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Incredible and Historic Wakefield Colonial Renovation Blends Classic New England Character with Modern Upgrades

Late last year, I was given the welcome task of helping my buyer clients in their search for a historic and distinct home on the North Shore of Massachusetts. A historic home that was either renovated OR had potential to be renovated, BUT also needed to be close to: 1. a bustling town center 2. the commuter rail 3. some “slice of nature”. The combination of classic New England colonial charm with a modern flair has been a staple of our local market for decades, and is a criteria that many local buyers have on their wish list. Finding that in a location that fits their commuting, social needs and outdoor wish list wouldn’t be easy, but: challenge accepted!

A good portion of my 15+ years in Real Estate has afforded me the chance to work in quintessential “quaint” New England towns AND also urban areas - as both single family and loft-style properties have been homes I’ve had the pleasure of selling. I absolutely love unique buildings and properties that have had “second lives” breathed into them, be it a former church or schoolhouse turned lofts, barns turned single family homes, or carriage houses into condos. 

Fast forward to last year’s holiday season, when we found this incredible home in Wakefield: The Nathaniel Cowdrey House was built in 1720, while also is on the National Register of Historical Places. SO YES, it’s safe to say we can call this one “classic & historic New England”; a 300 YEAR OLD home with comfort and warmth - beautifully cared for 3 centuries with many period details - original wide pine floors, hand hewn moldings, built in cabinetry, stone walls, SIX FIREPLACES, a detached carriage house, etc!! Within walking distance to Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield’s desirable Main Street, AND the Commuter Rail!  

(Shameless buyer agent plug: Naturally, I helped my clients negotiate an accepted price $17,400 LOWER than the asking price, even on such a desirable property)

The home is stunning - but renovations were necessary, particularly in the kitchen, and a master bath was on the wish list, too! 

This type of renovation - one that needs special care to maintain the original “feel” of the home, while bringing it up to current aesthetic & functionality - takes a diligent type of designer and builder to deliver these expectations. This is where the team of Sheila Clarke of M & H Interiors and Richard Bova of Tycon Development displayed their talents to deliver an incredible finished product that blended these two ideals - 300 years apart - seamlessly. The kitchen maintained it’s original layout, but took advantage of hidden brickwork, exposed barn beams and existing bow window to create an extraordinary & classic space. The master bathroom was designed in an existing walk-in closet off the master bedroom - utilizing the windows, corner exposure, and opening up a wall to display the original chimney for a bright, simple but absolutely handsome full bathroom! 

Below are the "AFTER and BEFORE" photos. 

For more information on working with this incredible design team (and to see an HGTV House Hunters video featuring their work!), visit:

To discuss buying or selling a home with an agent that delivers exactly what you are looking for, contact:
Paul Santucci, President of Residential Sales, 617.694.0004