Style Watch

Rehabbing a 1970s Deck House without destroying its charm

The renovation removed walls and doubled the kitchen space while preserving its character.


Looking to rehabilitate their 2,900-square-foot upside-down Deck House in Wayland, designer Melissa Hammond’s clients called on Buchanan Custom Builders in Bolton, which specializes in these post-and-beam contemporary homes with high ceilings and lots of glass. Andover-based Hammond worked closely with the couple, scientists with two school-age sons, to reconfigure the main living space and design a new kitchen. The team removed walls and cabinetry to convert four rooms into a single airy space while still maintaining defined regions for cooking, eating, and relaxing. The renovation doubled the size of the kitchen, fitted with white custom cabinetry by Hudson-based Stokes Woodworking. With a dearth of walls and no ceiling cavity, running plumbing and electrical lines was a challenge. “In the end,” Hammond says, “we made it work and honored the couple’s wish to preserve the home’s original character.”

1. Soapstone countertops from LeaMar Industries in Marlborough are green and gray with white and gold veining that picks up the warm wood tones of the windows and ceiling.

2. The black strip running along the backsplash under the windows directs warm air into the room from baseboard heating installed behind the cabinets.


3. A casement window to the left of the sink was added when cabinetry separating the original kitchen and dining room was dismantled.

4. Pendants from the Hubbardton Forge Erlenmeyer Collection are inspired by Erlenmeyer lab flasks, a nod to the homeowners’ careers in science.

5. Hammond inserted glass shelving into an unused corner for the homeowners’ houseplants.

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6. Since the old glass in the skylight needed replacing anyway, Hammond moved the opening to be centered over the cooktop.

7. The live-edge cherry slab (chosen over walnut in order to get enough width) is cantilevered over the soapstone, held up by metal posts.


8. Blu Dot’s Chip counter stools have durable gray upholstery and ash legs with a smoke stain.

9. Placing the cooktop in the island with a downdraft, rather than on the back counter, avoided the need for an exhaust pipe, which would have been visible in the front of the house.

10. In the adjacent dining area, mid-century modern style chairs surround the couple’s existing wood trestle table, which echoes the ceiling.

11. The Hubbardton Forge Ribbon chandelier, made from hand-forged steel, has an organic shape that counterbalances the heavily linear kitchen.

12. The jute rug is durable and textural. Plus, Hammond says, “the palette echoes the colors of the soapstone countertops.”