Home Tour: Farmhouse Renovation
In restoring an 1840s farmhouse in Pennsylvania, interior designer Paul Ochs replaced the metal railing of the porch with a wood one and added a new standing-seam metal roof, copying details from an original porch on the opposite side of the house.
Before: Porch & Carriage House
A carriage house on the verge of collapse and beyond repair was removed from the property.
A large mudroom with a bluestone countertop from a local quarry puts outdoor gear within easy reach; an existing plank ceiling required hours of scraping, sanding, caulking, and painting to look good again.
Wide-plank hemlock floors were buried under linoleum for decades.
The new kitchen appears to have been there forever. Custom open shelving, an enameled cast-iron sink, bluestone counters, and period cabinet hardware complete the old-fashioned country look.
An oversize range provides extra cooking power for big dinners. Unable to find a prefabricated range hood that he liked, interior designer and owner Paul Ochs designed one and had it manufactured by a kitchen-supply store in New York City.
The owner made his own simple window treatments, using wooden brackets and dowels from a catalog. The curtains were sewn with a loop that slips over the dowel, and the shelf on top provides a place to display collections.
In the attic, a pair of low storage spaces were unfinished and unused.
Insulated walls and a new dormer window transform the attic into an extra room, often used for yoga. Drawers recessed into the walls and new closets make the most of what would otherwise be unusable space.
In the bathroom, multicolored slate floor tiles, coated with sealer for durability, create a pleasing feel underfoot. The porcelain pedestal sink is a vintage find, pulled from the trash in a New York City alley. The radiator cover is made with medium-density fiberboard, to protect against shrinking and warping, and has a stainless steel screen affixed to the inside. The wall sconce is a custom design from O'lampia Studio, a lighting store in New York City.
There was little original woodwork in the house. But owner Paul Ochs reused whatever he could. He salvaged pieces of old bead-board paneling from other rooms, cut them to a common size, and used them as wainscot in the bathrooms, with a fresh coat of paint.
The original barn had milking stalls that owner Paul Ochs tore out and replaced with parking areas and storage.
New footings were installed underneath the barn for support. Paul Ochs also created a level driveway with a dry-laid stone retaining wall. Antique windows, taken from the house, bring sunlight into the open interior, which serves as a workspace.
Owner Paul Ochs admired the slight imperfections and varying widths of the original clapboard siding. Almost all of it was retained and restored.
Fresh paint and trim breathes new life into a solid foundation.
To create beautiful entrances on a budget, Paul Ochs worked with a door manufacturer to modify one of their stock designs. The double-glazed glass-paneled doors let in light in an energy-efficient way.
Finding the bluestone slabs that lead to the front door was one of owner Paul Ochs's final projects. He finally hit upon the two pieces in a salvage yard -- they had come from a demolished bank in nearby Honesdale, Pennsylvania.