written by jill connors • photographed by eric roth kitchen
AN ENTERTAINING IDEA • A proper Victorian grande dame is updated
with a kitchen and deck to accommodate cooking and dining with a crowd
THE STATELY VICTORIAN HOUSE had much to recommend it, from graciously proportioned rooms and oak- paneled wainscot to an air of homey gravitas. One thing it didn’t come close to providing, however, was a wish-list
kitchen. Spacious and light? Think cramped and dark.
Efficient traffic flow? Perhaps for a cat. Room for friends
to gather? Ha!
“I was looking for a space to congregate, cook, and
eat,” says the owner, who lived with the old kitchen for 10
years before making a change. “And I always knew that
when I renovated, I wanted a modern look.”
For a homeowner who loves to entertain, the
kitchen of her 1895 Brookline, Massachusetts, house
offered no joy. It suffered from a tacky 1970s addi-
tion that featured the era’s predilection for angles: “An
architecture: butz + klug
entire wall was set at 45 degrees, and there’s really no
good reason why,” says architect Jeffrey Klug, co-prin-cipal with his wife, Pamela Butz, of Butz + Klug, the
Boston architectural firm that designed a modern new
kitchen that met the owner’s needs, and then some.
Set in a densely settled neighborhood, the house
rests on a hilly but large lot that provided plenty of room
for expansion. So in addition to the new 15-by-24-foot
kitchen, the plan included a spacious mahogany deck,
which effectively doubled the space for seasonal entertaining and casual dining.
“We created a room with the same size and proportions as the 19th-century rooms of the house, but with
a contemporary feeling,” says Klug. Indeed, the kitchen
ceiling is 9 feet 4 inches high, consistent with the rest
of the house, but its rectangular footprint, lack of moldings, and walls of glass make it thoroughly 21st century.
Four mahogany-trimmed floor-to-ceiling frosted-glass
the centerpiece of the new
kitchen is a 12-foot-long
island topped with recycled
glass. Custom mahogany
cabinets and under-counter
drawers, all by Kochman
Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers
in Stoughton, Massachusetts,
provide extra storage. The
stainless steel counters and
backsplash create a
streamlined task zone
stretching from refrigerator
to range to wall oven.