Fall House Hunt

Home of the Week: In raised ranch, ’76 gets eighty-sixed

Northborough property comes with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a decidedly upscale mountain retreat feel.

Robert Langevin/Refined Image
Our Home of the Week pick, a raised ranch in Northborough, sits on 4.42 acres. --Robert Langevin/Refined Image

26 Dennis Circle, Northborough


Style Raised ranch

Year built 1976

Square feet 2,076

Bedrooms 3

Baths 2 full, 1 half

Sewer/water Private/public

Taxes $9,653 (2023)

Here’s what Kathleen Brodie saw as a prospective buyer when she stepped inside this raised ranch in 1986: orange Formica counters, plaid linoleum, a giant, white-frosted globe light fixture, dour and dark walnut cabinets, shiny foil wallpaper, brown-and-white shag carpeting, and avocado green tubs, sinks, and toilets.

She bought the home anyway.

“I knew early on that I would like to change some things,” Brodie said. (That’s an understatement.) “But I never had a grand master plan.”

With time and patience, Brodie renovated extensively — sometimes to reflect her personal preferences and sometimes out of necessity. She added a portico with a metal roof on the front of the house to keep the rain from soaking anyone standing outside her front door. The portico, with its cedar columns and beams, echoes an original part of the home she left intact: the ski chalet-like wall of windows in the living area. She replaced the windows with energy-efficient, low-E ones, of course.


Back in the front entry, seven steps from the foyer ascend to the home’s primary level. Here a wrought-iron railing keeps everything in place and a partially open layout (Brodie took down a wall) encapsulates the kitchen and living and dining areas. She had the hardwood flooring they share refinished.

The living room features a wall of new windows. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The 320-square-foot living room has a variety of beauty to consider beyond the aforementioned wall of windows. The space offers a visually powerful floor-to-ceiling fireplace with a cast-iron pellet stove. The fireplace is antique brick, and the cathedral ceiling is clad in natural cedar planks and sports a ceiling fan.

The living room fireplace stretches to the ceiling. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The 117-square-foot dining area and the 156-square-foot kitchen sit on the other side of the chimney, accessed via a floor-to-ceiling opening on the left and a door-sized one on the right. The cedar ceiling extends into the space the kitchen and dining area share, as well as the main-level hallway. In the dining area, a slider opens to a composite deck that overlooks the back of the 4.42-acre lot.

In the kitchen of our Home of the Week, the only thing orange is the juice in the fridge. The cabinets are solid maple and matching woodwork hides the refrigerator. The counters are Cambria quartz, and the backsplash is tumbled tile. The two-tier island offers seating for at least two. Two casement windows overlooking the side yard sit under a pendant light with a frosted-glass shade. The space also has recessed lighting and a ceiling fan.


The dining area shares an open layout with the kitchen. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The kitchen counters are Cambria quartz. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The deck is accessed via a slider in the dining area. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

From the kitchen, a hallway leads to the private side of the raised ranch: the primary suite, two bedrooms, and the second full bath.

The two secondary bedrooms (120 and 143 square feet) come with closets with bifold doors and several muntin-less windows. The bedrooms share a full bath with a tub/shower combination that reveals a surprising feature: The shower nozzle is actually a professional-grade one for dogs. Brodie needed a place to clean her pups, she said. The bath also comes with beadboard wainscoting, a single vanity topped with marble, ceramic tile flooring, and a skylight.

The home’s second full bath features a nozzle perfect for washing your pet. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The primary suite (208 square feet) offers a ceiling fan, two pairs of windows with backyard views, a soft-green accent wall, Brazilian cherry flooring, and double-door closets with custom shelving. (All of the bedroom, linen, and coat closets have custom shelving.)

The en-suite bath boasts a line of windows with views of the backyard, a long single vanity topped with quartz, porcelain tile flooring with radiant heat, and a shower behind glass. In the shower, the flooring switches to marble tile, two of the walls are clad in porcelain subway tile, and the main wall features a mosaic of clear and frosted glass tiles in soft greens and marble tile.


The primary suite comes with Brazilian cherry flooring. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

One shower wall features mosaic glass tile in soft greens that match the accent wall in the primary bedroom. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The raised ranch’s walk-out lower level has a 425-square-foot recreation room with ceramic tile flooring and a cedar plank ceiling, a 117-square-foot office, and a half bath/laundry room with ceramic tile flooring. A door on this level opens to the attached two-car garage. Chain-link fencing that extends into the yard from under the deck offers a place for pups to stay comfortable, contained, and dry. The yard boasts extensive landscaping, including stone walls, evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs, perennial gardens, and a small pond and creek.

The lower level offers access to the garage, storage for shoes, coats, and hats, and the laundry room. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

There’s an office with windows on the lower level. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

The dog run juts out from under the deck. — Robert Langevin/Refined Image

Linda Tolman of Andrew Abu Realtors in Northborough has the listing. As of press time, an offer had been accepted on the raised ranch.

Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to [email protected]. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes unless they are new-builds and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue.

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