NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

July 24, 2013

What's cooking?

Get a taste of local flavor at the Newburyport Kitchen Tour this weekend

Often described as the heart of the home, the kitchen is also at the heart of a tour this weekend in Newburyport.

The Newburyport Elementary PTO is highlighting 13 spaces in its 13th annual Newburyport Kitchen Tour on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Houses on the tour range from Victorian, Greek Revival and Federalist styles to more modern Colonials and Capes, with each kitchen selected based on originality, design and functionality.

Charlie and Michelle Fox’s brick Georgian home on Federal Street was built in 1777. Known as the William Pierce Johnson House, it was restored and updated by the last owner, Marian Leighton Levy, starting in 2003.

“We just got to inherit it,” said Michelle Fox, who moved in with her family in August.

Leighton Levy originally wanted to tear down the room that houses the kitchen, but when she discovered the original roof and crown molding, she realized it was older than the rest of the house and decided to restore it instead, according to Realtor Dolores Person, who previously owned the house and lives next door.

Updates include custom cabinets that mimic the period cabinetry in the rest of the home and a mostly blue color scheme that reflects the historical time period.

“These great, strong colors are true to the house,” said Person, who sponsors the kitchen tour. “The colors are very historically appropriate.”

While Fox admits that she would “never be this brave” about the vibrant colors had they not already been there, she loves living in such a unique space.

“The world’s really Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn right now,” she said.

The centerpiece of the room is an antique dining table with enough chairs for the Foxes and their four daughters, Blaire, 4; Patrice, 5; McKenzie, 8; and Hallie, 16.

“My daughters are going to have a great appreciation of the history,” Michelle Fox said.

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