Karen Watson and her husband, Stuart, refurbished their whole circa 1860 Venetian Gothic town house in the South End, but the most significant overhaul was in the kitchen. Karen partnered with kitchen designer Barbara Baratz of Venegas and Company to re-imagine the garden-floor space, both functionally and aesthetically.
“The first thing she told me,” Baratz recalls, “was that she wanted the kitchen to feel like the rest of the house.” Before making choices about cabinetry and finishes, Baratz reworked the layout. She instituted a classic L-shaped setup, complete with an island, to replace the existing galley formation.
Karen, who owns Acorn Hill Design in Boston, had been admiring the home for two months when a For Sale sign appeared. By the next day, the town house was theirs. “The minute we walked in,” Karen says, “it felt like home.”
A glossy charcoal-gray Aga cooker is the kitchen’s centerpiece, set against a glistening backsplash of herringbone-patterned mosaic marble tile.
The cabinetry, which has a traditional milk-paint finish, blends classic and fanciful elements.
Some of the cabinets boast glass fronts with an arched silhouette that mimics the bow windows at the front of the house.
Beneath the glass-front cabinets, bi-fold doors with polished-nickel mesh insets hide the coffee maker, blender, and such.
On either side of the Aga, the cabinets are relatively simple — inset doors with beaded frames, exposed polished-nickel hinges, and glass knobs.
Countertops are of darkly veined calacatta blue marble.
In the eating area, the detail is all in the ceiling. Above the well-worn wood dining table is a magical architectural touch — the ornate frame to an antique skylight, reclaimed from a mansion on Commonwealth Avenue. A huge oval, with spokes radiating from the center and half circles looping around the inner edge like icing on a cake, it’s the room’s crowning glory.