Architect: Keller/Eaton Architects. Interior Designer: Deborah Geller
Photographs by Peter Krupenye
The original home is hardly recognizable.
This 1888 Larchmont Victorian features numerous bay windows, porches, and ornate Victorian elements, but unfortunately a 1930s hurricane devastated the property. As sections of the home were rebuilt over time, the structure became unrecognizable and devoid of its original charm. This is where architects Keller/Eaton started and worked their magic.
When it was built, summer cottages in Larchmont Manor, like this one, were wood-construction Victorians designed for New York City’s elite who were seeking an escape from the summer heat.
“As part of the project, we had to work with historical photographs from the Larchmont Historical Society, to try to understand the original look, layout, and design of the home,” says Robert Keller. “We wanted to replicate that as best as we could.”
Keller/Eaton Architects restored this home’s Victorian grandeur.
The homeowners wanted a house that would keep its integrity while being comfortable and functional, with everything a modern family needs. Maximizing views of the water — and safeguarding against damage from future storms — was also a priority.
Keller/Eaton conducted historical research to preserve and reinstate several original details, like this staircase.
The team was able to keep several original elements, including the foyer floor, the grand staircase, and the fireplaces. “One of the most interesting original elements is the ceiling in the family room,” notes Dianne Eaton. “The ceiling, which looks like wainscoting, is actually the repurposed floor from an unused third-floor bedroom.”
With any older home, however, there are always challenges. “The first was integrating the requirements of a 21st-century growing family while still honoring and maintaining the home’s historic past,” observes Keller. “Since the home is on the water overlooking Larchmont Harbor, with exposure to the Long Island Sound, we had to make the home conform to the new FEMA regulations, which included, but were not limited to, breakaway walls in the garage and steel framing.”
In the end, the house turned out beautifully. “We are so pleased with the results that there is nothing we would do differently,” says Keller.
“The family room, with the spiral staircase, catwalk library, and repurposed ceiling.”
During the renovation, the team also designed the kitchen, family room, and living room.
Keller/Eaton’s Historical-Home Tips
► Ignore any bad redo’s or renovations. “Look past them and try to find the original home in there,” say Keller and Eaton.
► Don’t lose the character of the original building and over-renovate.