September 27, 2023


New Estate

A Berkshires Dream Home That Wouldn’t Want Renovating

4 min read

In the event you don’t attempt, you’ll by no means know what’s doable. That’s the philosophy Tracy Crawford adopted when she got down to purchase and renovate her dream dwelling.

For seven years, Ms. Crawford had lived in an satisfactory home in Pittsfield, Mass., together with her husband, Craig Crawford, and kids, Riley, now 18, and Maggie, 14. However at any time when they drove into the town heart, they handed a 1938 home that was impressively giant — 5,500 sq. toes, it turned out — on a bucolic six-acre property with a barn.

“I used to be all the time like, ‘Oh, there’s my dream home,’” stated Ms. Crawford, 54, the proprietor of Evergreen Home Real Estate. “Perhaps someday.”

That day appeared to reach in September 2017 when the home, which was owned by a financial institution, was listed on the market. However the asking value of $1.3 million was too excessive, so Ms. Crawford didn’t pursue it.

A yr later, it was nonetheless in the marketplace, and the value had been step by step diminished to about $1 million. That’s after they started desirous about making a suggestion. Suspecting that the financial institution would need to be rid of it, the couple bid probably the most they have been prepared to pay: $736,000.

It was a protracted shot, however value a attempt. “I stated to Craig, ‘We simply must make a suggestion, and in the event that they take it, we’re going to do that,’” Ms. Crawford stated.

She additionally made her husband one other promise: In the event that they did purchase it, they wouldn’t must renovate. Mr. Crawford, 53, the founding father of Cadence Effects, a visual-effects firm that has labored on motion pictures and TV exhibits like “The Whale” and “Recreation of Thrones,” agreed.

“We each stated, ‘If it’s meant to be, they may settle for it,’” Ms. Crawford stated. “Positive sufficient, they did.”

After closing in June 2019, Ms. Crawford was glad, however it didn’t take her lengthy to start out desirous about how she may enhance the property, regardless of the promise she had made her husband.

It started with the two-story barn. The upstairs was an artwork studio, however Ms. Crawford determined to remodel it into an condominium. “I assumed, let’s simply redo it and have it for visitors,” she stated.

The yard was densely wooded, so the couple had a lot of it cleared to open up views and make method for a brand new pool and pool home. That was how they realized the rooms alongside the again of the principle home weren’t ultimate. Earlier renovations had left them small and darkish, linked by a mazelike route.

To treatment the scenario, they employed Pamela Sandler, a neighborhood architect. “There have been many stunning elements of the home, however they weren’t cohesive,” Ms. Sandler stated.

To repair that, “we blew out the again,” she stated, a venture that included demolishing a sunroom and a part of the outdated kitchen to put in an expanse of home windows and sliding-glass doorways that open to a brand new coated porch. She additionally modified the ground plan to create a beneficiant mudroom and expanded kitchen.

With such a big venture, Ms. Crawford started considering she wanted an inside designer, too. However who? Her favourite was Heidi Caillier, a Seattle-based designer who created conventional interiors with a contemporary twist that Ms. Crawford admired on Instagram.

She assumed that as a result of Ms. Caillier lived on the opposite facet of the nation, she wouldn’t have an interest within the venture. However the one technique to know was to ask. When she did, she discovered that Ms. Caillier had lived close by as a toddler and was thrilled to be concerned.

“Tracy’s inspiration board was full of footage from my portfolio, which was so beautiful,” Ms. Caillier stated. “The entire design really feel for this home is Previous World British with outdated Americana, with numerous antiques, classic and sample.”

After working with Ms. Caillier over Zoom and electronic mail, the Crawfords moved into their barn condominium in September 2021 to permit Berkshire Development & Logging to start the inside overhaul.

The outcome was a house that appears virtually as if it hasn’t been modified in a long time — with a mudroom completed in floral Farrow & Ball wallpaper and wooden floors painted in a diamond sample; a lounge wrapped in sage-colored paneling; and a eating room with scenic murals painted by James Mobley. The furnishings are a mixture of antiques (assume beaten-up Swedish cabinets), new items with patina (the kitchen island was made by Matthew Cox) and modern gadgets (together with the lounge couch and a painted puzzle art work from BDDW).

The household moved again into the home in September 2022, whereas the ending work continued, and the renovation was largely accomplished simply earlier than the top of the yr. In all, the fee was about $1.8 million. (Subsequent month, the venture can be featured in Ms. Caillier’s e-book, “Recollections of Dwelling,” printed by Rizzoli.)

Though Ms. Crawford initially thought of the home her eternally dwelling, the method was so rewarding, she stated, that “I might do all of it once more — I’m dying to work with Heidi once more.”

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