The family room reflects the spare aesthetic of the parlors, but in a more casual way. In the adjacent dining area, vintage leather chairs surround a sleek white table.
A mix of materials and textures, all in the palest of hues, creates a restful master bath.
The master bedroom’s vintage Karl Springer bed and Knoll loveseat sit on a soft rug of silk and wool.
The tall stairwell makes a perfect gallery space.
The palette was deepened to include darker grays and tans in the comfortable media room.
The clean-lined Bulthaup kichen works equally well whether the wife is indulging her own love of cooking or supervising the caterer at one of the couple’s frequent parties.
The family room reflects the spare aesthetic of the parlors, but in a more casual way. In the adjacent dining area, vintage leather chairs surround a sleek white table.
The owners’ art collection provides the home’s color.
The grand Alexander Parris staircase illustrates the fluidity of design, movement, and circulation that was so important to the homeowners.
Builder Cafco Construction Management and architect Pete Lackey opened access to the attic, creating a mesmerizing view of the skylight at the top of the stairs.
Interior designer Manuel de Santaren’s intent was to create a calm, blank canvas for the homeowners’ extraordinary collection of art and midcentury furnishings. In the back parlor, light-filtering window treatments contribute to that plan.
Marble tiles in a calming wave design cover the end wall of the husband’s bath.
The inviting reading corner is outfitted with an armchair, ottoman, and lamp from Holly Hunt. The Stark carpet was selected for its antique look.
Leo’s Luxe Linens, a Phillip Jeffries wallcovering with a hint of metallic, warms up the master bedroom, while pillows covered in a bright Quadrille fabric inject a splash of color.
The powder room is clad in a Phillip Jeffries wallcovering. The Briolette Glass vessel sink atop the painted vanity is by Kohler.
The office has built-in storage for books and mementoes while also leaving room for a set of prints by Jonathan Borofsky, a sculptor and printmaker in Ogunquit, Maine. A soft Stark carpet makes work more enjoyable, as does the Cardan office chair.
A custom quilt from Denyse Schmidt Quilts and a stash of pillows in the daughter’s bedroom go a long way in making bedtime happy.
To ensure plenty of seating in the dining area, Elms teamed the banquette with Elana chairs from the Bright Chair Company.
A waterfall edge on the kitchen counter is an elegant touch, as are the glass tiles along the backsplash, but, equipped with a full range of hidden organizational features, the room is also functional.
“A walnut ceiling provides a cool transition to the living room,” explains interior designer Dee Elms. Small details, like the silver base on the custom ottoman, bring lightness and sparkle to the setting. Atop a Hellman-Chang Xie cabinet, even the TV gains stature. And although, says Elms, “No one ever tires of the view,” motorized sheers afford privacy when desired.
The prints lining the hall to the central living area are by Pennsylvania artist Emil Lukas.
The reconfigured foyer grew chicer with the addition of a limestone tiled floor, Venetian plastered walls, and a coffered wood ceiling. Smaller in footage, there’s still ample room for a cast-resin-framed mirror, a custom console and small Holly Hunt bench.
A ficus from Winston Flowers echoes both a fluted column and the circular windows.
Woven-backed Gustavian chairs and a French limestone floor give the space a garden-like feel.
Interior designer Susan Reddick created three seating areas in sync with the rhythms of the three arched doors and skylights.
Grand as it looks, the pavilion is perfectly scaled to fit its surroundings.
Night and day, visitors are drawn by the rhythms of this garden pavilion’s lattice-like layering of architectural elements.
A built-in desk and a Ralph Pucci chair and lamp add the finishing touches to the son’s bedroom.
The Ralph Pucci bench adds a pop of color.
The master bedroom is a soothing oasis with artwork symbolic of the couple’s interests: floral for Beauchemin, ocean waves for Grassi, a sailor.
Innovations such as a rolling kitchen island make wise use of space.
A bird’s eye view of the living room from the third level.
A hallway on the main floor, flanked by rolling walnut doors and anigre veneer panel railings, gives way to an open-tread, oak-and-steel staircase.
Designer Lucie Beauchemin installed sheer curtains that filter in light even when drawn.
Architect Guy Grassi’s brick-and-glass design pays tribute to the adjacent row of historic homes, yet pushes the envelope of sleek, modern architecture.
A cozy book loft featuring floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves overlooks a living area with eighteen-foot windows that flood the space with sunlight.
The four-story, nineteenth-century Back Bay townhouse, converted
to apartments in the 1960s, has been restored as a single-family home.
The living room features two custom-designed brushed-iron and silver-leaf coffee tables, a leather daybed, a crescent sofa, and a glazed mosaic tile fireplace.
In the dining room, an antique mirror and twin sconces draw the eye to the cerused-oak sideboard.
With its mother-of-pearl wall tiles and a hammered-metal console, the entrance foyer sets the eclectic tone of the home’s interior design.
Appliances hide behind the cerused finish of the cabinetry.
The kitchen opens to the breakfast nook and a casual sitting area.
Cassina leather Göteborg chairs and a Ralph Pucci walnut and glazed-ceramic breakfast table create a comfortable breakfast nook that is set into a light-filled alcove window.
One of the two guest bedrooms features a hammered-metal headboard from Mexico and a South African metal beadwork chandelier.
The daughter’s bedroom is a riot of colors (reds and pinks are her favorites) and circles.
A reading nook in the hallway features a tree-like bookcase.
A second guest bedroom pairs a vintage chair with a contemporary lacquered-wood four-poster bed.
The textured silk wallcovering, a white plaster chandelier, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and a color palette of creamy blues and whites give the master bedroom a serene, elegant feel.
The family room’s reproduction oak plank desk is big enough for the entire family to use.
A novel sculptural swing is the focal point of the fourth-floor family room, which opens to an expansive patio.
The walls of a small powder room wear colorful tiles and Trove’s picturesque Fuoco wallcovering.
A guest room with a lively palette is a favorite with the owners’ nieces. "I chose a strong blue for the headboards to help anchor the space," says Carter. The appealing bedding is from Bloomingdale’s, while the custom bedskirts are from Martin Lawrence Bullard. The Hickory Chair chest nestled between the beds houses clothes or extra blankets.
Upholstered walls enhance the master bedroom’s coziness and mute the sounds of the city. "I wanted the room to feel like an elegant cocoon," says the designer.
A club chair from Gregorius Pineo makes a choice spot for reading. The fetching painting is from Webster & Company.
A set of Vaughan sconces and a stylish mirror pick up on the faux-bois wallpaper in the powder room.
Having been previously renovated, the spacious kitchen primarily required cosmetic attention. Valances in a tailored Kravet fabric and sleek pendants by Visual Comfort give the space a fresh look. To accommodate his clients’ request for greater efficiency and comfort, Carter modified the island before flanking it with a parade of inviting Hickory Chair barstools.
In keeping with the husband’s wishes for a dash of the modern, Carter chose an attention-getting painting-Didactic Method of Elenchus, by Edward Lentsch-from the Lanoue Gallery in Boston, for the serene living room. The welcoming club chairs by Rose Tarlow are dressed in a Cowtan & Tout fabric, while the sofa wears a neutral Jane Churchill fabric. An antique desk set cleverly in the bay window provides a sunny work area.
An ornate Baroque mirror from Minton-Spidell is a memorable foil to the living room’s classic mantel. The gray-blue for the interior of the shelves was chosen to echo the blue of the Lentsch painting on the opposite wall.
The adjacent entry hall holds a gilded stool from Rose Tarlow clad in a dreamy Jim Thompson fabric that echoes the striking colors of the art. The candlestick lamps are from Dessin Fournir.
No ordinary foyer, this one includes a Donald De Lue sculpture by the window and antique Foo Dogs atop the mantle.
A stunning mirror from Donghia and a Murano-glass chandelier add sparkle to the gleaming paneling of the dining room’s walls and ceiling. The antique sideboard hails from Alexander Westerhoff in Essex, Massachusetts. "These aren’t wide rooms. The sideboard is a perfect size," Carter notes. Velvet drapes and distressed-velvet dining chairs ramp up the luxe factor.
The antique sideboard hails from Alexander Westerhoff in Essex, Massachusetts. "These aren’t wide rooms. The sideboard is a perfect size," Carter notes. Velvet drapes and distressed-velvet dining chairs ramp up the luxe factor.
Designer Stephanie Sabbe created the graphic headboard.
The new kitchen is bright and efficient. The dining room’s Robert Abbey chandelier makes a striking contrast to the warm wood table.
The living and dining rooms are one, with a comfortable, eclectic mix of furnishings chosen for visual and textural interest.
A few modern moves make all the difference in this townhouse transformation. In the living room, a log trough adds an artistic as well as functional touch to the fireplace wall.
The Lio wall sconces in the master bath are by -Vistosi. Birkerts had the curtain made from Knoll Luxe’s -Millicent drapery fabric.
The Origami Wood wallcovering is a dynamic backdrop for the Parallel Bed with integral nightstands from Design Within Reach. The Helix pendant light fixtures are by Bec Brittain.
In the guest room, wall lamps from Urban Electric flank an upholstered headboard from Ligne Roset.
A lemon-yellow four-arm candelabrum from Dunes & Duchess in the guest room is an unexpected touch.
Hammered-gold wallpaper on the ceiling of the dining area adds texture and warmth to the room without being glitzy.
Ligne Roset’s sculptural Rewrite Desk is paired with the Clutch Dining Chair by Blu Dot in the children’s room; twin trundle beds wear a textured aquamarine fabric from Kirby Design.
The midcentury aesthetic is in full swing in the living room, where a lamp by Serge Mouille stands behind Ligne Roset’s Feng sectional by Didier Gomez and the Tati sofa table by Broberg & Ridderstråle from Asplund.
A colorful backsplash from Ann Sacks brightens the kitchen as do the brass pendant lights, with a black patinated exterior, by Tom Dixon.
A photograph by Massimo Listri of the Strahov Library in Prague is a nod to the clients’ Czech roots and a rococo counterpoint to the apartment’s clean lines.
The clients’ books and collections are displayed on the Ubiqua shelving system by Porada.
The Friday Lounge Chair by Zeitraum stands on an abstract, hand-knotted silk rug from Fort Street Studio.
The TV "floats" on a sleek stand that lets the homeowners watch from any number of vantage points but never interrupts the views of downtown Boston. A multi-arm, raw-brass light fixture by Apparatus Studio hovers over the Knowlton Brothers dining table (custom-painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mexicana) and vintage Edward Wormley for Dunbar chairs.
Pilgrimage, a wall sculpture by Heather Allen Hietala, speaks to the homeowners’ love of the outdoors.
Eero Saarinen’s Womb Chair turns a corner into a -mini-sanctuary.
The playful nursery sports an African motif.
A painting by Michael Hoffman adds a spark of color to the dining area.
Designer Kristen Rivoli took cues from Kathy Soles’s vivid painting Deep Water to form the palette for the living room and dining area. The homeowners’ own discoveries, like the gold and jade Thai vessel on the coffee table, bring a personal touch to the space.
The sleek living room has a contemporary slate fireplace.
The daughter’s bedroom sings with color.
The while the master bedroom has a neutral palette.
The dining room holds a Saarinen table and chairs.
A Jonathan Adler desk and a Kartell acrylic chair.
The designers cleverly chose a polished steel base for an Indian marble sculpture in the dining area.
In the master bedroom, built-ins fabricated by Herrick & White Architectural Woodworkers showcase the custom bed and create a home for a collection of pottery. The upholstered chair and table along the window are by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
Bentley sconces and luxe upholstery up the glamour.
Custom vanities offer ample master bath storage.
Dramatic Linea chandeliers by Boyd Light illuminate the open living-room area where seating, including a leather-covered accent chair by Holly Hunt, surrounds a versatile Madam X cocktail table. The sofa is covered in a taupe Larsen fabric that wears as beautifully as it looks.
In an intimate corner, oversize horizontal stripes on Bauen chairs play to a graphic cowhide leather Alhambra rug by Kyle Bunting.
The kitchenâs coral-colored tiled backsplash is in keeping with the homeâs concise palette.
A freestanding tub takes pride of place in the master bathroom
Stephen Mueller’s buoyant watercolors, from Boston’s Obelisk Gallery, hang by the living room’s new fireplace.
The entry sports a rosewood-topped buffet by Holly Hunt, sleek sconces by Jonathan Browning and a colorful painting by Tristan Govignon.
The homeowner’s study, tucked away at the top of the stairs, offers views of the Public Garden.
A lavender ceiling is an unexpected surprise in the master bedroom.
In the attic loft, a large zinc-topped desk overlooks an L-shaped sofa that can fold together into a king-size bed for overnight guests.
A lush purple velvet sofa, black-and-white checkerboard flooring and subtly patterned wallpaper add drama to the foyer.
A large crystal chandelier sparkles against the powder room’s red walls.
A red-leather corner banquette cozies up to a marble-topped table in the “flop room” off the kitchen.
An antique lamp in the corner inspired the living room’s green accent color.
The exterior retains its Federal-style charm.
The dining room wallpaper’s hand-painted silver leaf changes color in different lights.
The formal living room is an elegant balance of light and dark, with lacquered charcoal-gray walls offset by silvery drapes, lighting fixtures bedecked in crystals and fabrics that boast a reflective sheen. The stone fireplace is original to the house and retains Asher Benjamin’s signature fretwork.
The back of the living roomâs L-shaped leather sofa slides to orient the seating toward the view or into the room.
Glossy white lacquer makes the kitchen all but disappear, allowing art and the occasional shot of color to pop.
Rotenberg’s sitting room takes on a decidedly feminine persona.
Rotenbergâs office displays an almost twelve-foot-long American flag she painted, replacing the stars with flowers.
Life imitates art in the form of an orchid displayed in front of one of homeowner Judi Rotenbergâs bright paintings.
A crystal LED chandelier that changes color illuminates the entry, with its book-matched marble tile floor and a painting by Sheila Gallagher.
An open floor plan gives the apartment its airy feel while still providing enough wall space for art.
A shimmery silk from Robert Thompson covers the dining chairs, playing off bold bluesâincluding a glossy InterlÃ¼bke sideboardâin the dining room. A crystal Schonbeck pendant light gleams above the table.
The master bedroom’s personality is serenity itself.
A powder room goes glamorous with reflective wallpaper.
Climbing all four stories of the house, the graphic black-and-white stair runner forms a unifying backbone.
Shannon Feeney introduced audacious color to the family room with textiles and accessories.
The living room’s original marble hearth and mantel surround the new wood-burning fireplace.
Formal dining takes place at the room’s opposite end.
A palette of soft blue, taupe and ivory creates elegant comfort in a living room seating area.
In the home office, metal spheres bring an element of softness to the composition
The bedrooms curtains, made from metal mesh, and the sleek Woodmeister-made headboard contribute to the industrial sensibility.
A live-edge walnut slab tops a desk in the master bedroom.
Mixed with the industrial sensibility, bits of whimsy include a Terzani light fixture and gilded branches in the frame surrounding the sofa and on the built-in shelves.
A live-edge walnut slab on Plexiglass legs forms the dining table, from Hudson Furniture.
The kitchen, with its wall of Japanese ceramic tile, sits at the center of the unit and opens to the home office. Cabinets built by Woodmeister Master Builders were treated to a coat of shiny paint that resembles a metal surface.
A bright red bench by Bouvé Woodworking and a contemporary painting add zest to the complex textures and colors of the entry. The Venetian plaster walls and ceiling, as well as the tiled walls were designed to resemble concrete and stone.
Magnificent views of the Charles River and Back Bay attracted the homeowner to the lofty condominium.
A built-in upholstered headboard maximizes space.
The family room decor began with the blue-and-cream abstract rug that is, says Elms, "a total wow."
An oval table and light fixture are fluid counterpoints to the dining banquette’s regimented, contrast-welt grid.
The Boston apartment wears a contemporary palette of grays, taupes, and gold. Vintage lamps add a layer of history to new pieces, such as the richly textured gold sofa by Paul Gaucher of Icon Group.
The view from a rooftop terrace is nothing short of spectacular.
The nursery features a white lacquered crib and changing table from The New Traditionalists.
The tufted banquette was added, giving the couple a comfortable spot from which to enjoy the views from the dining room.
Glorious city views take center stage, thanks to a design plan that keeps the living room furniture below windowsill height. A pale color scheme gets interest from textured fabrics such as linen velvet on the sofa and chenille on the lounge chair, geometric patterns in rug and pillows, and a smattering of animal prints.
A hefty coffee table lends the airy living room gravitas.
A navy-blue wall adds depth to the master bedroom. The shag rug is cut to the width of the custom platform bed’s upholstered headboard.
The recess in the kitchen pantry cabinetry was meant to display art, but the client’s need for entertaining space led to the last-minute purchase of swivel lounge chairs.
Living room seating by B&B Italia is suitable for large crowds or intimate groups. The chairs, featuring a sculptural shape and sexy zipper up the back, were chosen for good looks when seen from any angle.
A built-in banquette in white matte lacquer gives the dining area a casual, restaurant-style feel.
The glossy Dakota Jackson table in the hall outside the master suite has a floating glass top and leather-front drawers.
Designer Leslie Fine gave the master suite luxurious touches like the bed wall upholstered in suede and a plush tete-a-tete chaise.
Mirror-mounted sconces with crystal sprays set the entry’s glamorous tone.
A field of porcelain tile edged and accented with stainless-steel strips stands in for a rug beneath the dining table.
Twin seating areas, tiered ceiling coffers, and soft corner drapes give the expansive -living room the warmth and intimacy of a smaller space. Mica panels in the chandelier add sparkle to the room’s quiet palette.
The garden level pulls triple-duty as a music room, family hangout, and guest suite.
The front roof deck is a picture-perfect spot for outdoor dining or evening cocktails on starry summer nights.
The spacious back roof deck offers a bird’s-eye view of the iconic Prudential building.
Reddish ipe wood meets pale onyx tile in an easy balance of rich materials and a contemporary feel in the master bath. The skylight in the master bath floor, set with etched glass for privacy, illuminates a staircase below.
The graphite-hued media room is a favorite gathering spot for the family.
In the parlor, designer Meichi Peng chose transitional furniture with clean lines and comfort to suit both the room’s rich architectural detail and the homeowners’ modern sensibilities.
A parade of Calgary tulips, with their large, long-lasting blooms, bring days of enjoyment.
Containers of blue hydrangea make a colorful accent.
Granite steps lead from the walkway to the cooling green parterre Messervy created.
A pattern of bluestone cleverly set on edge around a star-shaped inset of granite adds drama to the owner’s "secret" sanctuary.
The efficient kitchen is outfitted in a marble waterfall counter and cabinets in two elegant finishes.
An Italian chandelier casts a glow on a custom table by Keith Fritz.
The multipurpose wall is "like a sculpture interacting with the art," explains architect Carlos Ridruejo. "Based on the simple geometry of an exploding square, its design is intended to create interest, not overpower." The owners take pride in their art collection, which includes the bronze sculpture by Pablo Eduardo.
The study, which the homeowner uses more for relaxing than for work, features a sofa from Casa Design outfitted in Donghia mohair in the same hue as the Phillip Jeffries wallpaper. The mixed-media artwork is by the contemporary Argentine artist Claudio Roncoli.
In the guest room, a lithograph by Robert Longo hangs on a wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s Galveston Gray.
In the show-stopping master bath, the walls are crafted of wide slabs of marble that are perfectly book-matched to appear seamless. The same marble was used for the shelving and, cut into strips and laid in a herringbone pattern, on the floor. Sconces from Circa Lighting and a sculpture from Marc Hall Objekt add the finishing touches.
Diaphanous wool-and-mohair curtains, in Ethereal by Threads at Lee Jofa, offer some privacy while still allowing natural light into the master bedroom. Jim Thompson fabric covers the custom-designed winged headboard. Behind the bed, Reclining Figure, a midcentury painting by Peter Busa, is a colorful counterpoint to the room’s serene grays.
The sophisticated kitchen sports a skyline marble mosaic backsplash and a mix of painted and stainless-steel cabinets. Arctic Pear light fixtures by Ochre gleam above an island of snow-white quartz.
The living room’s second sitting area plays host to a Kyle Bunting coffee table and armless chairs upholstered in cashmere velvet.
A Moroccan silk shag rug and black-and-silver wallpaper strike a sumptuous tone in the dining room, where a David Weeks chandelier illuminates a round walnut table.
Black Venetian plaster walls and geometric marble floors in the foyer make for a dramatic entrance. The sunflower painting is by the American artist Keith Shaw Williams.
Reflective pieces such as the sconces, a custom mirror, and a console in polished nickel and shagreen add sparkle to the windowless space.
In a living room sitting area that looks out on Boston Common, B&B Italia high-back chairs with long-hair Mongolian cushions keep company with a tub chair and sofa from Holly Hunt. The bronze sculpture, Blade II, is by Guy Dill.
The master bedroom takes the home’s colorful palette down just a notch, adding gray to create a quiet, relaxing ambience.
Rebuilding the rear brick wall gave the design team the chance to add large windows to the spacious kitchen, a cook’s dream with its horizontal-grain walnut cabinets and stainless-steel counters and appliances.
A red ceiling, Osborne & Little wallpaper, and a Tom Dixon hanging light bring drama to a powder room.
The designers fulfilled the homeowners’ desire for color by outfitting the dining room in a stunning emerald hue. The long dining table is crafted with a slab of distressed wood that gives the glamorous space a homey touch.
CJ Katz layered colorful furniture and accessories with modern appeal over the front parlor’s original woodwork. The John Rosselli chandelier is, says Cheryl Katz, "a way to think about a chandelier that has power, but isn’t crystal."
The rear parlor offers echoes of its front-room neighbor, but conveys a more casual feel.
An enlarged skylight floods the stairway with natural light.
The master bedroom features floor-to-ceiling windows (flanked by Indian shutters and blue-and-gold silk drapes) that look out onto Commonwealth Avenue. A buttercream-colored rug keeps things light. A television and dresser are neatly tucked away in one of the room’s two alcoves.
Although the owner worried that the original wood paneling made the living room too dark, a color palette of light blues, greens, and creams and a generous supply of table lamps and wall sconces helped brighten the once "gloomy" room. Minimal window treatments also let in lots of light from Commonwealth Avenue.
The design team created a spacious new kitchen, complete with an island and breakfast counter. New cabinets of white wood and glass and a copper oven hood blend in with period elements such as the original leaded-glass doors.
To counterbalance the dining room’s fourteen-foot ceilings and massive limestone fireplace, Deysher chose oversize wing chairs in embroidered silk to anchor the generous dining table and added a William Morris-inspired rug and rock-quartz crystal chandelier.
The mural continues onto the dining room walls.
Designer Cynthia Deysher left the leaded-glass windows curtain-free.
After replacing wrought-iron balustrades with more traditional wood banisters and spindles on the main floor’s staircase, the design team commissioned a local painter to create a mural that features historical scenes of Boston.
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