2017 Excellence in Historic Renovation Winner: Stella Maris

The 2017 winner is Lisa DeStefano of DeStefano Architects in Portsmouth

Lisa DeStefano of DeStefano Architects in Portsmouth 
(603) 431-8701

Built in 1902, this Colonial Shingle-style home served as the parish residence for many Christian ministers and their families. Fondly nicknamed Stella Maris, meaning “The Star of the Sea,” the house was purchased by architect Lisa DeStefano in 2015 and renovated to become her family’s home (see Ready for a New Century in New Hampshire Home, January/February 2017).

The renovation focused on restoration of the exterior and giving new life to the interior while being sensitive to the home’s original, classic design. Foam insulation was added to the roof and wall assemblies; a new high-efficiency boiler was incorporated into the home’s design; lead paint and asbestos were removed; and doors throughout the home were refurbished. The existing windows were removed and fully repaired; caulked and sealed; and then reinstalled with the addition of custom exterior storm panels.

The kitchen was relocated from the rear to the front of the home to create connectivity between the heart of the home and the front porch with street views. Upstairs spaces were updated to accommodate visiting family members. A dilapidated rear porch was remodeled into an outside living space. Gardens were restored and enhanced.

Judges said: This project is a sensitive and thoughtful renovation of an old house that respects both its history as well as the current residents. Wonderfully done!

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October 2018


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