One look, and this Wa­ban cou­ple knew: the 1890s Vic­to­rian was the house of their dreams.

A his­toric Vic­to­rian gets a makeover a young fam­ily can live with.

Boston Common - - CONTENTS - By Marni Katz Pho­tog­ra­phy by Sab­rina Cole Quinn Pho­tog­ra­phy

Me­gan Rus­sel’s hus­band, Jeff, loves old houses, but she’s never been a fan. That she didn’t swoon over the 1892 Vic­to­rian that he pro­claimed could be their for­ever home wasn’t sur­pris­ing. “I didn’t like it,” Me­gan ad­mits. “But he had a vi­sion.” Buoyed by his en­thu­si­asm, the cou­ple pur­chased the nearly 4,500-square-foot Wa­ban house a cou­ple of years ago and hired Nan­cie Cham­ber­lain and Lau­rel Lal­ib­erte of Cham­ber­lain & Lal­ib­erte De­sign As­so­ciates (clde­sign­ to re­fur­bish the tired in­te­rior, re­plac­ing all sys­tems, win­dows, and adding a third-story ad­di­tion. More im­por­tantly, the pair de­vel­oped Jeff’s con­cept of “blow­ing out the back,” which brought to life the dark, dis­con­nected kitchen as it was in­te­grated with the 2,500-square-foot ad­di­tion that in­cluded a light­filled, cathe­dral-ceilinged fam­ily room. “The home didn’t pro­vide the ev­ery­day ar­eas so im­por­tant to a young fam­ily’s life­style,” Cham­ber­lain says. Once con­struc­tion was com­plete, Me­gan brought in Robin M. An­der­son (robin­man­der­, an up-and-com­ing de­signer, life­style blog­ger and close friend, to help make it feel like home. Work­ing within the al­ready es­tab­lished pal­ette of white, black, grey and tan, An­der­son lay­ered in fur­ni­ture with clean sil­hou­ettes and ac­ces­sories with bohemian funk. The wal­nut din­ing ta­ble adds an earthy el­e­ment, while black chairs echo the kitchen cab­i­netry and black win­dow frames. Mid-cen­tury style chairs in camel-col­ored leather and ac­ces­sories in bur­nished brass coun­ter­bal­ance the cool grays, and ab­stract art­work and tex­tiles in­ject inky blues. In the for­mal din­ing room, a mar­ble topped pedestal ta­ble seems to float, sur­rounded by com­fort­able up­hol­stered chairs that can with­stand spills. An­der­son says, “Like the other rooms we’ve com­pleted, it’s glam enough for Meg, but ca­sual enough to use with the kids.”

Clock­wise from left: Once An­der­son found per­fect perches for the kitchen is­land—Bacco leather and wal­nut counter stools from De­sign Within Reach—Me­gan asked that she also dec­o­rate the rest of the house; the open-iron base of the cof­fee ta­ble echoes the...

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