Designer Nina Farmer Transforms a Historic Boston House

Let me start by first saying this, the February issue of House Beautiful is incredible! Cover to cover, with each image and story told, House Beautiful has delivered a truly gorgeous, insightful material. So if you haven’t gotten yours in the mail, please go out there and buy a copy asap. This is one issue you’ll want to hold on to. It’s that good! The magazine’s February theme is Before & Afters (and during) – which by themselves are some of the most gratifying design stories we could ask for. It might just inspire your next home makeover!


Starting with the cover, a mid-reno shot of Eddie Ross’ dining room (yes, you read that right! A mid-reno shot can be cover-worthy!) The former executive editor of Better Homes & Gardens and author of Modern Mix shares a stunning image of his dining room at Edgewood Hall, the historic home in Wayne, Pennsylvania he’s renovating with his partner Jaithan. Can’t wait to see it all finished! Following up – everything you need to know when considering a bathroom overhaul, and of course several before and after projects: Amanda Lindroth, Shon Parker and Nina Farmer are just a few of my favorite designers in this month’s issue.


In fact, Boston-based designer Nina Farmer (pictured above) created a very special home with a kitchen that I’m pretty sure will win Kitchen of The Year award. One of the reasons I chose Nina’s project for today’s post is  because I fell in love with her vision for this house and felt I had to share it. It is also a learning opportunity for me in a way. It is not that often we get to see older homes, historic homes with architectural details so worth preserving that are actually beautifully designed to be lived in by a young family.

A brick house built in the 1880s, the home is located in the historical district of Boston. Beautifully preserved by its previous owners and spared the reno-madness of the 80s, the house kept intact its Craftsman style architectural details: dark boiserie throughout, beams and built-in cabinets, window seats and stained glass, all those details so worth preserving in a historic home but that are harder to design around for a modern lifestyle without it all feeling dark and dated. However, Nina Farmer managed to do so beautifully!

In its essence, the house was left undisturbed – no change in the floor plans nor knocking down walls. The home’s character remained intact while the changes occurred only on the surface. A cosmetic lift of some sorts: fresh paint, many yards of wallpaper and carefully chosen fabrics with rich colors and textures were all that’s been done to the space. Isn’t it wonderful?

The Kitchen:



The Living Room:




The Dining Room:



The Bedroom:


bedroom after

The family room functions as home office:


In the powder room, the authentic corner sink and beadboard were preserved. Marbleized wallpaper and a cool mirror add modern drama to this tiny room.


For more details and resources, as well as an interview with the designer, head over to House Beautiful. Have a nice weekend!