Boston, MA

About this project

Beacon Hill is an historic Boston neighborhood known for narrow gas lit streets and brick sidewalks. The Charles Bulfinch-designed Massachusetts State House sets the tone for the area as it…

Beacon Hill is an historic Boston neighborhood known for narrow gas lit streets and brick sidewalks. The Charles Bulfinch-designed Massachusetts State House sets the tone for the area as it is prominently located at the top of Beacon Hill. In 1955, the Historic Beacon Hill District was created to protect the neighborhood’s history and in 1962, Beacon Hill was designated a National Historic Landmark.

TMS Architects had the opportunity to work with long-time clients on the renovation of their Beacon Hill pied-a-terre. The couple are owners of a successful inn on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and wanted a small apartment in Boston where they could decompress and enjoy the cultural opportunities offered by the city. Since their summers are very busy with their inn and related businesses, the Beacon Hill residence is used primarily in fall, winter and early spring.

The renovated space occupies part of the first floor in what was originally a single family home dating from the 1850’s and was built for a Massachusetts governor and his family. The building was the first condominium conversion on Beacon Hill and was formerly occupied by students and direly in need of a total renovation when it was purchased by the current homeowners.

The condominium is only 400 square feet and every inch has been put to good use! The combination of the old world charm of Beacon Hill mixed with a more contemporary kitchen and bath eloquently speaks to the melding of the past and the present. As the residence is used primarily in winter months, the design and furnishings evoke a cozy and sumptuous nest.

The homeowner did a great deal of the interior construction work himself and as he described it, “every step was a challenge, from negotiating the correct windows the Beacon Hill Historical Commission, to working with out-of-date electricity and plumbing.”

This unit is the only one in the building that does not have a separate bedroom but this was solved with a cleverly engineered queen-sized “Murphy” bed built into one wall that easily folds down when needed. The “dining room” has a table placed strategically in front of the two prominent windows overlooking the streetscape.

There is a careful layering of textures, colors, and materials woven throughout the home, making it appear more spacious than its 400 square foot size would indicate. Each space is delineated by its own flooring from the refinished quarter sawn original oak floors in the main living room, tile in the bathroom and new wood flooring in the kitchen area. The project may have been a challenge at the outset but the results are stunning!

Project Details
  • 400 square feet
  • The homeowners located the distinctive oil paintings in New Orleans. The one over the fireplace was painted between1577-1640 and is Rubens in his Studio.  Another was painted by noted artist William Redmond Bigg in 1755-1828 and is entitled “Family Portrait.”
  • Beacon Hill is one of the most historic neighborhoods in Boston and was originally laid out by Charles Bulfinch, architect of the Massachusetts State House.
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Beacon Hill is an historic Boston neighborhood known for narrow gas lit streets and brick sidewalks. The Charles Bulfinch-designed Massachusetts State House sets the tone for the area as it is prominently located at the top of Beacon Hill. In 1955, the Historic Beacon Hill District was created to protect the neighborhood’s history and in 1962, Beacon Hill was designated a National Historic Landmark.

TMS Architects had the opportunity to work with long-time clients on the renovation of their Beacon Hill pied-a-terre. The couple are owners of a successful inn on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and wanted a small apartment in Boston where they could decompress and enjoy the cultural opportunities offered by the city. Since their summers are very busy with their inn and related businesses, the Beacon Hill residence is used primarily in fall, winter and early spring.

The renovated space occupies part of the first floor in what was originally a single family home dating from the 1850’s and was built for a Massachusetts governor and his family. The building was the first condominium conversion on Beacon Hill and was formerly occupied by students and direly in need of a total renovation when it was purchased by the current homeowners.

The condominium is only 400 square feet and every inch has been put to good use! The combination of the old world charm of Beacon Hill mixed with a more contemporary kitchen and bath eloquently speaks to the melding of the past and the present. As the residence is used primarily in winter months, the design and furnishings evoke a cozy and sumptuous nest.

The homeowner did a great deal of the interior construction work himself and as he described it, “every step was a challenge, from negotiating the correct windows the Beacon Hill Historical Commission, to working with out-of-date electricity and plumbing.”

This unit is the only one in the building that does not have a separate bedroom but this was solved with a cleverly engineered queen-sized “Murphy” bed built into one wall that easily folds down when needed. The “dining room” has a table placed strategically in front of the two prominent windows overlooking the streetscape.

There is a careful layering of textures, colors, and materials woven throughout the home, making it appear more spacious than its 400 square foot size would indicate. Each space is delineated by its own flooring from the refinished quarter sawn original oak floors in the main living room, tile in the bathroom and new wood flooring in the kitchen area. The project may have been a challenge at the outset but the results are stunning!