original details in the dining room (above) include the longleaf pine floors,
fireplace mantel, wall panels, and a 9 ½-foot-high ceiling — all given fresh
finishes during the renovation. The interior French doors and transom window
were added as distinctive architectural elements that separate the dining and
living rooms. The existing bay window in the dining room (left) was enhanced
with built-in cabinetry that can double as a buffet.
Construction in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, built the garage first,
so the Douvilles had a place to stay during the renovation. Next to it,
a new porte-cochere adds another period element and creates a passageway from the rear driveway into the yard.
With that completed, the team turned its attention to the more
challenging phase — the renovation of the 3,400-square-foot house.
To Sherry’s point, it wasn’t easy. With its boardinghouse layout (eight
bedrooms on the second and third floors), the house had to be taken
down to the studs before it could become a comfortable retreat for the
Douvilles and their grown children and their families who like to gather
at this house by the sea. On the plus side, the overhaul could be done
by simply reconfiguring interior spaces, with one exception: A mudroom added to the south corner would provide the everyday access the
house was lacking. The room’s sizable impact far exceeds its dimensions. At just 6 feet by 10 feet, it includes two exterior doors (one to
the rear courtyard, one to the front driveway) and a bench, hooks, and
a closet to contain the in-and-out-the-door clutter.
To play up the light and the sparkling view of Narragansett Bay
and Jamestown Harbor from as many rooms as possible, all existing