Renovating The Wedding Cake House in Melrose MA
Sometimes two forces meet and the outcome is pure perfection. This property, which garnered a lot of attention in its state of disrepair in 2001, met the current owners and the result has birthed an architectural experience and one of the finest restorations Metro Boston has ever known. Its late 19th-century elegance was completely renewed but more importantly, the current owners created ideal, high-end kitchen and baths for living in the 21st century while being mindful of the architectural history.
This home carries a mystique and amazing attraction to those who discover it. Named for the dripping details of the columns, porches, balustrade and moldings that decorate the exterior like frosting, the “Wedding Cake House” has a sister in Kennebunk, Maine, which is considered one of the most photographed homes in the country, but the locals know that our Wedding Cake House is, well, more sensuous, though perhaps less renowned.
To say that the exterior curb appeal is exquisite feels like an understatement, but it is important to note that the owners stress that this is a very livable house. Truly no expense has been spared in the complete restoration of this Neoclassical Revival. We should note that there is over 5000 sq/ft of living space – 4 floors, 14 rooms, 5-6 bedrooms, 7 Fireplaces, 3-car garage, 4 full and 1 half bath on a nearly ¾ acre lot. It goes without saying that all of the systems and updates have been done, but the devil is in the details, from re-brassing all of the original hardware and fixtures to the careful restoration of both murals and the exquisite woodwork.
A description simply can’t do justice to the experience of walking through. When you walk through the vestibule into the grand entrance there is a dessert buffet of panoramic views from the ornate, gold leaf-touched music room, to the impressive foyer with hand-painting and opulent details, to the multi-level staircase with two Juliet balconies, to the living room decked out in all natural woodwork of American Chestnut. Every nuance and fixture has been carefully selected and finish work dresses every corner. The study with the foxhunt murals transports visitors to the English country side. In fact, every room in this stately home has its own story and experience.
The current owners are ardent cooks, and the kitchen reflects their talents with Wolf, Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances paired with custom cabinetry, granite and moldings that are appropriate for this inviting space. Wine connoisseurs will love not only the Sub-Zero wine chiller in the kitchen that properly stores red and white wines at separate temperatures but the dedicated wine cellar with temperature and humidity control.
This home has been featured in various media outlets from television programs like Chronicle, to print media, most recently as the Boston Herald’s Home of the Week, in addition to Boston Magazine, Boston Globe and local papers. Noise has been made that it would be an ideal Governor’s Mansion, as the perfect entertaining home, close to Boston. Why, the Governor could walk to the train from this pristine East Side Country Club neighborhood.