You may not be familiar with the term "gilded age", but you'd likely recognize homes of that era if you saw them. Built during the late 19th century (1860-1900), these large houses embodied opulence and grace, with large, airy rooms, ornate plasterwork, and manicured garden spaces. Turning one of these into an eco-friendly, sustainable residence is a daunting task, but as this gallery proves, it's far from impossible. Stonlea, a perfect example of gilded era gorgeousness, has been transformed into New England's first net-zero summer home.
Polly Guth, Stonelea’s 87-year-old owner, hired H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture to renovate the 10,000 square-foot home, and the transformation has been extraordinary. Built in 1870, the New Hampshire building was originally designed as a summer residence, complete with servants’ quarters, scullery, and outbuildings. Guth had walls knocked out in order to make the kitchen accessible to the main house, had the entire home insulated properly, and brightened the colonial home with new paint and furnishings. 400-foot-deep geothermal wells were dug to provide the home with heat, and a solar field provides all the electricity needed. Bringing this house into the 21st century was certainly a labor of love, and with all of its renovations and eco-savvy upgrades, it will undoubtedly be enjoyed for generations to come.
If you’re interested in learning more about it, the story of this historic renovation has been published as Stonlea: A Timeworn, Gilded Age Survivor Transformed.
Images via the New York Times online
The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!