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Diary of a Mad Renovator: The Lift's Arrived

Written by Jaqui Lividini

This week was our last visit to the house before they start lifting it, which was a somewhat melancholy and bittersweet experience. We fell in love with the house as a small, authentic Connecticut beach cottage. So while lifting it is, in fact, saving it, I feel like I’m saying goodbye to the house that was. Inside will still be the same—even better now—but the outside will change dramatically after the house is raised.

The interiors have started to all come together, which made our last visit there very exciting, as well as bittersweet.  On this trip, we saw the newly installed window that sits between the kitchen and the great room. There used to be a door there, but we’d taken it out: It’s amazing how much of a difference that window makes. Now when you walk into the house and head toward the kitchen, you’re struck with a beautiful ocean view. I had felt there wasn’t enough light coming from that direction—the window was the perfect solution.  

New window from the inside


Window brings in more light.


New window is left of the bay window


The Design Development team and I have also spent a lot of time looking at the staircase in the great room.  It was at one point enclosed behind a wall.  I insisted on taking the wall down, maybe too hastily, and now I don’t quite know what to do with the staircase. The Design Development team and I debated our different options: In the end we decided to increase the width of the staircase and give it exposure to the great room.  

The problem staircase.


The list goes on: We also had to determine where the porthole window would go in the upstairs hall. We decided to place it in the wall between the hall and  Calliope’s room, perfectly centered between the location where her two twin beds will be (which will also then be perfectly centered on the stairwell at the other side of the wall). I like to peek into her room whenever I come upstairs–and now I’ll be peeking through a gorgeous porthole with yet another spectacular water view.

I’m leaving on vacation, and when I come back, our house will be 8 feet higher! I don’t know how to feel about it. I have a love/hate relationship with change, especially when it comes to the house I’m renovating!

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