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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



We recently enjoyed the opportunity to remodel three floors of a nineteenth-century Cambridge home with our project partners, architect Tom Downer and designer Jayme Kennerknecht.

  nineteenth-century Cambridge  
  • The owners – a family of four that includes both a teenager and a toddler – wanted a house better suited to entertaining but also appropriate for family together time. Specific improvements on their wish list included a playroom that could handle differing family needs, a custom bar for entertaining, a new fireplace, and an inviting kitchen that would remain distinct but be better connected to adjoining rooms.
  • Adding a fireplace to the living room involved rebuilding the entire back wall of the home. The fireplace mantel was custom designed to match an existing mantel in the nearby dining room, which is original to the home.
  Playroom and Fireplace  
  • In the playroom, care was taken to create zones for three members of the family: The mother enjoys crafting and now has a station directly below existing skylights, the teenager has a semi-private nook at the back of the space for relaxing, and the youngest in the family can enjoy toys and games placed along one wall alongside a rug for playing on the floor. On the same level, we created a separate guest bedroom with a new closet and a window designed to match other windows throughout the home.
  • The kitchen is fully upgraded and custom designed to accommodate the mother’s cooking habits, with specific elements including a farmer’s sink in the island and a stainless steel counter with an integrated sink for food preparation placed behind it on the counter. To improve storage in the much-used room, corner drawer units were installed instead of lazy Susan cabinets. Also, the homeowners were not interested in an open floor plan, but did want to improve access to the living room and yard beyond. This was achieved by expanding the opening between the two rooms allowing the cook to engage with family and guests and have a clear view when children are playing in the yard.

10 THINGS TO CONSIDER If You’re Planning a Bathroom Renovation According to the National Association of Home Builders, the bathroom is the most remodeled room in the house. If you’re planning to take the plunge, here are some points to consider.

10 Things to Consider1. How often do you use your bathtub?   If you’re planning to be in the house for many years, consider your needs as you age. A curb-less shower may be your best option for future comfort and safety.

2. The bathroom can be a hazardous place. If you will be including a tub, a grab bar is a simple add-on that will make it safer to get in and out.

3. How much storage do you need inside the bath?If you’ve got a closet nearby, that could be an ideal spot for storing extra towels and toiletries. The bath is usually the smallest room in the house, so be sure to use the space wisely.

4. In older houses that predate indoor plumbing, the bathroom was an unplanned addition to the floor plan. Is yours placed sensibly? If you don’t like the placement of the room, it may be possible to reposition the entrance or create an entry alcove for better privacy.

5. Does your bath lack natural light? When adding an exterior window isn’t possible, transom windows and frosted glass door panes can do a lot to improve the situation.

6. Of course, the bathroom is a wet space and you’ll need to make sure that moisture is quickly and efficiently removed from the space. The humidity produced by a hot shower or bath can lead to mold and damage to walls and floors, so be sure that proper ventilation is included in your plan.

7. There are many interesting sink designs out there, but does your favorite include enough room on the basin edge to place toiletries and other items?

8. Is radiant heating on your wish list? Discuss this with your contractor early in the design process. Other comfort options to consider range from shower steam jets to heated towel racks.

9. How long will the process take? Your contractor should be able to give you a good estimate and likely, he or she will caution you to pad the timeline in case of unexpected issues. What will you do during the renovation? If you have only one bathroom, your contractor may be able to schedule the work to allow use of the space for most of the process.

10. And finally, the most obvious item for the to-do list: how much money do you want to spend? Like the kitchen, the price range for a bathroom renovation can vary tremendously, based in large part on product and material selections.



The Boston Globe featured the kitchen and living room of the project we shared above, speaking with Charlie and designer Jayme Kennerknecht

Boston Magazine profiled our third floor renovation from that same project on their website

Julie was interviewed by the online Edge Media Network about our portfolio of remodeling solutions for older homes

Julie also shared one of our favorite bathroom renovations, which introduced a shower to what had been a small half-bath, with readers of Kitchen & Bath Design News

Charlie’s work renovating a triple-decker in Cambridge was included in a Yankee magazine feature called “The Restorers: Meet New England’s Most Talented Old-Home Guardians.”

In our last issue we mentioned that Mark had offered aging-in-place design solutions to Mass Realty.com.  Here’s a link where you can read the article



Events CalendarFrom the Nile to the Euphrates
Featuring a rich assortment of antiquities collected by museum founder David Gordon Lyon, the exhibition allows visitors to explore the history of the ancient Near East at the Harvard Semitic Museum. See Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, ancient Palestinian pottery, Egyptian funerary art, and more. Free, Mondays – Fridays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through December 2016. 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge.

Cambridge Historical Society Spring Benefit
Celebrate the Cambridge Historical Society’s 110th anniversary with cocktails, dinner and a program featuring speakers including Susan Ware, senior advisor on the history of women at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Thursday, June 4 at the Cambridge Boat Club, 2 Gerry’s Landing Road, Cambridge. Tickets are $150 each. Info and RSVP to rprevite@cambridgehistory.org.

Library LEGO Time
Do your kids love to build? Children ages 5 and up are invited to Children’s Room at the Cambridge Library to design and build amazing LEGO structures. LEGO pieces will be provided. Monday, June 8 from 4 – 5 p.m. at the Main Library’s Curious George Room, 449 Broadway, Cambridge.


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

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