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Historic houses are beautiful, with their high ceilings, intricate moldings and gracious Old World touches. They’re not always practical, however, especially when it comes to kitchens and baths, where modern layouts, plumbing, fixtures and materials are not just stylish but essential to daily life.

But that doesn’t mean that fans of stately old homes need to forego the classic. Given knowledgeable contractors and experienced interior designers, these charming old spaces can be given a facelift that adds the best of the new while preserving the past.

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Modern table and floor lamps generate warmth and ambience in a room while adding a decorative element.

one: Nickel Station Floor Lamp, from Aminis.

two: Jonathan Adler Claridge Tear Drop, available at Niche.

three: Spire Table Lamp, available at Aminis.

four: Lighting for the Aging Eye, by Holtkotter, available at Brody’s.

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Martin Goebel, owner and designer at Goebel Furniture Co., shares his distinctive design philosophy.

SLHL: So how did you start designing furniture?
Martin: I received my formal design training at Rhode Island School of Design during my MFA work in furniture design. Previously, I was classically trained in the art of furniture craft and cabinetmaking. My heightened understanding of traditional craft methodology and BFA in sculpture greatly informs my formalized process which I honed at RISD.

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Mike Rachocki started Scobis Company 12 years ago when he decided to make the jump and go into business for himself. “I got tired of working for other people,” Mike says. Mike and his team of craftsmen, Scott Copple and Ray Ellison, create grand entries for residential homes, universities, businesses and churches.

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Chef/owner Bryan Carr pauses before describing Atlas Restaurant. “It’s a nice neighborhood restaurant, but our clientele comes from all over the area,” he says, explaining that Atlas, which is in the Central West End, draws many patrons on their way to performances at nearby Grand Center. Then he pauses again. “I never know how to describe a restaurant,” he says. “We are very detail-oriented. We just try to do things the right way.”

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Innovative Place with Limited Space
Photography BY John Halpern, courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

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