Following a 10-month gut renovation, one local designer transformed a 19th-century townhome into a modern oasis.
Find Carrie dining chairs by Four Hands in matte black and light camel in one of the offices.
Lined with red brick row houses, slate roofs and English-style squares, South End is an iconic vision of old-school Boston. Traditionally, the interiors of each Victorian abode align with the neighborhood’s classic, historic style—but who said they have to? When Jess Klein of Jess Klein Studio (jesskleinstudio.com) took on her fourth project with a young family, more contemporary interiors served as her muse.
While watching a flick, the family can rest their snacks on a black-stained oak Mooi Container table by 2Modern.
“Though the home is in New England, we have elements that lend themselves to California design—the indoor-outdoor experience right off the kitchen with the sliders letting in light, the lighter-toned woods used throughout the home and the overall simplicity yet easy-living feel,” Klein shares. “Another inspiration that we drew upon was Nordic style, which we collectively viewed as the blending of modern, clean, simple yet interesting elements.”
Guests can rest their cocktails on the living room’s Nesting Boomerang coffee table from Burke.
Traditional, tall, black double doors welcome visitors inside the five-bed, seven-bath home, but after passing through the entryway, it’s clear this is not your typical brownstone. Herringbone floors lead into the first of six levels, featuring an open-concept living, dining and kitchen area.
The bright and airy kitchen is painted with Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace.
“You really feel the tie between historic and modern when you enter through the original double entry doors, which were restored,” Sean Kennedy of Kennedy Design Build, LLC. (kennedybuild.com) says of the parlor level. “You then walk into a crisp, open floor where you can see the original windows at the front of the building, a beautiful modern staircase and a light-filled kitchen with the expansive door opening which leads to the back deck.”
Another office space is a work-from-home dream with a Blox table from CB2.
Off -white floor-to-ceiling cabinetry lines the modern kitchen that houses a wine fridge, double ovens, stainless steel stovetop and generous island with Muuto Nerd counter stools from Lekker (lekkerhome.com). An adjacent Ethnicraft (ethnicraft.com) oak dining table surrounded by matching chairs offers an organic element to the light-filled space.
The designer brought life to each space while keeping them minimalist.
With a deck just off the kitchen, homeowners can choose between relaxing outside or in the nearby living area. Here, a Maiden Home (maidenhome.com) linen cream sofa and Bludot About Face swivel lounge chairs in Sanford linen from Lekker provide ultimate comfort in the neutral-toned space.
The gym is a Nordic-inspired paradise with a Wiwiurka climbing swing, rock wall, Sweedish ladder and Edge Black Arch floor mirror from Crate & Barrel.
Descend the staircase to explore the media room and more. Unlike the 1,503-square-foot home’s other bright spaces, Klein chose a dark blue tone for the streetlevel media room’s walls and built-ins, creating the perfect atmosphere for movie nights. An Arhaus (arhaus.com) Kimpton corner sectional in plush light linen offers a comfy spot to unwind while the projector screen descends.
Pops of color add a fun element to the contemporary spaces.
However, true bliss is found in the fourth level’s primary bath. While creating the light and airy spalike space was no small feat, it instantly became the designers’ favorite. To Klein’s dismay, one of the steam shower’s Neolith (neolith.com) estatutario slabs was installed upside down.
Black Verruca nightstands by Four Hands bookend the R&B bed.
“Funny now, but at the time, some tears were shed,” she notes. Makoto hexagon matte porcelain tile from Bedrosians Tile & Stone (bedrosians.com) lines the floor, where white oak millwork, white Caesarstone countertops and a Japanese-style sliding door elevate the space. A deep soaking tub takes center stage between black bay windows, ensuring every rinse is a cinematic moment. “It feels like a serene spa from the moment that you step foot into it,” Klein says.
Lisette Large Globe pendant by AERIN adorns the peaceful primary bath
Despite the panic, the home came together even more gorgeous than the team imagined, and when invited over by her clients and now friends, the designer is afforded the pleasure of seeing the space through a guest’s eyes. She concludes: “Being able to bring their dream home to life was an absolute privilege. I know how happy they were to settle in and make memories there.”
The primary bedroom’s electric fireplace can be enjoyed from the comfort of Cream Linen Vail lounge chairs by Denver Modern.
Jess Klein Studio
Kennedy Design Build, LLC.
Kennedy Design Build, LLC.
Lounge chair, parlor living room
Side table, top floor family room
ROOM & BOARD
Decker table, top floor family room Dresser, boy’s bedroom
Swivel chair, boy’s bedroom
THAYER DESIGN STUDIO
Area rug, top floor family room
Outdoor coffee table, roof deck
Sectional, roof deck
Nightstand, girl’s bedroom
The home features soft textures and performance fabrics.
A wet bar on the top floor features Bedrosians Tile & Stone ceramic tile with white oak and scalloped millwork.