What you don't see immediately are the wonderful and thoroughly modern secrets behind the “classic” exterior. Besides the “expected,” such as central air conditioning and thermal pane windows, this residence has many “why-didn't-I-think-of-that” features.
“Classic” is the first impression of this five-story townhouse at 101 Revere St. on Beacon Hill, only moments to Charles Street. It’s with good reason given the boot scraper on the granite steps, the front door with transom windows and sidelights, and six-over-six windows with black shutters.
With curved walls in the stairwell and stunningly crafted millwork and hardwood floors in pristine condition, the interior confirms that reaction.
What you don’t see immediately, however, are the wonderful and thoroughly modern secrets behind the “classic” exterior. Besides the “expected,” such as central air conditioning and thermal pane windows, this residence has many “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” features.
Not only is the house wired for sound, but at holiday time, window lights (those pretty white candles) and music are controlled with a single flip/touch.
An old-fashioned built-in (out of sight) laundry chute from the master bedroom to the basement is a time-saver.
This Beacon Hill beauty also has an incredible amount of storage. In every room and hallway, large closets are the norm. So are smaller spaces, such as the Harry Potter cupboards under the stairs and wall cabinetry that can be used as mini-wine caves or to store holiday decorations. In fact, no space is too small. The top step leading to the back deck opens to reveal a handy spot to stash flashlights, a hammer, screwdriver, etc.
All this – plus four bedrooms, three bathrooms, one half bathroom and 2,488 square feet of living space – (and more) is listed by Julie Harrison, Arianna Brown and Mary Conner of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty for $2,850,000.
A marble tile “throw rug” – inlaid marble tiles surrounded by gorgeous oak flooring – is an immediate attraction in the gracious foyer. Two sets of fluted columns highlight the broad archway to an open concept formal living and dining rooms.
Delicate carvings grace the mantel over the gas fireplace with glass doors and a marble surround in the spacious living room.
“Connected” by a second archway with matching columns, the formal dining room is separated, but fully open to the living room. A mini-bump out accommodates a server perfectly without encroaching on a space that seats six, eight or more people comfortably.
The adjacent “serving” kitchen exemplifies the philosophy used to adapt this 19th century home to contemporary lifestyles while incorporating the home’s original elegance. A swinging door leads to this lovely galley space with glass-front mahogany cabinetry (with under mount lighting) over long stretches of granite countertop.
Two ovens (one is a microwave) and a deep double sink address practical needs. Windows are also on each side of this room.
A decorative ceramic corner sink with scalloped edging in the powder room is very sweet, yet built-in flush-mount cabinetry with custom-painted doors stars in this pint-size loo.
Geared to more casual living, the second floor is, nevertheless, exceptionally well-planned. The oversized family room has numerous amenities including a wall of built-ins. Closed cabinets below the open shelving and “chair rail” line provide an enormous amount of storage. With a very attractive fireplace, the room is long on looks, too.
But it’s the suburban-sized eat-in kitchen with a built-in table for four-to-five hungry people that generate rave reviews. Fully open to the family room, this chef’s delight with Thermador ovens, a five-burner gas range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator with integrated panels also has granite-topped counter space everywhere along one long wall and around-the-corner into a second prep space with two-stainless steel sinks.
A substantial amount of cabinetry (with under mount lighting), including pantry cupboards, is impressive, but a “small” extra is most memorable. A step stool built into floor level space under the cabinets pulls out when anyone needs to reach the top shelf. Push it back to invisibility when not in use.
All things beautiful are here, too, such as a decorative tile backsplash and wallpaper on the ceiling that looks like oxidized copper tiles.
A full glass pane door leads to a private deck with built-in seating plus ample room for a table and chairs. This is not the only outdoor space, however. An even larger roof deck with an automatic roof door hatch has spectacular city views, including of the Charles River and Back Bay all the way to The Liberty Hotel (and beyond). There’s also built-in seating – the easier to enjoy the scenery and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Unobstructed sunset views are another perk of this airy space.
A full staircase to this urban “yard” with electricity and water outlets dramatically increase its usability.
The entire third floor is dedicated to the elegant master suite, where closet space is one example of countless amenities. One of two flush-mount “wardrobes” handles sweaters in addition to drawer space. Another has two pullout drawers for shoes. Additional built-in cabinetry with nightstands flanks the king-size bed.
Then, in addition to a linen closet in the hallway, two extra-wide walk-in double closets and a deep single are on the way to a sumptuous en suite bathroom. This retreat has a long vanity with two sinks, a jetted tub and a fully tiled step-in shower with a frameless glass door. A water closet insures privacy; built-in shelving more storage.
Gleaming hardwood flooring is a beautiful period counterpoint to 21st century fixtures, finishes and technology. The bathroom and bedroom have radiant heated flooring as does the first floor living-dining room and the second floor family room-kitchen.
A “wall” storage cupboard is in the stairwell on the way to the fourth floor and two more charming bedrooms. Angled ceilings and wide pine floor boards are rustic touches, but even at the top of the house, thoughtful planning for storage that uses every square inch is evident.
One bedroom has built-in cabinetry with open shelves and drawers while a sweet nook is the perfect size for a bureau.
Currently an office, the other bedroom has built-in shelving. Four large windows (three on one side; one on the other) have another advantage: beautiful rooftop views.
The shared bathroom on this level, complete with an angled ceiling, has a tub/shower ensemble.
The fully finished lower level serves multiple purposes. A large carpeted room can be a second family room or another bedroom. A private entrance that includes a mini-corridor for storage (of course) and a full bathroom with a tub/shower ensemble makes this ideal guest quarters, too.
Laundry facilities on this level include full-size machines, folding space and a separate sink.
The adjacent room, however, has a few surprises, as well. In addition to two large, lighted cedar closets, this space has a roomy workbench with four drawers and full glass pane sliders to a fully enclosed mini brick courtyard. As this has water, establishing a container garden is very doable.