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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Your Home: Family Friendly

Brookline family gets a more livable layout

A family of five finds togetherness around work and play.

Many families call on an architect to carve out or add more space. Not the case for the Glasses. The family — Amy, a partner at a strategy management consulting firm, Jeff, the CEO of a wireless technology company, and their three kids, ages 16, 14, and 11 — had more than enough room in its 6,000-square-foot circa 1890 Arts and Crafts-style town house in a leafy Brookline neighborhood. But life felt disjointed. The kitchen was small, dark, and dated, and the kids didn’t have a place to study. When the Glasses called Cambridge-based architect Maryann Thompson, they told her they loved the house but wanted to make it more livable.

Part of the problem was that when the couple moved in, back in 1996, the home was a two-family. Six years later, they purchased the downstairs unit and combined them, restoring a staircase, uncovering fireplaces, and establishing a master suite. Two years ago, they were ready for a big redo, including a much-needed kitchen renovation. Around the same time, they had purchased a second home in New Hampshire with a kitchen that was central to the floor plan. They noticed how much better the family dynamic was there. “We interacted differently there,” Amy says. “We cooked while the kids did their homework. Everybody gathered; it was so much more enjoyable.”

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