Best Luxury Kitchen Remodel, Milton, MA, designed by Boston based Wilson Kelsey Design

Our recent Boston South Shore kitchen remodel in a 100 year old home presented a unique set of challenges to us, due its extremely low ceiling and our client’s desire for a luxury kitchen that conveyed a sense of gracious living.

They desired a kitchen that would be a family center for their children and their children’s friends, a place for them to gather, socialize and do homework.

The parents, themselves, also wanted to be able to relax and entertain their adult friends – while still being able to keep an eye on their active children.

As you can see below in one of our BEFORE photos, we had our work cut out for us.

A *Before* picture of our luxury kitchen remodel in Boston's South Shore for this 100 year old home. Kitchen Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

Their existing kitchen, shown in the floor plan below, was dark and cramped, with that low ceiling, and had main circulation paths in all directions!

*Before* kitchen floor plan in our luxury kitchen remodel on Boston's South Shore. Kitchen Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

In addition to the problematic circulation, the room was walled off from the rest of the house. There was neither a closet nor any storage by the kitchen door.

So, how do you get a WOW kitchen when you are starting with such a problematic set of circumstances? In these two custom renderings we prepared for our client, you can see our solutions.

Custom rendering of our luxury kitchen remodel on Boston's South Shore. Kitchen design: Wilson Kelsey Design

First, we proposed eliminating the wall between the kitchen and the den/family room at the front of the house and the small powder room adjacent to the kitchen door. This solution would:

1. Pour daylight into the space from both sides of the house.
2. Open up their kitchen to accommodate large groups of their friends and their children’s friends.
3. Enable an efficient work triangle, accessible storage and comfortable circulation for a more functional kitchen.

Custom rendering of our luxury kitchen remodel on Boston's South Shore. Kitchen Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

We also proposed opening the wall between the kitchen and the home office, and suggested that their under utilized office become the kids’ recreation area – removed from the kitchen, but accessible.

Here is our AFTER floor plan.

The *After* floor plan for our luxury kitchen remodel on Boston's South Shore in a 100 year old home. Design: Wilson Kelsey DesignOur final design created three distinct zones – a cooks’ area, a space adjacent to the cook’s area for mixing, mingling, homework, etc. and a children’s TV and play area in the former home office.

As you can see in the opening photo above, the transformation was dramatic – no more dark, dreary space!

We created this sense of openness, height and light  [ the ceiling you are seeing here is only 7 feet -8 inches high! ] by eliminating any upper cabinets, and using bright white paints.

A luxury kitchen remodel for a 100 year old Boston South Shore home. Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

As designers, one of our responsibilities is to help our clients achieve the biggest impact for their invested dollars.

By carefully managing the cost of the custom cabinets, appliances and other items – such as the decorative lighting over the island – we were able to invest our client’s saved dollars where it would have the most impact for them.

And in this kitchen, those saved dollars were invested, to give our clients the WOW factor they wanted, in this marble we selected with them for their backsplash & countertop material.

It is a beautiful Vermont Danby marble, and we all considered ourselves lucky the day we saw it and were able to say YES, we’ll take it!

Vermont Danby marble used as countertop and backplash in our Boston luxury kitchen remodel of this 100 year old home. Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

The second splurge was deciding upon a natural walnut for the island countertop. This gives the kitchen distinction, warmth and truly pulls the room together. Now, it is the kitchen’s hub – designed for cooking prep, family dining, doing homework, etc. On weekends, it is the perfect gathering place for friends to hang out.

Perrin and Rowe goose necked faucet, Rohl farmhouse sink. Design: Boston's Wilson Kelsey Design

Refined details make a difference in the day to day use of a kitchen and in its sense of gravitas and elegance.

The goose necked chromed silver Perrin and Rowe faucet and white porcelain apron front Rohl farmhouse sink not only make doing dishes a breeze, but add charm and distinction to this 100 year old Boston Colonial home.

Custom designed dish and plate drawers were designed for ease of accessibility for our client's children. Design: Wilson Kelsey Design/Boston

As we decided on no upper cabinets in the kitchen, drawers were designed with plate and cup organizers, making it easy for young children to help themselves.

A beautiful and space maximizing *Le Mans* corner cabinet shelf system pullout was also used to maximize access to – and usability of – the corner base cabinet. Our contractors love them for their ease of installation.Le Mans corner pull out, used in our Boston South Shore kitchen remodel to maximize space. Kitchen Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

Open kitchen shelves; Wilson Kelsey Design

A combination of open shelving and spice drawers added easy access organization next to our client’s cooktop.

wine storage cabinet; Wilson Kelsey Design

An adult beverage center and wine storage unit is located at the other end of the island near the refrigerator for easy access during parties. Next to this are the floor to ceiling 24″ wide extra deep pantries we designed for additional storage.

Notice the custom designed wrought iron railing above the wine storage center?  Using that open railing, rather than a half wall,  when we opened up the wall between the existing kitchen and the underused home office, allowed us to create visibility for parental monitoring, while creating the perfect place for the kids to feel they had a *place of their own* to hang out with their friends, play video games and watch TV.

We designed a custom soffit for the outside exhaust, since we could not use a traditional range hood due to the low ceilings. Design: Wilson Kelsey Design/Boston

Sooner or later, every renovation has its challenges and the biggest challenge with this one was finding an outside exhaust range hood that would work to ventilate the stovetop, considering the low height of the ceiling.

Most external exhausts vent out the top and need at least 2 feet of clearance above them before the exhaust duct can be run horizontally to the outside of the house.

In our case, that meant the horizontal duct would have been running through two closets on the second floor – which wasn’t practical for our client- and the other obvious solution: to run a vertical exhaust through the second floor, attic and roof, would have cost an additional $8,000.

Fortunately, we solved this challenge by finding an exhaust that was designed to vent directly out its side, enabling us to run the exhaust through a soffit [ dropped ceiling ] we designed for this purpose, placed just under the second floor framing. A very clean look, and mission accomplished!


Our client tells us this new kitchen renovation has transformed the way their family lives.

They now spend more time together after school, around dinner time and on weekends. When the boys have friends over, rather than retreating to the basement, they head straight for the kids’ room off the kitchen, right where an adult can keep a watchful eye on them.

They are thrilled!

We designed a custom wine storage unit in our Boston South Shore luxury kitchen remodel. Kitchen Design: Wilson Kelsey Design

And you should see the parties…

Sally and John; Wilson Kelsey Design

Thank you for reading Design Cognoscenti! If we can help you in any way with the remodel of your own kitchen or home, we invite you to please contact us by clicking on this link:

We also invite you to follow us in the following places:


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WKD FOR BLOG POST  We are often asked by our potential and current clients how to organize their interior design project.

Drawing from our over 30 years of experience in interior design project management, for both luxury residential projects and large commercial projects, we are starting a series of posts today on the 5 factors you’ll want to consider when organizing your next interior design project.

Today’s post is about the fun part, the first step: organizing the images that inspire you!

For instance, the image, below, that we took while on a trip to Paris, inspired the color palette we used in our client’s Acton, MA living room, that you will see below.
Vaux Le Vicomte Chateau, Paris, ceiling details; photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Luxury Living Room in Acton, Massachusetts, close to Boston, designed by Wilson Kelsey Design
As you begin to organize your ideas for your interior design project, you will find that our Top 3 Tips for organizing your images will:

  1. Help you clarify your vision.
  2. Help you think more carefully about the functional and aesthetic needs and requirements of your home.
  3. Help you identify your concerns and fears.
  4. Help you gain a basic understanding of the investment you will be making in your home, so that budgeting can be discussed in the context of what you must have, what you love, what you like, and what might be nice to have, later.READY?



One of the foremost resources today for gathering your interior design ideas into one place is to create private online Ideabooks on the site, HOUZZ.

If you’ve never done this before, they have written a very helpful step by step guide on how to create an Ideabook on Houzz, which you can find by clicking here: How to Create and Use Ideabooks. You will find many beautiful full room settings on Houzz, as well as images of individual design details.


Secondly, gathering your design ideas can also be done very well on Pinterest. This is a useful link on How To Get Started Using Pinterest.

Here at Wilson Kelsey Design, Sally and I have created both Ideabooks and Pinterest boards to help you define your style and we invite you to visit us on both sites.

This is our kitchen ideabook from our Houzz page:  Wilson Kelsey Design HOUZZ 

luxury kitchen designs by Boston HQ'd interior design firm, Wilson Kelsey Design, as seen on Houzz

And this is our Pinterest board for * Transitional Design Style Ideas*: 


Transitional design ideas as featured on the Pinterest board of Boston HQ'd interior design firm, Wilson Kelsey Design

Making your Ideabooks and Pinterest boards, *private*, and then sending us the link to them, allows us to begin our collaboration with a clear visual idea in mind of what you’re seeking.


If you are a magazine and paper lover like we are, you may want to simply save articles in a notebook, but, there’s another solution to saving articles from magazines, that our interior design clients appreciate, because it saves them time and doesn’t require that they rip apart their magazines, and that is the use of the online app, Evernote.

saved articles in 3 ring binder; Wilson Kelsey Design

You can save magazine articles in the online app, Evernote, by snapping pics of what you see in any magazine, and saving it to a file on Evernote, where you can also tag it for reference.

The image below shows you how to use Evernote tags.

For instance, if you are searching for fireplace ideas, you can go through all of your magazines, snap photos of all the fireplaces you like, save them into the Evernote app, and then tag that file: fireplaces, for easy retrieval and sharing!

How To Use Evernote Tags To Save Magazine Images

How To Save Magazine Images Using Evernote

Here are two great articles on how to save pictures and articles using Evernote – clipping for the web and scanning with your mobile phone.

We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and Sally and I would be interested in hearing if you have found or created other ways to save and organize your interior design ideas. Please leave a comment if you have, as we know our readers would also be glad to hear any additional helpful tips you may have.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series on organizing your interior design project, where we will delve into the subject of how to hire your interior design team.

Sally Wilson, ASID, NCIDQ
John Kelsey, NCIDQ, CAPS


Thank you for reading Design Cognoscenti, and we invite you to follow us in the following places – our websiteHOUZZInstagramPinterestFacebookTwitter.







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Best of Northshore Magazine 2016 Editor's and Reader's Choice Award for Boston's Wilson Kelsey Design

Sally and I are thrilled and honored to have won the 2016 Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice awards in NorthShore Home Magazine’s recent *Best of NorthShore Home Magazine* contest for the category, Traditional Interior Design!

Thank you to our clients, for the opportunity you give us to do our best work for you. For Northshore Home Magazine’s readers who voted for us, we are very grateful for your support. We are also deeply appreciative to the editors at Northshore Home magazine for recognizing our body of work in luxury traditional design with their 2016 Editor’s Choice Award.

We would also like to congratulate our fellow winners in the other categories, and invite you to click through to the magazine to see all the winners, here. Our work appears on page 86 .

If you would like to follow all the excitement online, please see the official hashtag: #BONS2016.

Thank you again!


Sally and John; Wilson Kelsey Design

We invite you to follow us in the following places – our websiteHOUZZInstagramPinterestFacebookTwitter.













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