Project Highlight: A Charming 1930s Family Home in Lawrence

1930s Family Home in Lawrence, KS

Another Gorgeous Project in the Books for Our Historic Home Renovation Specialists

Our “project highlight” series continues with a Lawrence, Kansas, historic home renovation. By featuring some of the remodels we’ve been so proud to work on, we hope to prove that old houses can be upgraded for the 21st century without losing their one-of-a-kind character and charm.

Historic properties are filled with design elements that reflect the period in which they were built, and this 1930s home was no different. We worked with our clients every step of the way to bring their vision to life, while respecting the architectural features that made their house so unique in the first place.

Read on to discover how we completed another authentic historic home renovation, where we drew inspiration from, and what challenges we had to overcome for a brilliant result.

Phase 1: Getting Started on This Historic Home Renovation

updated kitchen in historic home - Lawrence, KS

Like all of our projects, we began the remodeling process by visiting our client’s property and discussing their home renovation ideas in more detail. Their vision included:

  • An updated kitchen.
  • A roof over the grilling porch.
  • New exterior storm windows and shutters.
  • New awnings above the walkout basement doors.
  • Exterior painting.

One of the most special parts of renovating this historic home was not only the property’s history, but our own history with the family. We worked on a stunning stone American Craftsman home 30 years ago that was owned by the parents of our client. Our project house sits on the same property, designed by locally renowned architect Edward Tanner and built by the homeowner’s grandfather.

Because our client was so familiar with our work, they didn’t think twice about who they wanted to partner with when they were ready to start planning their remodel. They knew we were as committed to their home’s legacy as they were and could help them perfectly marry period-appropriate style with modern functionality.

Phase 2: How We Made Our Client’s Home Renovation Ideas a Reality

period-sourced liner tiles

Looking around our client’s home, there were several details that instantly stood out. We recognized these elements as reflections of the property’s architectural design and were confident we could mirror them in our updates.

The kitchen was among the most prominent areas where we achieved this. Anyone who enters the room is immediately drawn to the custom mural tile piece above the range, which was hand painted and fired to feature the family’s milling business logo printed on flour sacks in the early part of the century.

If you look closer at the period-sourced liner tiles, you’ll notice subtle nods to the surrounding design. The red glaze was selected to accent the larger mural tile, but the wave shapes hint at the round-top doorways, while the repeating sets of four squares mimic the multi-paned windows throughout the home.

We took this same philosophy outside, too. For example, the millwork detail above the property’s front door was replicated under the new kitchen window apron on the exterior of the historic home renovation.

These and more features all work together to create an architecturally accurate home that’s distinctively reminiscent of the 1930s. As always, it was our goal to turn the page of the property’s story, without erasing the existing chapters.

Phase 3: Overcoming Challenges While Renovating This Historic Home

No historic home renovation is free of challenges. The age of these classically stunning structures often means construction methods that don’t meet modern building codes, behind-the-walls surprises, and in this case, difficult-to-source materials.

Take a look at the obstacle our team was presented with when renovating this historic home, and learn what we did to get past it.

  • Project Delays: There were multiple authentic and highly personalized features of this project, including the windows, kitchen tiles, and semi-overlay cabinet drawers and doors. Because of this, elements took longer to source, produce, and ship, pushing out our completion timeline.
  • How We Solved It: Our historic home renovation experts remained in close communication with both the client and suppliers to keep the project moving forward. Although there was a longer wait time, the materials were perfectly executed, surpassing the homeowner’s expectations. Our client can have peace of mind knowing that their home is built to last and continue finding enjoyment in its characteristic beauty for years to come.

Other Details that Made This Historic Home Renovation a Success

awnings for historic home renovation

At Architectural Craftsmen, we take quality craftsmanship to the next level, paying attention to even the smallest details of a historic home renovation. Old houses are much like precious antiques and deserve an extra level of care to ensure a successful outcome. We treat our client’s homes with kid gloves, so a property’s integrity is never compromised.

Here are few more ways our team fulfilled our client’s vision and honored their home’s history:

  • We installed Big Chill appliances from their Classic collection, which evoke the industrial style of the 1930s through their use of mixed metals. The range in glossy Signal Red exquisitely balances cohesion and contrast; it complements the custom tile pieces in the backsplash, yet stands out surrounded by the other soft white appliances.
  • The kitchen faucet and single-basin fireclay apron-front sink fuse style and functionality, representing the utility of the era. Additionally, the light fixtures blend Art Deco and the Industrial Age of design.
  • The new kitchen window and wood storm windows were made with traditional construction methods and hardware. The shutters on the exterior of the home were also custom built to function with authentic hinges and shutter dogs.
  • Our master craftsmen designed and built the awnings above the back basement doors, using their combined knowledge of architecture, design, and history to create a period-appropriate solution. The result: copper roofing, a lattice truss pattern, and turned brass onion corbels.

Partner with Experts in Historic Home Renovation Near You for Your Upcoming Project

Historic home renovations are our specialty. Our dedicated professionals are committed to preserving Kansas City’s oldest properties, so they can be loved, admired, and learned from now and 100 years from now. We’ve lent our expertise on projects all throughout the area, including in neighborhoods like Roanoke, Ward Parkway, South Plaza, Mission Hills, Old Leawood, and more.

Whether you’re dreaming up a single-room remodel or a whole-home renovation, we can help you develop a design that meets your needs without straying from your property’s distinguishable style.

See more examples of completed historic home renovations near you by visiting our online portfolio. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your own home renovation ideas, call (913) 963-2246 or send us a message. We can’t wait to hear from you!