Homage to Commercial Past
Since the upstairs bathrooms did not previously exist, Kevin chose salvaged pedestal sinks as well as a vintage bathtub to suggest a past. The space that was turned into the master bathroom had been a service bar in the restaurant, with the original lath ceiling and a set of very narrow stairs. Those were the only things from the 18th century that were removed in the renovation.
Three years after the purchase, the house keeps growing on its owners. "It's peaceful and private and has the sense of a quiet enclave about it," says Kevin. "Still, it's at its best when we're entertaining, gathering around the bar and soaking up the memories of people who had spent time there, or having formal dinner parties in the dining room. In summer we host groups of friends out on the patio." And so, almost three centuries after it first went up, the old house continues to evolve, absorbing the voices of its inhabitants and visitors—and adding a new layer to its remarkable history.
Shown: Designer Kevin O'Shea wanted to pay homage to its days as a commercial kitchen while cleaning it up with new beadboard and white paint—even on the brown ceramic-tile floor. The lighting is an invention of his own, made largely of vintage parts. The molding above the beadboard serves as a duct for wires and pipes.