“I realized there was no other place I wanted to live.”

“I started thinking about where I should live,” said Adams, a retired interior designer. “Absolutely, with my son halfway around the world, I could be anywhere. But as I thought about it and looked at other options, I realized there was nowhere else I wanted to live.”

Exterior of Sue Adams house before renovation.Sue Adams

Kitchen before renovation.Sue Adams

Her home is located above Ipswich Bay in the village of Lannisville in the northeast corner of Cape Ann. Its west-facing orientation makes for stunning views of the sunset over the water, a feature that prompted the addition of the 1980s deck.

Adams shared Tim Thurman, president and designer at Rockport’s Treehouse Designs, a list of changes she wanted to make.

“I wanted an attached garage, a primary suite on the first floor, and to get rid of all the flight factors,” she said.

Thurman laid out the plans, which she took to Nicola Bach of Gloucester’s Bach Builders to implement.

“I’ve seen a lot of Treehouse designs over the years, and I love their aesthetic,” Adams said. “Working with her on previous client projects, I’ve learned that Nikki Bach communicates well. Many builders can swing a hammer, but she has always kept me informed when it comes to budgeting and scheduling expectations.”

Sue moved out of her home in September 2021 with the start of work. Building an extension garage necessitated taking space from the deck and remodeling the back of the house. A gentle slope from the new garage leads to a new back hall that includes a sink, powder room, and entrance to the kitchen. While the kitchen design remained, it underwent a structural change.

“The floor was a mess,” Adams said. “It was too wavy to be sanded, and was going towards the center on all sides. We took out all the cabinets, took the floor, assembled the floor joists, and put in new subfloor and hardwood floors. The floor is now an inch higher, and we made the counters higher too, so that The proportions are the same.

The kitchen renovation leveled the floor and added rich hardwood.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

a side door leading directly to the outside of the kitchen; It is now stored by a small vestibule.

“During the winter of 2015, it snowed in the room as the wind pushed it down the door. There is a lot of exposure to the wind here by the water.”

The new living and dining areas are part of the kitchen; Construction added about 235 square feet to bring the home’s size to 1,200. What had been a front room became a new basic suite, complete with a spacious closet and a luxurious bathroom.

“I don’t want scattered rugs, so there’s radiant heat under the bathroom floor,” Adams said. In the same safety-oriented style, the doorways are 36 inches wide; There are grab bars next to the toilets, showers, and bathtubs; All thresholds have been eliminated.

“Comfort and safety guided all decisions,” she said.

The master bedroom is now on the first floor.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

The basic bathroom has grab handles beside the toilet and in the walk-in shower.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

This past June, Adams returned to her newly configured home.

“I loved the whole process. All those years of designing renovations to other people’s homes made me want to do it myself,” she said. “This was my chance.”

She took advantage of the state’s home modification loan program, which provides interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to people with disabilities.

“But it was shocking how the pandemic and inflation doubled the cost and timeframe for everything,” she said. “For example, I got new upholstered living room chairs that would normally arrive in four months. It took twelve months.”

A little whimsy greets guests using the stairs.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

Now that this is done, she is at her happiest with the light pouring into her kitchen/living room/dining room.

“It brings the room to life,” she said. “And even though I miss the great deck, I still have those gorgeous western views.

“And I have a house that will not bother me.”

See more photos of the house below:

The renovation added 235 square feet to the home.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

Back porch was an addition by the previous owners. A recent update stole some of that space for the new garage.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

The new two-car garage has a car electric charger.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

The house dates back to circa 1840.John Blanding / Globe Staff / The Boston Globe

Regina Cole can be reached at [email protected]. Sign up for Globe’s free real estate newsletter at Boston.com. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed And the Boston.com in Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: