A South End Renovation Story

Anabelle and Atle spent a year looking for the perfect home to accommodate their growing family. With a baby on the way, they had outgrown their Columbus Square lower duplex but didn’t want to leave the South End. “My husband is Norwegian, so we’ve always been very attracted to the Scandinavian look,”Anabelle said. However, new construction homes were either too transitional or too identical to each other in finishes and design. Open to the idea of a  fixer-upper, everything they looked at was either too much work or too expensive. Then they came across a lovely upper triplex on West Newton Street, steps from where they were living.

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“We really liked the bones,” Anabelle recalled. “It didn’t look anything like what we wanted, but the layout was there.” The high ceilings, the roof deck, and the rare private entrance in an upper unit also played a large part in the couple’s decision. With a solid vision of the final product in mind, they tackled a renovation that would, ultimately, take about three months. ”Our contractor and friend, Paul Grant, helped us build it out,” Anabelle said. “We developed the design, chose the paint colors, tiles, hardware, etc. The only thing we didn’t design was the kitchen.” For that, they hired Samantha DeMarco, of Leicht, one of Germany’s most popular kitchen and cabinetry manufacturers.

The result is a bright, airy space with the minimalistic Scandinavian look Anabelle and Atle love. The structural work was kept to a minimum, with most of the changes contained in the realm of “makeup,” as Anabelle said. The white oak  floors, for example, were already there, simply sanded down and stained a delicate gray, unlike the dark hardwood  floors more popular in Boston. The warm, light aesthetic that now defines this family’s dream home is a contemporary style many can appreciate.