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ABBOTT RESIDENCE | modern colonial house renovation

  • PROJECT: Full interior renovation of the ground floor of a single-family home in North Andover, MA
  • ARCHITECT: Christina Marsh + Kristen Giannattasio; Atelier et Alia
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Aurora Architects + Builders
  • KITCHEN CABINETS: Divine Design Center
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: Jared Kuzia Photography

The renovation of this 1970’s center-entry colonial home focuses on revamping the ground floor’s interior to align with the homeowners’ contemporary design aesthetic and lifestyle.  Previously comprising of a sequence of dimly lit spaces, the renovation reimagines the first floor, ushering in an expansive atmosphere accentuated by bright white tones and natural finishes.


The need for a more spacious kitchen and the design for a walk-in pantry were key factors motivating this renovation.  The previous arrangement of rooms didn’t align with the homeowners’ way of life, as the family room seemed redundant with the living room and sun room on the first floor, along with an entertainment room in the finished basement.  In response, adjustments were made:  the dining room, which was too small for gatherings, was relocated to the front family room, and the kitchen was expanded. The consistent palette features new wide plank light wood flooring, contemporary trim, sleek new radiators, and a bright white wall paint.  This harmonious combination fosters a sense of openness within the interior.

The kitchen renovation, serving as the catalyst for the entire project, aimed to embrace clean, modern lines along with a soothing palette and efficient layout and to make the room bright and airy despite having only a single window.  Enhanced functionality was a paramount consideration.  With an expanded kitchen footprint, a lengthy island was introduced centrally to the space, ideal for both culinary preparations and entertaining.

The dining room was relocated to make way for the enlarged kitchen and surpasses its immediate requirements, providing ample room and accommodating a walk-in pantry adjacent to the kitchen.  The custom barn door, thoughtfully painted to match the tall kitchen cabinets, not only enhances the aesthetic but also ensures convenient access while cooking.

In the living room, the renovated fireplace and surround serves as the centerpiece of the design.  The previous brick fireplace and hearth underwent a transformation, enveloping the brick in engineered stone panels.  This design extends to the ceiling, seamlessly integrating with a fireplace insert featuring glass doors and imparting a modern aesthetic.  The addition of the built-in cabinets establishes a unified and captivating focal point for the room.

In the entry foyer, a fresh design is introduced with new wood treads and risers for the staircase, and a stainless steel guardrail with sleek, minimalist lines imparts a contemporary touch.  The walnut handrails maintain a cohesive theme consistent with the overall palette of the renovation.

The kitchen boasts white gloss cabinets and light-toned engineered stone countertops, effectively reflecting light and brightening the space.  Introducing a captivating contrast in both color and finish, the matte dark grey full-height cabinets serve as a striking counterpoint.  These cabinets are brimming with functionality, featuring an appliance garage on the counter, wall ovens, full-sized side-by-side refrigerator and freezer units, and abundant storage solutions.

Incorporating wood floors, heated tile flooring, and accents of walnut introduces additional warmth to the kitchen to balance the glossy white cabinets.  The design’s clean lines extend into the finer elements, with built-in pulls on the base cabinets and push mechanisms on the full-height cabinet doors, maintaining the streamlined aesthetic.

The presence of walnut wood infuses the kitchen with a sense of tactile richness and warmth.  Throughout the construction phase, the precise choice of this wood held utmost importance, prompting collaborative visits to the mill by both the contractor and homeowners.  Fortuitously, the mill owner happened to have a sizeable walnut tree that was undergoing drying and refinement – a serendipitous find that turned out to be the ideal match for this kitchen.

Do not hesitate to contact me to start your design project journey!