client stories

Kitchen butlers pantry in a Newport historic renovation project by Taste Design

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Charmer

A couple renovates their historic Newport home, creating a retreat poised to welcome the family’s next chapter of memories.

Project Partners

Architect: Fagan Design

Kitchen scullery in a Newport historic renovation project by Taste Design

Heart of the Home

Many consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, but for this family’s Newport retreat, it's the scullery that captures its essence. Seamlessly extending from the kitchen, the scullery’s soft hues and brass accents evoke the charm of historic New England.

Sculleries were common in Victorian houses, so it may be surprising to learn that this one isn’t original to the 1890s residence. Before our client’s renovation, this space held a cramped kitchen, hemmed in by a small dining area and back staircase to the second floor.

When they acquired the 3,500-square-foot summer retreat over a decade ago, our clients intended it to eventually become their forever home. Over the years, they gathered ideas for the home’s transformation. Topping the wish list—an expanded kitchen and additional bedrooms with ensuites.

But our clients were presented with the same problem many owners of historic New England homes face: limited kitchen space, tricky layouts, and insufficient room for necessary amenities.

Kitchen renovation by Taste Design walnut accents and midcentury touches

Solving the Space Problem

The couple turned to Taste to solve the space problem. Preserving the home’s original exterior was critical, but it presented significant challenges.

"The key to carving out more space without compromising the home’s character," says Patti, "was taking out the back stairs. On the first floor, this allowed us to shift the location of the kitchen, expanding its footprint. On the second floor, we were able to enlarge a bedroom and add two ensuites.”

Removing the back stairs increased the new kitchen's square footage, but the homeowners had another special request: incorporate a scullery, a historically accurate feature for the home. Enthusiastic about the idea, Patti and her team created the functional space where the old kitchen previously resided.

Attic family room with dormers and puzzle table and built ins designed by Taste Design

A New Era

With the kitchen and second floor addressed, Taste turned to the third level, devising plans for two additional bedrooms with ensuites, and a media room. "Headroom was the challenge here," explains Patti. "The addition of dormers transformed the space and allowed for a media room, perfect for future grandchildren."

The basement also received a new layout, with a sewing room, laundry area, and storage space. “We wanted the home’s program to fully support the family’s diverse interests and pursuits,” Patti says.

As summer approaches, the family anticipates another season of memories in Newport. Now, their home is what they always envisioned: a sanctuary for generations to come. And the scullery, with its timeless allure, seamlessly bridges the past and present, embodying the spirit of this historic home while welcoming in a new era.