Before & After :: Newton Colonial

Michael J Lee Newton KMID Boston Interior Design

Happy New Year everyone! It’s safe to say that 2015 has been a whirlwind but I’m pleased to announce that I’m now back from maternity leave! Although it feels a little weird to leave the girls at home, I’m really excited to be back in the office. 2015 was a life changing year both for my family, with the birth of our second daughter, and for KMID, as we moved into our new office in Somerville. We have a lot of exciting upcoming projects in the new year and it feels good to be back in my work boots {so to speak}! So make sure to stay tuned on the blog for periodic updates about what’s happening at KMID.

Today I want to share a beautiful Before & After with you all! You may recognize some of these photos as the project was just featured in Sunday’s edition of the Boston Globe Magazine {or online here}. I have to admit I will never stop getting that “pinch me” feeling when I see our work in print! I wanted to share a little bit more about the project and how it all came together so read on for the juicy details…

This young family immediately fell in love with this beautiful old colonial home {built in 1900} in Newton. When they moved in, they brought with them a hodgepodge of family furniture that they had collected over the years.  So while their house was fully furnished, it didn’t reflect their style or feel like home to them.

They approached KMID to help them marry their youthful spirit with both the house and the classic pieces that they had inherited. We wanted to honor the bones of the home and its history, but also make it work for the homeowners and withstand the rigors of family life. To achieve this, we kept a lot of their antique furniture, and reupholstered it with more updated, fresh fabrics. This helped keep the traditional lines and curves, but with a more updated and fresh take. It’s a very beautiful traditional home, and the aesthetic embraces the history but also feels welcoming and casual.



When these new home owners moved in, they wanted to highlight the thick original moldings and lovely wainscoting in the living room and entry. They started by painting the trim a cooler and brighter white to really highlight the intricate woodwork in the entryway. We then chose this gorgeous wallpaper from The Martin Group to make an impact and really set the tone for the rest of the home. The fun 1950’s Spanish metal light fixture from English Accent Antiques helps strike the perfect balance between modern and traditional.

Living Room

Michael J Lee Newton KMID Boston Interior Design

You can really see the difference simply painting this space made.  We opted for a beautiful, dusty rose paint color {Benjamin Moore Sheraton Beige} to keep things neutral yet maintain interest and warmth. We really wanted to keep the use of color throughout the space, but by layering on a calmer palate in a more thoughtful way.

This beautiful Natural Curiosities “Gold Leaf Waves” print really draws you into the room and makes a bold impact. The tufted “Vivian” sofa from Emerson Bentley has traditional lines, but is updated when paired with red throw pillows and one in a suzani pattern from Etsy.  We also re-upholstered this antique Hollywood armchair in a fresh mint mini-print by Victoria Hagan. An oversize oval ottoman made of mohair and velvet by Lee Industries takes the place of a standard coffee table, while remaining versatile, practical and comfortable.

Living Room Nook


This corner is in the living room, and we wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost in the space. This painting by Elise Morris from Jules Place packs some color and texture and draws the eye to this special nook. This “Samuel” wingback chair from Furnishings by Design grounds the corner of the room and balances the other furniture in the room. The clean and fresh white drapes and sweet blue and white floral window seat cushion make for a bright and relaxing reading nook.

Dining Room


Once again, the bones of this room were beautiful. We replaced the red paint with a beautiful printed grasscloth by Berkeley House that immediately brightened and transformed the room. We loved the curves and shape of their existing dining room chairs, but reupholstered them with a metallic Nina Campbell fabric to give them an updated look. As for the window treatments, the vintage metal valances were a really cool and unique element that we wanted to keep.  We replaced their existing white drapes with these beautiful green wool window treatments by Brunschwig & Fils, adding some color and luxury to the space.



This stairway runner was in need of an upgrade. We updated it with a subtle print in a softer, calmer color. The result was still classic, but didn’t take away attention from everything else around it. The sculptural antique bench, found by the homeowners on, draws the eye to the detailed white woodwork. I love this Madeline Weinrib rug, with a graphic black and white print on a lavender field, because it brings a fresh modernity to the space. Finally, the painting by Duy Huynh from Jules Place adds visual interest in a soft way that doesn’t upstage the architecture.

For more photos from this project shot by Michael J. Lee Photography check out Newton Colonial on the Portfolio section of our website or check out our Pinterest page. You can also read about the project in this Sunday’s {1/3} edition of the Globe magazine {or online here}.

Design is everywhere. Be inspired.



  1. Hi Kate Loved seeing your work..I recognized the ocean picture..Congrats on a great job. Love Carol and T

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