Because she loves the charm and character of older homes, designer Elizabeth Saypol jumped at the opportunity to reimagine an antique house on a hill in Stamford. The circa-1807 colonial was in foreclosure and looked a little tired, but its infrastructure was sound. “It just needed some love and attention to bring it back to life,” says the designer.
Saypol started work on a renovation plan shortly after the owners purchased the home in 2011. As very bad luck would have it, a house fire unexpectedly derailed the project for more than a year. The fire caused a great deal of soot and smoke damage, but it had a silver lining, too.
“I think the fire really clarified the vision we had for the home,” says Saypol. In that moment, she reached out to architect Jimmy Crisp, known for designing graceful, seamless additions to historic homes. Space wasn’t wasted on hallways in the early 1800s, so rooms already flowed nicely from one to the next; some even featured multiple doorways. Because of that, the floor plan didn’t feel formal or cramped, it just needed to be reworked for a young family. “We added a garage, mudroom, powder room, and a butler’s pantry,” says Saypol. “Jimmy had the great idea to bump out the family room, which eventually was enlarged to become a playroom and family room space.”
The scope of the project grew to include upgrades, replacements, and repairs, says Crisp. “Our goal was to blend old and new with a floor plan and materials that respected the house’s history but worked for a young family in the twenty-first century,” he says.
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Last Updated: October 15, 2020
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