Kate Abt and her clients, Jon and Sarah Bresler, sought to maintain as much of the existing structure as possible when rethinking the interiors of a 110-year-old townhouse. The couple wanted to “respect the details and history of the property while renovating it and putting in a more current day feel and style,” according to the couple, who have a young daughter.

However, the ancient home, which spans 2,800 square feet and has four bedrooms and four baths, required a major renovation, which included expanding the back and lowering the basement to accommodate the growing family.



“With the addition of a modern back to the home, we really appreciated the juxtaposition of the old and new,” adds Abt. The oak floors in the two front rooms, which have inlaid mahogany, were one of the components they wanted to maintain. “They have a lot of soul and personality,” the designer explains. “They’re really charming.”

The oak pocket doors that separate the stairwell from the main living room were also left alone. “A previous owner had painted the inside edge of the doors to match the white casing,” Abt explains, “but we stripped them and restored them to their original oak wood.” The oak-paneled staircase and many of the old radiators were also maintained. “It gives the house a richness and patina that you just can’t get from modern construction,” she says.

The kitchen, which is at the heart of the house, underwent the most dramatic alteration. “Being in the heart of the house, it needed to look good as well as function,” Abt adds. She attempted to maximise square footage while taking into account the home’s small layout, ultimately surrendering some storage space to meet the couple’s request for a larger burner. “My clientele enjoy cooking, so having as big a selection as possible was essential,” she explains.

BlueStar appliances are another another culinary must-have. “They had done some research and fell in love with the line—not only for their purpose, but also for their beauty…and the fact that they are manufactured not far from them, in Pennsylvania,” Abt says, adding that the pair wanted to incorporate as many locally sourced personalised pieces as possible.

Despite a few public utility delays, the year-and-a-half project went off without a hitch—though one piece of news caused the designer to alter her original plan slightly: “The nicest surprise and modification was finding out I needed to build a charming nursery for a special little girl!” she exclaims.

Take a look around the remainder of the gorgeous family house in the gallery below.


Living Room



Allen Built shelving and a customised coffee table are among the many creative details in this comfortable, personal space.





“I think we all adore the kitchen,” Abt exclaims. “It’s the hub of the house, a place for peaceful family time or social gatherings with extended family and friends.” It’s where joy and memories are created.” A custom soapstone sink, as well as a dog feeding and water station on one end of the island, were required.

MD is responsible for the cabinetry and the kitchen island. Cabinets made to order. BlueStar stove, refrigerator, and range. Architessa has heated floors. Four-Handed Chairs Safavieh pendant lights. Jean Palmer’s vintage rug. Brizo is the manufacturer of the faucets.


Dining Area



Retractable doors connect the sun-filled room to the backyard, providing for simple indoor-outdoor gathering.

Rejuvenation is aided by light. MD Cabinetry Cabinets made to order. Grey Owl, Benjamin Moore cabinet paint. Table is made to order. Rove Concepts provided the chairs. Architessa is the type of flooring used. Crate & Barrel is a company that sells storage bins. Loewen is the name of the door.

Primary Bedroom



The master bedroom features custom linen drapes and customised built-ins by Allen Built, which Abt describes as “a tranquil and relaxing place with a neutral tone.”

Surya is the name of the rug. Custom (blue) and Studio McGee pillows. Clients’ own bench and bed. Studio McGee provided the bedding. Visual Comfort is provided by sconces.


Primary Bathroom



The calm room is given a sleek and modern appeal with glass-paned iron doors.

Quartz is used for the counter top. Allen Built created the vanity. Fergusson Showroom bath tub Visual Comfort Lighting


Guest Bedroom



The charming spare room is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White and has a Wayfair bed flanked by handcrafted wood nightstands and Hudson Valley Lighting sconces.

Pillow is made to order. Loewen is the name of the door. Universal Floors were used for the flooring.

Powder Room



“The clients were smitten by the wallpaper, and the powder room was the ideal location to create an elegant showpiece,” Abt explains.

Meadow is Kelly Ventura’s wallpaper. Rejuvenation is reflected in the mirror. Visual Comfort is the name of the sconce. Kohler Purist sink and faucet. Allen Built created the cabinetry. Custom marble countertop





The backyard, which was only 18 feet wide, was completely renovated to accommodate the young family. “Every inch counted,” says the green space’s designer, landscape architect Joseph Richardson. He and his crew worked with the architect and interior designer to make the most of the little back yard, which included a cooking and eating area connected to the kitchen by wide folding doors, as well as a fire pit and a hidden parking spot. Richardson points out that “the fence is a key design element.” “Its slim profile is made out of two-inch steel supports and high-grade cedar planking to take up the least amount of space.” What’s the end result? Surprisingly large outdoor space.
Kingsley Bate designed the table and chairs. Paloform is the material used to make the fire pit. Kansas limestone was used for the flooring.