An added perk for guests visiting some of the neighborhood’s most distinctive kitchens during the upcoming Creative Kitchen Tour 2017 is the sneak peek at jaunty spring buds unfolding in several of Beacon Hill’s Hidden Gardens that comes along with it.
In fact, it was the garden view from the kitchen windows in some of the eight historic homes that first caught the eyes of their owners, who on April 8 will graciously welcome guests into the heart of their homes during the afternoon walking tour sponsored by Beacon Hill Village.
One of those homeowners said it was the terraced garden off the kitchen that convinced the couple to purchase the house in the first place. Nowadays, they enjoy sitting in comfortable wing chairs by the fireplace in the kitchen’s sitting area; in warmer weather they enjoy looking through the kitchen’s large floor to ceiling bow window to watch the grandchildren playing, particularly enjoying their granddaughter who believes the garden’s elevated area is her stage on which to perform.
Another homeowner said the seasonal views and natural light offered by the garden inspired the design of their kitchen, located in the basement as was typically done in Beacon Hill’s very oldest homes. And this, she said, pleases the cook, as does the spacious kitchen itself that is both simple on the eyes and easy to clean.
In the springtime, a family at yet another home on the Tour opens the kitchen bay windows at breakfast time “to listen to the bluebirds and cardinals that congregate on our climbing hydrangea.” Elsewhere, the bay window in the kitchen provides an ideal place for the family’s golden retriever to supervise the activities in the alley beyond.
But, of course, the equally enticing views of the unique kitchen designs themselves are the Tour’s main attraction. This year’s Tour features several kitchens that were recently renovated to suit the needs of the owners, including a few that were relocated from the basement to the homes’ main level to accommodate young families.
By doing that, the parents can cook while the children play with toys and children’s books stored in the lower kitchen cabinets or do their homework on the marble tops of spacious islands. One creative owner accented her very long island by wallpapering the ceiling in sky blue paper with gold concentric circles, complementing the home’s color scheme as well as the gold lanterns hung over the island.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood, the new owners of a kitchen that had not been updated since 1922 successfully combined its old working features with contemporary elements. Another family decided to leave the kitchen as it was, having found it to be in excellent condition when they moved in. However, because the counters had been set higher than normal to accommodate the height of the previous owners, they are forced to “chop in high heels.”
The Creative Kitchen Tour benefits Beacon Hill Village, a non-profit membership organization that creates new resources and opportunities for older adults to lead vibrant, active and healthy lives as they age in their communities. Membership is available to all downtown Boston residents age 50 or older regardless of financial means.
The Tour will be held rain or shine on Saturday, April 8 from 1-4 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available for the pre-tour Heart & Hearth Luncheon to be held at the Hampshire House. A complimentary reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. also at the Hampshire House.
Tickets for the luncheon and tour are $135; tickets for the Tour only are $50 and may be purchased in advance at www.beaconhillvillage.org or 617-723-9713. Tickets are also available for $60 on the day of the Tour at the Hampshire House at 84 Beacon Street, Cambridge Trust Company at 65 Beacon Street or the Hingham Institution for Saving, 80 Charles Street.