Layers of Change

In the heart of downtown Newburyport stands a vibrant pumpkin colored house with a beautiful and stately exterior that tells nothing of the many changes that the interior has seen.

Built in 1848, Pat and Kyle’s house was originally a 3 family dwelling; the couple immediately transformed it to a duplex and then slowly began to work on transforming it into the lovely single family home it is today.

“It was a labor of love,” said Kyle, “We would get home from work at night and start ripping out old carpets and tearing down wall paper.”


According to Pat, the project was more like an archeological dig than a house renovation. The couple peeled off layers and layers of linoleum from the floor, each showing a different era in style. “We found all kinds of crockery and bottles in the back yard too – that’s where anything that was broken or unwanted was thrown away.”

One of the first projects for the house was a quick kitchen update which the couple lived with for almost 10 years. Eventually all the other parts of the house came together, including a brand new brick chimney and a spectacular garden and pool area. Then Kyle and Pat decided it was time to do the kitchen right!


This time the main priority was creating a good flow through the kitchen area, with functional use of space and lots of room to store things. A long antique oak island filled both requirements. The front side of the island maintains a stylish aesthetic, while the back toward the sink and fridge area is 100% functional with large drawers that are perfect for storing pots, pans, pizza stone and small appliances. The drawers pull out smoothly so nothing is lost in the back.


The antique oak island countertop is a beautiful contrast to the Brazilian Barroca Soapstone counters that surround the sink and range areas. Kyle and Pat chose to oil their soapstone but like to let it fade from black to dark grey creating a slightly more casual look which complements both the island and the wide plank pine floors, original to the house.


The perimeter cabinetry is spray finished with linen white, simple and stylish. Opposite the island stands a custom made hutch, designed specifically for the space it inhabits. The lower cabinets have solid wood doors (great for storage) and the uppers have glass panels which make it a perfect place for Kyle and Pat to store their beautiful collection of blue and white crockery. A narrow antique pine countertop runs between the top and bottom.

Whether Kyle’s mixing up sport drinks for a marathon training run, or creating ratatouille inspired by Pat’s homeland of France, she, Pat and their sweet and ancient dog Merilee, feel that their home has finally found the kitchen that fits.