This upper two story unit of a two-family house was built in 1930 and its layout consisted of a series of small, compartmentalized rooms that was typical of that era. The homeowners sought to open the kitchen to the dining room and create a gathering space for their family that is modern yet contextual with the original character of the house.

Floor plan of kitchen before renovation
Floor plan of kitchen after renovation


The removal of the wall between the galley kitchen and formal dining room and other strategic alternations make the most of the existing square footage.  The original closets that lined the hallway make way for a bank of efficient and functional kitchen cabinetry that expands the kitchen’s storage capacity, adds a beverage station, and enables the creation of a new powder room in the location of the original pantry closet.  The placement of a deep island anchors the room and delineates the multiple zones of the kitchen and dining functions.  With strategic design moves such as these, the functionality of the space is maximized while keeping it feeling open and spacious.


Similar planning is used to take advantage of existing amenities.  By opening up the kitchen, the existing skylight now has a much bigger impact on the overall unit and becomes a focal point with the full height tiled backsplash wall and open shelving. By removing the wall that separated them, the kitchen and dining now share the bank of north facing windows that fills the space with even daylight, providing a sense of connection to the outdoors within a densely populated urban neighborhood.


The design for this full gut kitchen and dining remodel is modern yet contextual to the more traditional aesthetic of the rest of the home.  The clean lines and balancing of color, texture, and light give the space a bright and contemporary look.  The palette draws inspiration from nature and develops a warm neutral backdrop to support the striking pop of color of the forest green cabinetry.  The background palette consist of calming white tones with walnut wood accents and wood flooring, hexagonal textures, bright clean countertops, and crisp white wall paint.


The forest green cabinets provide a bold contrast to the light white palette and embue the space with color and personality.  Fixture selections add to the visual interest and generate a modern twist to the design.  The cabinet pulls and sink faucets utilize the traditional and warm colored material of copper while having sleek modern shapes.  Similarly, the black pendant light fixtures with their contrasting white bulbs/globes, are modern in their detailing while recalling traditional lighting forms.   Combined together these various elements create a distinctive and calming room at the heart of this home.


PROJECT: Interior kitchen + dining renovation of upper unit of a two-family home in Jamaica Plain, Boston

PHOTOGRAPHER: Jared Kuzia Photography