North End Modern Update 4

Preserving the history in one of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods

Before Mark Clark and his building team began working on this Boise North End home, it had a small kitchen, a dilapidated garage and traditional styling that paid heed to early 1900s architecture but didn’t fit the style and needs of the homeowner. Though much of the original home was preserved, this home has been artistically updated to function for the modern family.

The homeowner insisted on retaining some of the original charm of the house, and these details can be found throughout the home. The lead glass windows were removed, then repainted and repaired before being reinstalled. The texture of the glass is something you won’t find in newer homes, and when the sunlight shines through, it’s obvious why these were such an important piece to the renovation. Some original light fixtures remained—including the gold-toned Art Deco chandelier in the dining room—while some new fixtures were purchased that blend right in. Additionally, you’ll find the classic glass doorknobs and an original clawfoot tub that was pulled from a downstairs bathroom, renovated, then reinstalled with a built-in shower in an upstairs bathroom.

One of the major requests from the homeowner for updating this home was to have a spacious and contemporary kitchen. Even if you were just to peek through the front glass door, you’d see straight back to the sparkling new kitchen. The majority of this space was added onto the original home, complete with a second story above it and an attached master suite. The painted cement tiles by 

the Clé company were chosen partly because of their style, but also because other tiles were too thick to match up with the existing wood floors. The low profile of these tiles brings a touch of Danish modern design to this minimalist home. The French doors lead out to a brand new deck shaded by mature trees, making this an ideal space for summer dinner parties.

Behind the home is a brand new structure where the old garage used to be. Besides serving as a two-car garage, the second story is a perfectly-sized studio apartment with its own kitchenette and bathroom. Despite the typically small plots of Boise’s North End, this home truly takes advantage of the entire space, while still leaving room for a grassy yard and garden.

Restoring an old home in Boise means more hassle and paperwork than starting from scratch—in that the historic preservation commission must sign off on any major renovations within a historic district—but the end product is worth it. In a city where very few buildings have been around longer than 20 years, it’s necessary to preserve the history of in one of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods, while realizing that modern updates are essential.