is a place where spills, heat, and sharp objects are daily hazards, especially for children and the elderly. 

5. How is lighting? Observe the room during different times of day and in the spaces where you do most of your work.

6. When selecting finishes and materials, consider whether your kitchen will be a true workspace that will be used often or if you prefer the aesthetics of a ‘showplace’ kitchen.

7. How is the existing connection to other rooms in the house? Would you prefer better connection to dining and living areas?

8. How is storage? Do you have enough room for pots and pans, dinnerware, food, and cooking supplies? If you have enough storage, is it placed in the best spot, or could accessibility be better?

9. Are you prepared for the cost? Kitchen renovations can be expensive. There may be areas where you could cut back. Are there things that you must have regardless of cost, like top quality appliances?

10. Ready to get started? Your existing kitchen will be out of commission for some time. What are your plans during the remodeling process?



In June, Mark explained ‘the ABCs of Looking for a Contractor’ to readers of MassRealty.com. In September, the website offered Mark's Aging-in-Place remodeling strategies.

Charlie was interviewed about chimney restoration for Old House Journal’s July issue.

Qualified Remodeler magazine featured a recent project in Cambridge where we designed a guest suite/music room within an existing carriage house.  Julie outlined the process for reporter John Caulfield.

In August, CAR carpenter Alex Romanowicz was pictured on the front page of the Boston Globe installing a door at a Cambridge project.



Events CalendarOpen House at the Boston Athenaeum:
Sunday, November 2 from 12 – 4 p.m.

Have you wondered what is behind those mysterious red leather doors on Beacon Street?  Find out at the Boston Athenaeum's Open House and learn about is history, its collections, and its National Historic Landmark home.  For more information, visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/openhouse


Family Design Day:
Saturday, November 8 at 10:30 a.m.

Participate in the Boston Society of Architects' Learning by Design event Bridge Design Day. Parents and children ages 5-13 are invited to learn about the many bridge types that span Boston’s waterways and then design and build their own bridges for the Fort Point Neighborhood. At the BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston. Tickets are $8. For more information, call 617/391-4039.

Washington Elm Exhibit & Reception:
Thursday, November 13

For 210 years an elm tree stood on Cambridge Common, and beginning in the 1830s, legend spread that George Washington had rallied the American Army from beneath its branches in 1775.  When it fell in 1923, pieces were cut and distributed to each state, to Mount Vernon, and to various organizations.  Artist Bruce Myren will discuss the exhibit he has curated about the tree for the Cambridge Historical Society.  For more details, visit www.cambridgehistory.org, and for a preview of the exhibit, visit www.brucemyren.com.


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Charlie Allen Renovations | 91 River Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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