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What’s old is new again

Minglewood Homes Chatham Old Village

Interior designer Susan Hamilton incorporated a fairly neutral, coastal color palette throughout the main house with blue, white and aqua accents. “We wanted people to walk in and feel like they were in Chatham,” she says. Photo by Timothy P. Bailey

As work began on the project, distance proved to be too great a burden for the two men—one lives in Florida, the other in Texas—so Minglewood purchased the property from them and moved forward with renovations. In restoring the main house, remodeling the guesthouse, and repurposing the garage, Smith and his team at Minglewood gave these living spaces new life, providing all the comforts of modern living while maintaining the property’s historic integrity.

“This house has been here for 200 years—we want to ensure it is here for another 200,” Smith says.

Starting with the main house, Minglewood worked from the bottom up. With the structure practically sitting in the dirt, the team lifted the house and installed a full-poured foundation, using brick as the face. Moving inside, Smith and company discovered horsehair plaster and no insulation behind the walls. “It’s a messy job, but we had to gut the interior of the house out,” Smith says, noting that sheetrock and blueboard plaster were installed along with spray foam insulation. Modern plumbing, heating and electrical systems were also installed. On the first floor, they were able to save original wood beams and the center chimney—a focal point of the home—but the historic wainscoting and much of the wide, southern-yellow-style pine flooring was unsalvageable.

Nonetheless, Smith and his team replaced the old flooring with matching pine and had the trim remanufactured to replicate the original—a three-part beaded wainscot running horizontal and painted in a muted blue-gray. “It’s a little unusual to do gray trim with white walls,” says the project’s interior designer, Susan Hamilton, “but it makes the house feel more historic and warmer, and it highlights the wainscoting, especially in the living room area.” Additionally, all of the old windows were replaced with historic six-over-six grill patterned windows.

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