A South End Renovation Story: Chris' Condominium
Chris Beuscher purchased his Milford Street home in 2015, when the market was so hot that bidding wars were not uncommon and buyers would frequently show up carrying their checkbooks. He had been living in his Wellfleet vacation home on the Outer Cape, but a business opportunity brought him back to Boston. His interest in the arts — he’s a performing artist, has an independent recording label called PopFree Records, and is a voting member of the Recording Academy known for its Grammy Awards — inevitably drew him to the South End.
The duplex was a real diamond in the rough when he first saw it, Chris recalled. It was nothing like what he was looking for in terms of finishes and interior design, but it had the right layout. A personal friend, designer Deborah Sloane from Sloane Design Group, helped him with the project, and the final product is a perfect blend of Chris’ preference for contemporary aesthetic and Deborah’s nod to the older style of architecture that defines the South End.
Taking advantage of the unusually tall ceilings, they added crown moldings and cut elegant coves with recessed lighting in the living and dining rooms. They also added textured wallpaper, installed an engineered porcelain tile floor with a wood grain pattern on the lower level, and kept classic hardwood on the upper level. “I had a lot of lines in the sand,” Chris recalled. “Most of which I ended up crossing.”
Having worked as a professional chef for many years, he wanted a chef’s kitchen. A parking space and outdoor space for his dogs were must-haves. He got the yard, but came to realize a few things along the way. “The whole point of my wanting to move to the city was because everything is in walking distance,” he said. “So I thought, if I’m only going to use my car when I’m leaving town, why does the parking space have to be in my backyard?” Instead, he purchased a separate parking space barely 50 yards away from his home. Chris even came to love the galley kitchen, something that surprised him. “I realized that I’d done events for 150 people in kitchens smaller than this when I was working professionally,” he said. “But it’s a great working kitchen! It’s even got the chef’s pivot, I can take one step in any direction and reach everything.”
The interior renovation took seven months, but the backyard remodel took over a year. Chris replaced the old staircase with a custom spiral one, which required city approval. But the new staircase lets through a lot more light and opens the space up for entertainment. Not to mention how much more striking it looks. “Everybody will tell you that a gut rehab is an excruciating process,” Chris said. “But when you get through it and get what you want, it’s a beautiful thing. And I really love the way it came out.”