From the outside, the iron gray Hardie plank on the home at 20 Pleasant St. coordinates nicely with the other row houses on this side of the street. The homeowners like to describe the exterior of their house as “a handsome man in a tuxedo.”

If you’re interested in seeing some of the most meticulously restored homes and historic sites in the oldest neighborhood in Boston, the Charlestown Preservation Society’s Historic House Tour is a can’t-miss. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Boston Homes had a chance to pay a pre-tour visit to one of the most remarkable homes on the tour, and we loved every inch of it.

From the outside, the iron gray Hardie plank on the home at 20 Pleasant St. coordinates nicely with the other row houses on this side of the street. The homeowners like to describe the exterior of their house as “a handsome man in a tuxedo.”

Once the front door opens to let a guest in, a surprise of the best kind awaits. Row houses can be dark, but this one is suffused with natural light.

Illumination streams through two windows on the street side as well as through the door to the patio and two large skylights upstairs, highlighting every detail of the open, contemporary interior. Even after dark, the home is alight. Blessed with three nearby streetlights, the home gets the sense of moon glow in the evening.

But it wasn’t always like this. When the current homeowners purchased this 1851 property in 2014, they learned that 90 percent of the home could not be saved. Of course, that gave them a lot of freedom, but presented a new set of problems.

Not interested in recreating a period look, they worked closely with their architects, Höweler and Yoon, and their contractor, Evergreen, on a new aesthetic. Now, nothing is left from the original structure except for the floors.

“This is the original subfloor,” one of the homeowners explained. “It was the only thing that could be saved from the old house.”

Made of New Hampshire red pine, a material was not commonly used as flooring; the old floor was pulled up and rebuilt in pieces. The contractor laid down a new subfloor and installed the old one on top. Its imperfections are perfectly charming.

Located at the back left of the first floor, the kitchen is striking with high-end appliances for a high-performance cooking space. The shining stainless steel LG refrigerator makes a great first impression, and the six-burner gas cooktop and stacked wall ovens are Italian products manufactured by Bertazzoni. The glossy cabinetry is from IKEA, and the contrast works well.

A great pantry was a must for this couple, and although this one is small in size, it makes great use of the space. An appliance garage is built into the wall to conceal small kitchen appliances.

Guests and family alike make use of a tiny first floor powder room off the pantry, which has a stylish cement tile floor.

Dividing the dining space from the living room space is a substantial island. Installed on the far side of the island is a 55-inch TV, ideally situated for viewing from the couch.

To make things cozy when the weather turns chilly, a gas fireplace is installed nearby. Only a single layer of brick was used to separate this house from the row house next door. Now, the chimney is reinforced with steel.

No visit to the home would be complete without a few moments on the mahogany deck. Sided with corrugated metal, the back walls of the house show reflections and shadows. The trailing ivy lends a touch of old Charlestown, and the configuration of the windows on horizontal and vertical planes adds interest.

Ultimately, visitors will want to go back inside where a stairway runs the height of the building. Perforated metal along the side provides interesting texture and allows light to penetrate. The home’s second floor has a guest space, which functions as a sitting room until the convertible couch is opened into a queen size bed. Bright rugs and modern art accent the space.

At the top of the stairs, there’s a place for a tall Christmas tree. It’s easy to imagine how a well-decorated tree will look there.

A full bath across the hall houses a cast iron tub. It retains heat well, so a relaxing bath can take all evening.

Each of the homeowners has a separate office on this level. The house is filled with comfortable places to sit and read, and the favorite spot is a big golden yellow chair next to a front window. If one of the residents looks up from a book, the garden across the street provides a lovely view.

In this residence, the entire top floor is the master suite. The bedroom has a southern exposure, so it’s warm and light-filled, even in the snow. It’s very simple and peaceful, minimally furnished. An internal window seat provides another place to unwind.

The walk-in closet offers plenty of wardrobe storage. The master bath has mosaic tiles, double sinks, a big shower and a stacked washer/dryer pair.

An additional outdoor space is accessible from the third floor. From the IPE wood roof deck, the view is of a wide sky and the monument: classic Charlestown. A tomato garden produces lots of fruit, although the local squirrels try to share it.

Back in the house, there’s wonderful air circulation, keeping the home cool and breezy on a warm summer day.

“Here at the bottom of Breed’s Hill, there’s a natural flow of air,” one of the homeowners said.

Under construction for all of 2016, the house has been completely renovated, yet it retains its sense of history. What started as an empty box and a blank slate has been transformed into a stunning modern home that respects the neighborhood.

The house at 20 Pleasant St. is only one of the stops on the tour. In addition to permitting the public to view of some of the exceptional historic residences of Charlestown’s Gaslight District, this year, the tour will include a stop that provides a look the interior of the Charlestown Five Cent Savings Bank, along with a trip to the iron vaults.

Participants can take the tour on foot, or hop on a shuttle. Ticket prices the day of the tour are $35 for members and $40 for non-members. To find out more about the tour, go to