A Decaying 1920s Home Is Saved With a Mullet Renovation
An American Foursquare, once in shambles, has gained a new lease on life as the fully restored and updated Nolintha Residence.
The clients, a brother-sister duo and pair of successful restaurateurs, tapped local architecture firm in situ studio to renovate the historic structure into a three-bedroom home with a layout conducive to large food-related events.
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While the brief was somewhat unusual, the biggest sticking point was the Raleigh Historic District Commission’s (RHDC) requirement for the front and sides of the home to remain largely unchanged—a tall order for restoration given the home’s decaying state.
"The brick mortar had turned to powder in many locations and most exterior trim was rotten," explain the architects of the 2,447-square-foot home's former condition. "Water, freely admitted into the brick veneer cavity through open mortar joints, was rotting the walls."
Moreover, the home’s former use as a rental unit with three separate tenant spaces had led to a "haphazard" layout with compromised load-bearing elements.
Consequently, the architects gut-renovated the house, tearing out much of the interior framing and installing new structural members from the top down. The plumbing, mechanical, and electricity systems were also replaced.
Since the RHDC only controlled the refurbishment of the home’s front and side facades, the architects took liberties with giving the interior a light-filled contemporary refresh.
Walls were removed from the ground floor to create a more open-plan layout for the kitchen, dining room, and living area, which are clustered around a centrally located bathroom/storage unit.
Upstairs, the architects designed three bedroom suites—one for a guest and one for each sibling.
In contrast to the traditional frontage, the back of the home is surprisingly modern in an architectural style that’s been cheekily dubbed the "mullet."
"The finished house, once on the verge of being unrecoverable, now has another fifty years of service ahead," conclude the architects.
Builder/General Contractor: Southeastern Properties and Development Company
Structural Engineer: Lysaght & Associates
Lighting Design: in situ studio
Cabinetry Design: Dopko Cabinetry