Maggie and Jonathan Tushman loved their Wellesley home. Built in 1909, the American Foursquare was in a great location and had a spacious yard, and the symmetrical footprint offered plenty of space when they bought the place in 2007.
“We’d just had our first baby, and we were coming from a cramped city condominium,” says Maggie Tushman. “The house was perfect for us then.”
After seven years and two more kids, however, the 2,600-square-foot place was starting to feel constricted. “The one bathroom on the second floor where all the bedrooms were wasn’t cutting it,” recalls Jonathan Tushman.
The couple wanted a substantial master suite, a larger kitchen, and bigger bedrooms for the children. “Since the kids are getting older, we wanted them to have good-sized rooms where they could go to do their own thing,” Jonathan says of their offspring, now 10, 8, and 5.
They briefly considered moving, but they loved their neighborhood. So the homeowners turned to Cambridge architectural firm Charles R. Myer & Partners, which drafted plans for a 400-square-foot addition to the first floor. The project expanded the kitchen to include a breakfast area and created a mudroom.
“By enlarging some of the rooms, we were able to make a drastic difference in how the house flows,” says project architect Alice Dunn. At the front of the house, the dining room became the music room, where the kids practice piano and Jonathan plays guitar. The living room became the dining room, and the expanded family room, which opens to the kitchen, offers plenty of space for all five to congregate. “They wanted the family room to have places for things other than TV watching,” says Dunn. In one corner is a round table where the family often plays board games.
Boston-based interior designer Rachel Reider continued the updating. “Functionality and comfort had to come first,” says Reider. “It was important that the house embrace its traditional architecture. At the same time, the Tushmans’ taste veers toward modern. So the decor is transitional with modern elements.”
Reider selected jewel tones that signify that the home belongs to a young family. Throughout the main level, deep blues and purples prevail. Patterns add dimension, and fun pops of color — like the reddish-orange kitchen stools, which match the knobs of the Wolf range — add unexpected flair.
One of the best aspects of the renovation was the addition of the mudroom, says Maggie. “We now have places to put coats and shoes when coming into the house! The green tile floor continues into the powder room. The flow is perfect: I just send the kids right in there to wash up after taking off muddy boots.”
On the reconfigured second floor, a bedroom shrank, freeing up space to add a bathroom and closet to what’s now the master suite. One window was relocated and another added so the bed could be centered between them. “It makes a huge difference in the way the room feels,” says Jonathan.
Reider strove to give the master bedroom a serene and sophisticated vibe “that is a little more grown-up than other spots in the house,” she says. Lively touches — the carpet, in an abstract animal print, and the Capiz-shell light fixture — add character.
The underutilized third floor gained a bathroom and now holds the eldest child’s bedroom. “The enclosed stairway between the second and third floors was opened up and enlarged, so the flow is much better and the parents can hear the kids up there now,” says Dunn.
The family moved out for several months during the renovation, returning in late 2015. Even now, Jonathan says, he hasn’t quite gotten used to the transformation. “I come home at the end of the day and the place still feels new to me,” he says. “We just love it.”