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Style Watch

Updating a Newton Victorian’s kitchen

It was essential that the new space feel as if it belonged with the rest of the house.

“The renovation was to make the kitchen more functional and appealing,” Jonathan Kantar says. “It’s now a light, energetic space with period touches.”

Michael J. Lee

“The renovation was to make the kitchen more functional and appealing,” Jonathan Kantar says. “It’s now a light, energetic space with period touches.”

Michael J. Lee

Located in Newton Centre, this 1892 Victorian is an architectural gem. “The owners feel very fortunate to live there and they see themselves as caretakers of the house,” says Jonathan Kantar, principal of Sage Builders LLC in Newton. While the homeowners have sensitively restored the original craftsmanship of the grand three-story structure, they opted to overhaul the kitchen to accommodate their family of five. It was essential that the new kitchen feel as if it belonged with the rest of the house, says Kantar, whose firm worked on the design and build. Now light and airy with ample space to cook and dine, the room has a time-honored feel, relying on materials that look classic but are also easy to care for, and elements that fit the way the family lives.

1 | The island, where the family frequently dines, has a natural quartersawn-oak base that matches the home’s historic woodwork and provides a nice contrast to the dove-white cabinetry.

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2 | The homeowners purchased antique bronze fixtures from Boston’s Genuine Antique Lighting.

3 | Raised ceilings help define the various areas of the kitchen, including the central food-prep and dining spaces.

4 | A Carrara marble full-height tile backsplash adds a subtle, reflective quality and is a breeze to clean.

5 | The custom cotton-white finish of the Viking rangeblends with the surrounding cabinetry. “A neutral color palette keeps the room grounded to the original era of the house,” says Kantar.

6 | Kantar and his clients selected polished Taj Mahal quartzite for the counters. Made from sandstone, the virtually impenetrable material looks a lot like marble but is easier to maintain.

7 | A second 27-inch Viking oven built into the island provides overflow baking capacity.

8 | Porcelain tiles measuring 8 by 36 inches sheath the floor. “The tiles create the look of a pickled hardwood floor,” says Kantar. “The product is really durable, doesn’t scratch, is easy to clean, and relatively inexpensive.”

9 | The beverage and lounge area is a favorite morning spot for the family. The space includes an espresso station, extra sink, second dishwasher, and storage for drinkware.

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