West Canton Street House

c. 1860
Interior Architecture and Decoration
General Contractor: Benjamin Construction

Photography by Justine Hand

The aesthetic direction for this house might be described as a contemporary urban approach—a space that is comfortable, warm, and simple-but-not-spare, eschewing overt decoration in favor of a light touch.

As is often the case with our projects, our client was moving from a large house in Lexington (that we had renovated for a previous owner a while back) to this townhouse in the South End of Boston. That meant that we had to use every inch of space to accommodate the move. The main kitchen had already been renovated, but the rest of the house needed a total overhaul. The programmatic requirements called for an office on the second floor, at the top of the stoop, that could receive clients by day, and be opened up to be a part of the family living space on nights and weekends. A new powder room helps keep the rest of the house private when clients are there. Office functions like files and copiers are hidden in a large closet. The third floor has a master bedroom suite that is connected to a library through a dressing room. The dressing room is designed as an elegant passage between the two—clothes are stored behind an orderly grid of doors and drawers. On the top floor we enlarged the windows, created two kids’ bedrooms, and added a sky lit bathroom. There is now plenty of light, making the space a kind of aerie. We designed a compact kitchenette that could be used for entertaining on the newly created roof deck that is now accessed by a steel and wood stair. The view from the roof deck is a lovely reward for the four story climb to get there.