Transitional Design in Back Bay Home Remodel


In this recent remodeling project, we combined original traditional elements with sleek modern design to transform this beautiful Back Bay residence.

Originally built in the 1980s, this 1,820 square foot 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath home presented us with a number of unique building challenges, including recent flood damage, original staircases in significant disrepair, and a crucial dividing wall that housed electrical, venting, and plumbing lines for the entire home. Fortunately, we are always up for a challenge and were able design and build a truly transitional space that is beautiful, practical and innovative.

The Living Room

transitional living room design

transitional living room design

Our client’s ultimate wish for this project was to have a market-ready home – one that offers an open, light-filled space with broad appeal to a wide audience. To accomplish this while also making sure the space felt both inviting and special, we set out to mix the older traditional elements of the home with new modern updates.

before and after living room remodel

The living room is a great example of old meets new: we kept the original crown molding and existing fireplace, and to that we added recessed lighting as well as a built-in wet bar with wine fridge and light oak flooring that carries throughout the entire space. The room is also south-facing so it receives tons of natural light thanks to new oversized windows. 

The Staircase

custom glass staircase
custom modern glass staircase
modern glass staircase design

One of the biggest challenges of this remodel was an old staircase in the heart of the home that was significantly damaged due to flooding and was in severe disrepair. Our solution: a completely restructured, custom-designed staircase with an oak handrail, ultra-modern glass panel, and stainless steel brackets. The stairs were then finished with a custom stain and coated with commercial grade water-based polyurethane, which resulted in a smooth glass-like feel while preserving the beauty and textured look of the wood. 

before and after staircase remodel
Though the staircase was one of the most labor and skill intensive aspects of the remodel, it became the perfect opportunity to create a grand statement in the home’s overall design while also allowing light to stream through the upper and lower levels.

The Kitchen

transitional kitchen design

transitional kitchen cabinets

The open concept kitchen is the centerpiece of this home and we wanted our design to reflect this. The big center island serves as both a generous workspace and a breakfast bar and it features a luxurious quartz countertop with a smooth waterfall edge that creates great continuity in the space.  

before and after kitchen remodel

Aside from the custom glass staircase, the kitchen was the most complex area of the remodel since one of the walls enclosing the original kitchen is where you could find all of the mechanics for the entire home (main plumbing lines, venting for HVAC, electrical, etc.). We seamlessly relocated all of those utilities to surrounding walls to create the modern, open concept layout that it is today.

To give the kitchen extra warmth we opted for custom cabinetry with custom paint colors, and for added visual interest, we installed a coffered ceiling detail which also subtly delineates the space from the living room. And finally, the suite of high-end Miele appliances with a vent hood round out the kitchen’s overall functionality as a true chef’s haven.

The Den

transitional living spaces
transitional living room designs

The den features a handsome original fireplace and a front-facing window with picturesque views that serves as a main source of gorgeous natural light for the entire home.  

before and after living room makeover

This room was more or less an empty shell before the remodel and by preserving the stately original fireplace and crown molding, updating the baseboards, and adding recessed lighting and subtle modern touches throughout, it has become a truly peaceful retreat.

The Master Bedroom

transitional master bedroom design
And speaking of retreats, the master bedroom is an impressively large getaway with its own modern gas fireplace feature, a set of large windows, and stunning oak flooring that ties in with the rest of the home.

master bedroom remodel before and after

This room is another great example of the transitional design we were aiming for; the combination of clean lines and metal and glass details paired with the traditional color palette and layout make for a space that feels timeless and modern at the same time.

If you’re interested in learning more about this project or have questions, feel free to contact us at or 617-576-6100.

To view more of our residential projects,  click here!



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