Couple Bucks Neighborhood Trend in Cherry Home
Pair maintains the historic character of their home instead of tearing it down and starting over
A PAIR OF architectural drawings hanging in the mudroom of Amin and Angie Mehrizi’s home depicts more than a century of changes within the walls of the historic structure.
The drawings show the original exterior elevation and floor plan of the 1914 home, the layout when the couple purchased it, and the latest, post-renovation floor plan. Angie Mehrizi calls the artwork one of her favorite things in the house, explaining, “It tells the story of our home.”
For the Mehrizis, the story started with the purchase of the 1,500-square-foot home in the Cherry neighborhood in 2006. The couple loved the vibe of the neighborhood and the historic charm of the home, but knew it wouldn’t work once they started a family without a renovation.
“The previous owner had done a renovation,” which included altering the floor plan, and shrinking the number of bedrooms from three to two, “but it didn’t fit with our lifestyle or tastes,” she says.
After living in the house for almost 10 years—and spending countless hours considering their options—the Mehrizis hired Mike Doyne of Fryday and Doyne Architects and embarked on an eight-month renovation last year. Their goal: Increase the square footage and modernize the space, while retaining the original character of their Craftsman home, including its curb appeal.
“In a neighborhood where everyone is leveling historic homes and building new, we wanted to keep the integrity of the house,” Mehrizi says.
Adding square footage to the back and side of the house preserved the original front façade, including a wide front porch and oversized wood windows. Charcoal paint replaced lackluster tan siding, adding a modern feel to the historic home. The couple commissioned a custom front door designed to fit the period of the home.
Inside, the Mehrizis wanted to create an open floor plan, add more square footage—including a third bedroom and powder room—and update the entire house with modern amenities.
The renovation involved shifting the arrangement of the rooms in the main living area. The kitchen, once cramped in the back corner, takes center stage between the living and dining rooms, making it the true heart of the home. The dining room moved to the front of the house and the living room, which once faced the street, now overlooks the backyard (with a new door leading out to a covered deck).
The kitchen is a fresh mix of modern and traditional: White cabinets, marble countertops, and a farm sink are juxtaposed with brass cabinet pulls and fixtures, glass globe lights hanging over the island, and sculptural teak barstools with woven seats from West Elm. As a contrast to the white-on-white color palette, the oversized island is painted navy blue.
“I always wanted a nice kitchen where everyone gathered, and we finally have that,” Mehrizi says. “It’s definitely my favorite room in the house.”
Behind the kitchen, an addition created space for a laundry room, powder room, and nook that serves as a drop zone for cell phones, keys, the dog’s leash, and other assorted items that used to clutter up the main living space.
In the powder room, Mehrizi proved that a small space could still have major impact. Navy geometric wallpaper pairs with a gold mirror and lantern-inspired light fixture; both offer stunning contrast to the white fixtures.
Two bedrooms and a renovated guest bathroom replaced the original master bedroom. The bath features a classic combination of white subway tiles and navy cabinets. Without room for a linen closet, Mehrizi opted to install a navy tower cabinet to store towels and bath toys for her and Amin’s three-year-old son, Allen. A colorful elephant shower curtain adds a touch of whimsy.
The former second bedroom grew into a master suite, including a giant walk-in closet and spa-like master bathroom with graphic black-and-white concrete tile floors, pale green cabinets, marble countertops, and white metal light fixtures. A walk-in shower features glass doors and gleaming white tiles. Mehrizi wanted—but couldn’t find—a pair of framed mirrors to hang over the dual vanities. A friend suggested having mirrors cut to fit the space; a local framing shop added thin black frames.
“It was such a creative idea, something I wouldn’t have thought of, and they turned out perfectly,” she says.
The addition also created a new entrance at the side of the house.
Before the renovation, the couple parked on the street and carried their groceries and stroller up the front stairs and into the house. The addition of a driveway offered enough room for their cars and a stair-free second access to the house; the entrance also doubles as a mudroom.
The floors are a graphic combination of brick pavers and hardwood, adding interest to the space; a transom window between the mudroom and main floor was made from one of the original fireplace mantels; and a bench and cubbies provide much-needed storage. Steps lead up from the mudroom into the main living area and down to the basement, where a once-cramped crawl space was dug out to become a light, bright playroom.
The house isn’t the only thing that’s changed since the Mehrizis bought their home. The Cherry neighborhood is experiencing changes that excite the couple as much as their renovation.
“There is so much to do within walking distance of our house, and our neighbors are amazing; there is such a sense of community here,” Mehrizi explains. “This is definitely our forever home.”