One of five identical townhouses built in Brookline in 1887, this four-level home has had the same owners for more than a decade. “Gradually, they have enjoyed updating their home with treasures they have found at estate sales, Craigslist, and inherited family antiques, along with custom draperies and furniture,” says interior designer Elizabeth Benedict.

Finally, though, it was time to overhaul the kitchen. Located on the basement level, the kitchen was used primarily by servants when the home was built in the 19th century. “In the four other homes on the block, the kitchens have been moved up to the main level where the formal living and dining rooms are,” says Benedict. “Here, the owners wanted to honor the history of the house, so they left the kitchen on the lower level.”


Benedict worked with the homeowners to update the kitchen and use the rest of the level as a comfortable family space.

“They captured the whole footprint of the house and added a family room, laundry room, and powder room,” says Benedict. While the eat-in kitchen now has a modern feel and flow, it’s not meant to be showy. It’s a place where the family of five relaxes together and with close friends.

Kitchen cabinets are painted “Cosmopolitan,” a grayish-green by Benjamin Moore. The backsplash runs to the ceiling: white subway tile with gray grout gives a vintage look.

An Oriental runner echoes, in a more casual way, the antique feel of the formal rooms upstairs. Counters are Quartzite; light fixtures are by Schoolhouse Electric.

The banquette and seats are upholstered with Pindler & Pindler burnt orange and white fabric. The midcentury chandelier was an estate sale find; the table is from Craigslist.

Jaci Conry can be reached at jaci@jaciconry.com.