a white kitchen with tin ceiling, pendant lantern, white tile, marble countertops, and kitchen island
Photo: David Carmack
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Light, Bright Kitchen

Kitchen remodels are complicated beasts anywhere but even more so in a historic house, where modern efficiency often seems at odds with charming detail. Such was the quandary facing James Bryant as he considered the much-needed update of his Newton, Massachusetts, home.

Designed in 1883 by famed Boston architects Peabody & Stearns, it was a preservation-minded homeowner's dream—despite a bumpy history as a girls' school and a boardinghouse. "I was lucky to find the house in near-original condition," says James. Unfortunately, the kitchen was dysfunctional.

"I really wanted the same old kitchen, but much nicer." Local architect Anita Rogers and contractor Paul Eldrenkamp gave him just that—with one big change. The kitchen now flows directly into the breakfast room, which retains a handy sink but gave most of the plumbed area over to a new half bath. The embossed metal ceiling, original iron stove, and pine floors remain. In fact, without a close look, you might not know that a major renovation took place here.

See the shocking before photo and more beautiful post-renovation shots in An Elegant Old Kitchen Gets More Efficient.
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