Tag Archives: home renovation

Renovating a Historic Cape Cod Home

At one of the charming historic homes on Cotuit’s famed “Loop,” the loose circle comprised of Main Street and Oceanview Avenue, we took what had been a little-used sitting room and created a space that works as both a family room and a guest suite for the homeowners’ frequent summer visitors. Along with bathroom and window updates, our work maintained the home’s history while incorporating tasteful modern touches.

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Like so many antique homes on Cape Cod, this one had been added onto several times over the years. The space we renovated is a wing that juts off the back of the home that is likely more than a century old.

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Working within the existing footprint of the space, we gutted it in its entirety, with the exception of a wood-burning fireplace. The inner workings of the fireplace – which we had restored – remained, as did its brick façade. We created a new, custom-milled mantle and surround with a clean, simple design that is period appropriate to the home.

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After gutting the space, we left the ceiling open. While the once-low ceiling made the room feel cramped, the new cathedral one lends an airy feel, which makes the space feel larger, as does the neutral palette of light gray and white. The flooring, a ceramic tile that resembles white-washed wood flooring, adds to the open feel and is a durable choice for this summer beach home.

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At the end of the wing, we added an array of floor-to-ceiling windows with a sliding door. The windows flood the room with natural light and maximize the view of the pastoral, private backyard. A small deck just outside the sliding door is just large enough for a pair of Adirondack chairs, creating a peaceful space for a slow summer evening.

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An additional entrance opens onto an adjacent stone terrace.

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Arranged around the fireplace, which is set in the middle of the room, is a pair of comfortable chairs. At the end of the space closest to the sliding door is a casual arrangement of wicker furniture. At the opposite end of the room is a sleeping alcove, with a bed tucked into the corner next to an additional window.

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A full bathroom, with a soaking tub and shower, opens off of the sleeping area. We installed a durable porcelain floor with a classic wood appearance, in keeping with the traditional look of the home. A period-appropriate lantern fixture and sconce mirror lighting lend a sense of history as well.

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Finally, the home’s windows needed updating. Combining modern hardware and a traditional aesthetic, we installed historically correct 6-over-6 panes with a true mullion. Best of both worlds!

Do you own a historic home on the Cape that could use some updates? Our expert team is ready to make your vision a reality. Contact us today for more information.

2019 Spaces: Creating a Master Suite for Your Cape Cod Home

Have you resolved to make improvements to your Cape Cod home in 2019? Allow us to suggest beginning the transformation with your master bedroom. With the help of the expert team at C.J. Riley Builder, revamping this oh-so-important space can prove far less pricey and disruptive than you may fear. To kick off the new year, we can create a stunning new space in your home, complete with several benefits:


While some renovations are done primarily for your family’s enjoyment, kitchen and bath remodeling is a good investment, as is creating a master suite. Based on average resale value just one year after completing a master suite project, you can expect a nearly 75% ROI. Whether you plan to sell one day or just want to keep up with the market, a master bedroom overhaul will do you favors in the long run.


As a Cape Cod homeowner, you’re no stranger to overnight guests—the summer months can feel like a merry-go-round of visitors spending time on our gorgeous island. Turning your master bedroom into a master suite, with your own en suite bathroom, will earn you some precious, well-deserved privacy when you’ve got a full house. You’ll no longer need to emerge from your sanctuary in the early hours and wait your turn for a shower before a family outing. Doesn’t that sound better?

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In this home in Osterville, the en suite master bath isn’t especially large, yet it contains a sleek glass shower, dual vanity and his-and-hers sinks, an absolute must for many couples. Incorporating this space creates more convenience for the homeowners and promises a smoother transition when guests come to stay.


The best benefit of a master suite project? More room!

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In the photo above, from the same Osterville build, the master bedroom functions as a spacious escape. Doors leading to the private terrace open up the room and flood the uncluttered space with natural light.

Overwhelmed by the thought of a big renovation project? Not to worry. A total home overhaul isn’t necessary if you want more out of your master bedroom. We can re-purpose existing space, such as removing a wall between a bedroom and an adjoining room (like an outdated playroom or little-used dining area). Alternatively, we can build a bump-out addition to accommodate an en-suite bath, luxurious walk-in closet, or a “bonus” space that can be used as an office or to showcase some striking furniture, as in the photo below. You deserve it.

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Aging in Place

If Cape Cod is your forever home, it’s never too early to incorporate some aging-in-place renovations to prepare for the future. One way to accomplish this is building or relocating a master suite to the first floor of your home.

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Another consideration is installing a zero-threshold, accessible shower in your master bathroom, as we did in the custom renovation project pictured above. Improved accessibility without sacrificing space or style is what we’re all about.

A custom-designed and built master suite can make your whole home feel brand new. Get in touch with the team at C.J. Riley today to get started on your Cape Cod home’s 2019 transformation.

Before and After Bliss: Home Renovation Inspiration

At C.J. Riley Builder, we love helping Cape Codders transform their homes. So when we’re not out literally renovating, we’re prowling the internet for before-and-after home renovation inspo. Check out one of our recent renovation projects, and a few online finds we love, below.

This kitchen renovation featured on ArchitecturalDigest.com was one for the books. The space was so cramped and dingy that even its well-meaning lighting fixture seemed obtrusive.

Opening up the space was the first step in the room’s transformation. Clean lines – the waterfall edge on the counter, streamlined cabinetry without handles – add a contemporary feel to the new kitchen. Love the on-trend blue accent cabinets, and the unexpected pops of black used in the pendant lights and stools.

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This kitchen transformation we found on CountryLiving.com is so satisfying. Even the high-end appliances (is that an Aga?!) couldn’t save the room from feeling dark and dated.

Although the size of the kitchen remains unchanged, a fresh palette of creamy hues lightens the look considerably. Open shelving used in lieu of upper cabinets make the space feel larger and add texture, as does the shiplap paneling.

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before and after kitchen

In yet another kitchen remodel before-and-after story, also on ArchitecturalDigest.com, what was 1970s ski-chalet style run amok is now all about timeless style.

The loft space above is now open to the kitchen, adding airy appeal. New windows and a nearly white-on-white palette make the formerly dingy room feel fresh. Touches of natural wood add rustic flair, perfect for a slope-side home.

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It isn’t just before-and-kitchen remodeling ideas that fire up our creative energies.

While this master bedroom, another ArchitecturalDigest.com find, was okay before, the after photo proves how much of a difference even small changes can make.

The odd cabinetry behind the sofa has been replaced with oversized windows. Hello, sunshine! With the swinging doors leading to the patio, which chew up a lot of floor space, swapped out for another window, there is now enough room for a sitting area. Shiplap paneling and woven blinds add dimension.

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Another example of small changes making a major difference is our own renovation of Designers Walk, an Osterville retail space that had seen better days.

The overall footprint remained unchanged, but with the tired carpet replaced with fresh hardwood flooring that we laid out in a chevron pattern, a soothing palette of white and gray, and dramatic hanging light fixtures, this “walk” is now worthy of its “designers” moniker.

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Ready to write your own before and after story? We’re here to help. Get in touch today to discuss how our expert team can bring your vision to life.