All Projects Brookline, MA

A Revitalized Victorian

Interiors Kitchens

Victorian houses are as beloved for their unique style and exquisite detailing as they are bemoaned for their chopped-up interiors. While boasting abundant square footage, these period gems often "live small" because of outdated configurations. With its undersized kitchen, minimal storage and awkward floor plan, this house was no exception. Many architects and contractors solve space quandaries by adding on, creating a new, larger kitchen, a separate family entry, and informal living space. Even if we had wanted to take this approach we couldn't have, because this home's lot is too small to accommodate an addition. Fortunately we were able to work within the existing footprint to meet our clients' needs.

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Transforming the space

The first and most pivotal design decision was to move the basement stair. Located between the kitchen and adjacent breakfast room, this stair obstructed traffic flow and isolated the breakfast room from the rest of the living space.

Moving the stair allowed us to create a spacious kitchen with views to the backyard while also carving out mud-room space with a bench and storage. We relocated the stair to a pantry area, which the larger kitchen with more thoughtfully detailed cabinetry rendered obsolete. We also widened the opening between the dining room and kitchen, facilitating better connection between these spaces and a feeling of openness.

The finishing touch is a new back deck with access from both the kitchen and the dining room. Glass doors admit plenty of natural light while also inviting the family outdoors to their backyard living space. The result is a lovely, vintage home whose space plan gracefully accommodates twenty-first century living.