4 Ways This Innovative Design Team Transformed a Back Bay Brownstone

03.22.2020 | Paula Daher | Features

It was clear the building needed a hard reset. The old and stuffy space was no place to raise a family of six looking for a city escape. Gutting the 8,000 square feet building and building it back beautifully from scratch, though, was no small task. It was time to call the experts. Luckily, the new owners of this Back Bay brownstone knew that when it comes to city restorations and renovations, no challenge is too great for the pros at Daher Interior Design.

“The house was a shell when we stepped in,” says principal designer Paula Daher. “Since we’re unique in that we also do interior architecture, we were able to come up with a plan to overhaul the space and make it relevant to the family’s everyday lifestyle.”

What the design team crafted from the foundation of just four brick walls has to be seen to be believed. Good thing they took lots of photos. From the ground floor to the roof deck, here are four innovative ways Daher Interior Design gave the brownstone the ultimate transformation.

A Fresh Foyer

The home’s “wow” factor shows as soon as you walk into the six-story townhouse. Almost everything is brand new. The only salvaged pieces are the front door, glass sidelights, and stair balustrade, though you wouldn’t know at first glance. Even the walls had to be rebuilt. To amp up the glamour quotient, the Daher design team used molding as a way to tie in the past but painted the entire space in tones of white to create a backdrop for art and an airiness that gives the room a modern look and feel.

“It feels fresh and immediate, yet still keeps this tension between the old and the contemporary so it has a classic brownstone feel in a very glamorous way,” says Daher. 

A Modern Kitchen Makeover

Narrow buildings like brownstones aren’t usually conducive to large kitchens. With a whole floor to work with, though, Daher designers were able to open the space to flow seamlessly between the kitchen and living area.

“It’s casual and designed the way we live today,” says Daher. “Our goal is to make these spaces relevant to how people want to use their homes.”

The flow between the two spaces is most evident in the periwinkle blue color palette driven by the traditional handcrafted La Cornue oven and extending to a beautiful blue cloud painting in the cozy dining area. The large windows also allow natural light all the way into the kitchen, gorgeously reflecting off the soapstone island, marble backwash, and glass lighting fixtures. 

Beyond the Bedroom

Nothing helps beat the winter chill quite like a bedroom fireplace, especially after a warm soak in the ultra-luxe freestanding bathtub. They’re just a few of the top-tier amenities the Daher design team incorporated into the master suite covering an entire floor with a chic dressing room, an enormous bedroom, and an office with a view.

“It’s kind of like designing a yacht,” says Daher. “”Brownstones are peculiar in that the buildings are narrow, yet the ceilings are very high. People live on multiple floors rather than a suburban home where each floor is much wider. With limited square feet you have to make every inch count. Everything in the design has a reason and a purpose.”

Raise the Roof

Plopping down on the sofa and switching on the TV for gameday doesn’t get much more comfortable than this top floor nook crafted by the Daher design team. Not to mention the patio hot tub and stunning views of the Back Bay skyline. The stunning shiplap clad walls give the space a fresh and casual vibe perfect for entertaining friends and family.

Daher emphasizes that her team’s mission is always to create spaces that are an extension of each client’s tastes and needs. After revitalizing dozens of high-end residences across Boston and beyond, she says her team has developed unparalleled expertise in crafting spaces that allow clients’ personalities and needs to be center stage.

“The goal is always to make these spaces relevant to the clients everyday lifestyle in a unique and perfectly functional way,” she says.

This article originally appeared on Boston Magazine’s website.


3 Inventive Ways This Design Team Maximized the Space in This Small Condo

03.22.2020 | Paula Daher | Features

Good news urban dwellers. A lack of living space does not have to limit your lifestyle. Just ask the team at Daher Interior Design that transformed 1,100 square-feet luxury condo in One Dalton Four Seasons into a roomy pied-à-terre. Here are the three biggest ways the innovative designers supersized the space.

Form Follows Function

No room for frills here. Every piece in the two bed, one family room apartment serves a purpose, most of them multi-purpose. A chair for lounging swivels to become an extra seat at the dining table. Adjustable sconces limit the need for lamps and carry the light to all corners. The built-in wall in the living room? Pulling out a drawer reveals a dry bar perfect for cocktail party entertaining.

“It is really one room doing triple duty,” says principal designer Paula Daher. “We always aim to be creative and crafty about how we design spaces so they are live-able, but also functional.”

Smart Storage

Fall sweaters. Winter boots. Spring dresses. Summer swimwear. New Englanders know, there is never enough closets to keep them all year-round. So, where do you fit your whole wardrobe with only a small closet in the master bedroom? For the Daher design team, the answer was hiding it all in plain sight. Drawers in the built-in wall can hold anything from a parka to a printer. Sheets and towels can be stored in the headboard above the king-sized bed. Pull-out bed size tables mean there is no need to store books under the pillow.

“When you have a small space, you have to create areas to store things you may not have in a larger dwelling,” says Daher. “We knew we needed more storage, so we came up with a floor plan that incorporates everything.”

Custom Contemporary

In design, one size does not fit all, especially when it is a small size to begin with. That is why Daher meets with clients throughout the process to design a space that feels like home. Take the chair facing the TV, for instance. Knowing that she was working with a tall couple, Daher found a chair long enough to accommodate them that also fit the cozy and contemporary vibe of the condo. In fact, only the floor and kitchen came with the apartment. Everything else—like the millwork and case pieces—was Daher-designed.

“We wanted the décor to feel light and airy,” says Daher. “It feels modern and refined, yet is still a warm and welcoming space to relax.”

Whether it is a luxury townhouse or chic triplex, Daher says the goal of her team is to work with the homeowners and design a space that provides a floor plan and storage needs, then amps up the design through fabrics, finishes, lighting, and wall treatments. When a home focuses on the client needs and provides for them, she says, size really does not matter.

“My goal is for the client to walk in and say ‘wow this is my house and it is exactly perfect for us,” says Daher.

This article originally appeared on Boston Magazine’s website.