68 Newton St., Unit 2, Somerville
Year built: 1910; converted 2020
Square feet: 2,134
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Fee: To be determined
Taxes: To be determined
Sometimes a single element gives silent voice to the transformation undergone when a 110-year-old house is remade into two 21st-century condos. In this two-floor unit near Somerville’s Union Square, that role is played by a large square skylight that delivers natural light directly into the stairwell and the top-level family room.
It’s one of the many changes made during a down-to-the-studs renovation that also created a lower level with an open floor plan that one arrives at by walking up a flight of stairs with blackened steel railings, natural wood treads, and white walls with wainscoting and shiplap.
A double-door closet is perfectly stationed at the top of the stairs, and a right turn reveals a sightline deep into a home with distinctive design choices: red oak flooring in a herringbone pattern, white walls covered in shiplap, recessed lighting, and a gas fireplace with a black honed granite surround ― the first use of black-and-white contrast found in other spaces.
The shiplap wall and herringbone flooring flow into a dining area positioned next to two windows and under a modern dark metal Sputnik chandelier with clear-glass bulbs evocative of first-generation electric lights.
The black-and-white kitchen is nestled into an adjacent 264-square-foot space, according to the floor plan. The black is found only in the cabinetry hardware, while nearly everything else is pure white, including the farmer’s sink, raised-panel cabinets, and appliances. A wood-paneled island provides seating for four and a white Calacatta Classical quartz counter with dark veining. A slab of that quartz hangs on the wall above the gas stove, and the countertops are of the same material. Globe pendant lights and a faucet — both in brushed brass — add a modern pop of color and elegance.
The flooring in the hallway of the kitchen switches from a herringbone pattern to a traditional staggered installation. Here a door on the left opens into the owner suite, which features a walk-in closet, an 184-square-foot bedroom with four windows offering a commanding view of the neighborhood, and a thoroughly modern en-suite bath. The bath has a floating cherry double vanity with white vessel sinks and brushed brass hardware. The wall behind the sink is white picket tile installed vertically. The remainder of the bath is floor-to-ceiling ceramic tile, including in the walk-in shower, which has multiple heads, including a rain shower.
The washer and dryer are out in the hallway behind opaque-glass doors, and a half bath with a single natural wood vanity, a white quartz counter, and a hexagonal tile floor with a faux black marble finish completes this level.
Stairs out in the hallway lead to the private backyard.
Back in the foyer, the main stairway leads to the top floor and that nearly 300-square-foot family room with the skylight — plus three windows and recessed lighting. The red oak flooring here is in the standard installation.
This floor also holds a full bath and two bedrooms, the smallest of which is 120 square feet. Each bedroom comes with double-door closets. The full bath offers a shower/tub combination with a white stacked subway tile backsplash, ceramic black and white square tile flooring, and a blue vanity with a white quartz counter and a brushed-brass faucet.
The hallway ends in an office with a built-in planked-wood desk and a door to a private 350-square-foot deck with excellent neighborhood views.
This unit comes with two off-street parking spaces.
Erica Covelle of Covelle & Company Real Estate of Compass has the listing and was the designer.
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John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.