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home of the week

Mansard Painted Lady brought back from the brink

173 Oakleigh Road, Newton

Photos by Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Shortly after Maureen O’Hare Mercer and her family moved in, the furnace failed and this Mansard Victorian was condemned. A 33-year-long parallel journey followed during which the Painted Lady was rejuvenated and O’Hare Mercer reinvented herself as a consultant on architectural finishes and historical colors. During those renovations, O’Hare Mercer sometimes found unique inspiration. Take, for example, the master suite, where a white dentist’s cabinet a previous owner left behind led to an Art Deco-style bath. Another: the wallpapered ceiling in the dining room, which evokes her Irish ancestry and the Book of Kells, above the original elegant fireplace mantel of burled walnut with inlaid images of Roman gods.

The formal entry is eye-catching: original flooring of ash and mahogany. Off the entry is an office, first used as a music room, with a five-sided bay window, a fireplace with the original ceramic tiles, and hand-carved egg-and-dart molding. The sunny formal living room is adorned with a gas-light chandelier and mahogany accents. Glass-front cherry cabinets anchor the updated kitchen with a gas stove and a floor of random-width tiger’s-eye maple.

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On the second floor, the master offers a built-in cabinet and a fireplace painted a faux slate, and a play space doubles as a laundry room. There are three other bedrooms on this floor. Two are large. The family bath tempts with a whirlpool tub. The third floor features a game room with pool table, two spacious bedrooms, and built-in bookshelves.

The Victorian porch, with its ceiling painted sky blue with white clouds, leads to manicured grounds that include 150-year-old rhododendrons, as well as wisteria and lilies, among other perennials. The unfinished basement has above-ground windows and a root cellar. There is a detached two-car garage on the property, which is located one house lot and a foliage-covered wall away from the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Listing agent Janet J. Sterman of New England Preferred Properties in Newton is holding an open house Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. and a commuter’s open house Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Price: $1.599 million

Style: Mansard Victorian

Built: 1870

Rooms: 13

Bedrooms: 6

Baths: 4 full

Square feet: 4,746

Sewer: Public

Taxes: $14,744 (2014)

A side view of the home.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

A side view of the home.

The side porch.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The side porch.

Detail of fireplace in dining room.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Detail of fireplace in dining room.

The kitchen.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The kitchen.

The front entrance.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The front entrance.

The ceiling of the dining room.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The ceiling of the dining room.

The dining room.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The dining room.

The unique floors in the front entranceway.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The unique floors in the front entranceway.

The dining room.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The dining room.

The front porch.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The front porch.

Send comments and listings to homeoftheweek@globe.com. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue. Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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