A delightful mix of classic design and modern comforts in the Back Bay
Interior trends come and go, but a truly classic home will always look current. An elevated duplex at the corner of Exeter and Marlborough streets in the Back Bay is a timeless classic. It’s exquisitely finished and every single detail in this place serves the 1886 architecture while fully embracing a modern aesthetic. It’s a brilliant balance.
Unit 1 at 16 Exeter St. is listed by Tracy Campion of Campion and Company for $5,450,000. The four-bedroom residence is spacious and elegant in every inch of its two faultlessly laid-out levels. In this quintessential Back Bay condo, the gracious, impeccably updated rooms are reminiscent of those in a well-appointed suburban single-family home.
But this home has all the perks of city living in a wide historic building with arched windows and doorways. Only one other unit in the building uses the front door (the others use a separate entrance), so it feels very private.
Come up a short stairway through the unit’s front door to step into a grand entry foyer that serves as the home’s reception hall. It’s a mingling area for guests on party night, but a great space in its own right with inlays in the new hardwood floors and a central stairway to the homeowner’s private level.
The foyer is flanked on four sides by the main rooms of the duplex’s first floor.
Graced with bay windows, detailed moldings and attractive relief work on the corner fireplace mantel, the living room is formal and light-filled. The chandelier in this room hangs from a gold medallion.
The family room is a tremendous draw. Paneled in warm cherrywood, it’s the home’s relaxation and hangout space. The five windows on one side of the room connect it to the tree-lined street outside. The coffered ceiling is a standout with the delicate chandeliers and mirrored French doors creating an inspired contrast to the dark wood. The fireplace on the TV wall is wood-burning.
Dinners for a crowd of family and friends are enjoyed in the big dining room where a table for 12 people fits effortlessly. The lighted china cabinet built-ins can display a fine collection. Moldings enhance the walls and pediments add a substantial architectural feature. Facing Marlborough Street, the room is very bright.
Proceed through a short hall toward the impressive custom kitchen. Its walls are lined with storage cabinets and some are lighted and fronted with glass. The appliances are the ones everybody covets: a Sub-Zero refrigerator (concealed behind panels), a Viking range with hood, and a top-of-the-line Miele dishwasher. The countertops are made of marble.
A charming island offers more storage and seats two people at its breakfast bar. Plus, there’s room for a table that seats four people in front of the cozy gas fireplace. The marble on the hearth and surround matches the stone on the counters.
From the kitchen, go back into the dining room or back to the foyer. Each room on the living level has two ways to enter - and all lead back to it, creating a nice flow.
Don’t miss the guest bath on this floor, which is much more than a typical powder room. A shower is cleverly hidden behind French doors.
There’s one more room on this floor. It could act as an intimate sitting room or be used as an overflow area during big gatherings. Currently, it’s furnished with a round table that often holds a massive floral display.
Climb the graceful staircase to the sleeping level, pausing at the top to admire the stunning tracery ceiling. Few homes, even the most attractive, are augmented with this level of detail.
Every bedroom here looks like it belongs in an exclusive hotel.
The primary suite is sophisticated and refined. The light-filled corner bedroom has a wood-burning fireplace and room for a seating area in front of it - a nice spot to unwind before easing into bed. An oversized walk-in closet has carefully crafted wood organizers, soft carpeting and with a bright window, it serves as a dressing room.
A long marble vanity with dual sinks, a deep free-standing tub and a walk-in shower with glass doors distinguish the en suite bathroom. There’s a separate water closet for privacy. Nice details include a marble floor, wainscotting and windows on both sides of the mirror - all to make the space feel truly luxurious.
Of the three other restful bedrooms located on this level, one rocks an en suite bathroom and the other two are served by a hall bath. All of the bathrooms are well-appointed and beautifully done up with marble.
A laundry room on the bedroom level is de rigeur in this type of home. This one is outfitted with a stacked Whirlpool Duet Steam washer and dryer. That completes the home and makes it an ideal place to reside.
Architected and designed by a well-known Boston-based firm, this beautiful and carefully curated home layers architectural history with superbly comfortable modern living. The newer plumbing and HVAC systems will contribute to the next owner’s comfort. An additional storage unit downstairs offers space for seasonal or bulky items.
Your car with be kept safe and accessible with a monthly parking space in a nearby garage included.
While the home’s exquisite style is memorable, the location is also unbeatable. On this corner, the beauty and bustle of the Back Bay are within easy reach.
Address: 16 Exeter St., Unit 1, Back Bay
BR/BA: Four bedrooms, four full bathrooms
Built: 1886, converted to condominium in the 1990s, with many renovations beginning in 2013
Size: 3,882 square feet
Association fee: $1,753/month
Building features: Wide, historic, beautifully detailed, meticulously maintained building originally constructed in 1886 on the corner of Exeter and Marlborough Streets. Four units. Professionally managed. One nearby garage monthly parking space included.
Features of unit: Second and third floor duplex with expansive rooms and classical architectural details. Inlaid hardwood floors and bright bow windows add interest. Grand reception foyer and elegant staircase with tracery ceiling. Seven fireplaces - six wood-burning, and one gas. Fabulous custom kitchen with marble counters, island with breakfast bar, and top-of-the-line appliances. Formal living room with detailed moldings and bay windows. Capacious dining room with space to seat 12 people and lighted built-ins to show off china. Cherrywood-paneled family room with coffered ceiling. Sunny primary suite with oversized walk-in closet. Luxurious marble bathrooms. Plentiful storage throughout. New plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. Sonos sound system. Laundry in unit.
Close by: Restaurants, shops, houses of worship, and cultural attractions of the Back Bay and Theatre District. Easy access to MBTA Green Line and Orange Line at Back Bay Commuter Rail Station. Convenient to Storrow Drive and the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Contact: Tracy Campion, Campion and Company, 172 Newbury St., Boston.