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Renovation: Modernizing History

By Meghan Baker

Norfolk Guest HouseAlready an established, stylish Victorian inn for 17 years, Janet Perry wanted to take her business to the next level. A level that included renovating and adding a complete three-story addition that would not only compliment the existing inn, but also reflect the beauty and history of the existing structure.

“Personal space was the main reason for the renovation,” she admitted. “It was also our goal to better the business, to make it more upscale.” Thus, the boutique hotel addition was designed to fuse “old world charm and modern influences.”

“It was more then we expected,” Janet admitted as she considered the amount of detail and work going into the year and half long renovation. Walking through the new addition, with a gourmet kitchen and hardwood floors, not a detail was missed including the molding and door fixtures, to create a sense of the original quality. “I specifically asked the builder to make sure all of our trim work was in keeping with the older part of the house. Obviously you know you’re walking into something that was renovated, but it doesn’t look modern.” This meant splurging on the finer touches. “We had the idea that you take a number and double it, but we exceeded even that,” she laughed. The result is a seamless step from the old to the new without jarring the senses.

“We are definitely very pleased. We found someone who could take the time to match the level of expertise from a 150 years ago.” The upstairs suites include in-room Jacuzzi hydro massage tubs and gas fireplaces. A private deck overlooks the expansive garden. They added luxurious touches of heated floors, body jets in the showers and private terraces. These modern touches are infused with rich colors and tiles to maintain the flow from the original home. “Going modern would have been cheaper,” she pointed out. “But people like the historical aspect of the B&B. They can get modern anywhere.” The response has been overwhelming. “It’s been phenomenal. We get a lot of compliments on the building itself, how it was integrated with the old, right down to the craftsmanship. You get what you pay for,” she laughed.

Guests can now enjoy this seven-room inn, which now offers romantic escapes, girlfriend getaways and corporate stays and retreats.

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