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Style Watch

Brookline beauty

A 1920s home gets a modern kitchen remodel that bridges old and new.

“We didn’t want to take away from the home’s historic details,” says Maryann Thompson. “By moving a few small key areas, we were able to open the space up in a wonderful way.”

Peter Vanderwarker

“We didn’t want to take away from the home’s historic details,” says Maryann Thompson. “By moving a few small key areas, we were able to open the space up in a wonderful way.”

Peter Vanderwarker

Sited on a verdant lot, this stately Colonial Revival, built in 1929, had curb appeal and a foyer trimmed with board-and-batten wainscot. The kitchen, at the back of the Brookline home, however, was cramped and decades out of date. “It was part of a rabbit warren of little rooms that blocked the view of the beautiful backyard,” says architect Maryann Thompson, who worked with the homeowners to fix those problems. She relocated the existing pantry, broom closet, and half bath that had blocked the view of the yard and moved the service spaces to interior walls. Connected to the outdoors with a marvelous wall of glass, the kitchen is more spacious and current, but not so modern that it obscures the traditional integrity of the house.

1 | The kitchen now has room for an eat-in area, complete with Eero Saarinen table, right next to the expansive new windows.

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2 | Sheer woven-linen curtains in a neutral hue add a sense of warmth and privacy.

3 | Recessed mini swivel lights illuminate the room. “The fixtures provide a little pool of light that can be oriented toward a specific spot,” instead of lighting the air, says Thompson.

4 | Open shelves offer storage for dishware while creating a veiled view from the cooking area out to the windows in the dining area.

5 | Celadon green granite counters work to bring the colors of the landscape into the room.

6 | Bamboo cabinetry was selected for its light, airy appeal. “It’s a small space, and the light quality of the bamboo makes it feel bigger,” says Thompson.

7 | The window on the back wall of the kitchen has a stepped edge that mimics the stairs leading to a new mudroom. “The sense of detail feels modern and traditional at the same time,” says Thompson.

8| Thompson added a bump out, measuring 60 square feet, to house the mudroom and back entry. Located a few steps down at a split level, the space can easily be accessed from the garage.

9 | A second set of stairs leads from the mudroom to the basement. “The big new window now filters a ton of light into the finished basement, which makes it enjoyable for the family to spend time down there,” says Thompson.

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