SoPo Cottage is an encore career for Laurel who renovates homes in Southern Maine, specifically in South Portland (SoPo). She usually renovates 1-2 homes per year that date anywhere from 1890 to the 1940s. She is willing to take on projects of any size and the majority of the SoPo Cottage home renovations take up to 10 months. This project in South Portland, Maine was no different. The home was built in 1906 and the land was originally owned by Captain Willard, for whom the Willard Beach of South Portland is named. In 1906, the Soule family bought the land and built a home. The SoPo Cottage team purchased the home with the goal of updating it for today’s homeowners while still preserving some historic elements. They were able to bring out the charm and character of the home within their 10-month timeline.
Just like with any older home, there were challenges and surprises that popped up during the renovation. One of these challenges happened when the team realized there were not any footings under the back of the house. This was a major issue because they wanted to add an addition to the back of the home that required the support of a foundation or additional footings. The SoPo Cottage team made the decision to jack up the house and dig new footings, while still staying within their timeline.
Other surprises that came up throughout the renovation included electrical, heating and plumbing issues above the living room. With their renovation plan, they wanted to retain some historic elements from the home including open joists and beadboard ceiling in the living room. This meant the SoPo team would have to do some heavy-duty work to the electrical, plumbing and heating elements that were above the living room without compromising any features. Fortunately, they were able to navigate through additional and very detailed carpentry work.
Since the home was gutted before they bought the home, no hardware was left behind. To add to the historic charm of the home, the team used Nostalgic Warehouse plate and knob combinations in an effort to preserve the antique style. They decided to pair the New York long plates with Oval, Clear Crystal knobs throughout the interior, and the New York “S” grip entry set for the front door and mudroom entrance. In the mudroom, they also used the Nostalgic Warehouse Classic Hooks in chrome for storage.
“I knew from working in other homes in the area, that a simple, long plate would be historically accurate, with a crystal knob. The oval knob is a bit of an update – but creates a real ‘wow’ factor when people come in the house. Everyone comments on the gorgeous doorknobs! And the hooks in the mudroom look fantastic! We all have a lot of coats up here in Maine, it’s nice to hang them up in style!” – Laurel from SoPo Cottage.