Home of the Week: Fairy-tale-like cottage features loft studio

Home of the Week Newton
William E. Roesner, an MIT-educated architect, gut-renovated this 1914 worker's cottage and built an addition. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

72 Fuller St., Newton

Style: Condo/Gothic Revival
Year built: 1914
Square feet: 1,430
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1 full, 1 half
Sewer/water: Public
Taxes: $7,500 (estimated)
Fee: $150 a month (estimated)

William E. Roesner is an MIT-educated architect, a blue water sailor, and a former longtime member of the city’s Historical Commission, and he certainly wasn’t going to be the one who evicted Hans Christian Andersen from Waban.

Instead, Roesner launched a three-year effort to redesign and rebuild what he describes as a worker’s cottage built in 1914, a home whose sharply edged peaks, western red cedar siding, and diamond windows are evocative of the ones from the fairy-tale writer’s stories (sans the hungry witch).

The home has a welcoming covered porch leading to a refinished, windowed wood door. Entry into this condo is directly into the living room, an open space splashed by natural light intensified thanks to a design choice: The quartersawn white oak floor is coated with marine varnish, creating a surface so smooth that light bounces off it. A dark green wood-burning stove and a row of spotlights add to the room’s warmth. The space is lined with narrow crown molding, and the walls’ off-white paint with a hint of green reflects the decor’s natural palette.

Directly ahead in this rectangular space is the dining area, and to the left of that is the kitchen. A windowed wood door leads to a deck constructed with a low-maintenance material.

Roesner transformed the kitchen, replacing the oak cabinets with ones clad in white Thermofoil. Most of them appear to have glass fronts, but Roesner, who likes to have a chuckle or two, left out the panes, creating an optical illusion. The counters are a light-colored granite, and the appliances are high-end. A peninsula offers seating for three, and the white porcelain sink sits under a bay window. This window and the pair looking out at the deck from the peninsula are new.

A half bath and a coat closet complete this floor.

A staircase off the living area leads to the second level and the home’s two bedrooms. They have the original, but refinished South Carolina pine floors and are positioned at opposite ends of the home, with the master at the rear of the house. The master bedroom features white cathedral ceilings and exposed beams painted a glistening white. There are two closets: one is cedar, and the other has mahogany shelving and a stacked washer/dryer. A wooden ladder on rails, like those found in the most elegant home libraries, leads to a carpeted loft with a new skylight. The loft currently houses the drafting tables on which Roesner drew the blueprints for this condo and the attached one, an addition he designed himself that mirrors this one in style — from the new roof and copper gutters down to the veneer stonework that mimics the fieldstone foundation. That property is also on the market, priced at $1,535,000.

The second bedroom has two closets on either side of the room and is bathed in the light from a set of three windows. The full bath has a granite-topped double vanity and a shower/bath combination with white subway tile walls and a marble-tile floor.

The basement is unfinished, but has a high ceiling and a freshly painted fieldstone foundation. Down here, Roesner created a work space, installing the cabinets removed from the kitchen and giving them a coat or two of marine varnish that glosses them up mightily. The windows are above grade. Most of the windows in the house have been restored, and all of the systems (electrical, heating, and hot water) have been replaced in the past six years with the exception of the cast-iron radiators. The latter were refurbished.

The home has central-air and central-vacuuming systems.

The unit comes with a single-car garage. The driveway and front walkway are brick.

Charlie McMillan of Hammond Residential Real Estate in Brookline/Newton is the listing agent.

Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to [email protected]. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue. Subscribe to our newsletter at