Home of the Week

Home of the Week: In Craftsman the color of terra cotta, the earthly splendor of wood

Belmont single-family features five bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a sunroom, historic features, and a sensibility that stays true to its turn-of-the-last-century roots.

Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media
The home, a Craftsman, sits on a 0.43-acre lot. (Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media)

Home of the Week: 215 Washington St., Belmont


Style Craftsman

Year built 1912

Square feet 3,156

Bedrooms 5

Baths 2 full, 1 half

Water/Sewer Public

Taxes $17,568 (2023)

Only two families have cared for this Craftsman since it was built for Edward H. Shaw 111 years ago, and their mutual devotion for it shows.

The home dates to 1912. — Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System

There are multiple original features throughout the four-level home — the cedar closet in the primary bedroom, the copper downspouts, the hardwood flooring, and the stucco exterior — intermixed with updates that address household life today — stainless steel kitchen counters, high-end appliances, and remodeled baths.

As was the case when Shaw, who was running a successful greenhouse farm providing produce to Boston, lived here, there is a wide walkway to a covered front entrance. Just inside, one finds an enclosed foyer with benches and coat hooks. A French door here opens into a hall with the living room on the right, stairs straight ahead, and the dining room on the left.


The living room is a front-to-back space nearly 25 feet wide. A wood-burning fireplace with a wood mantel and a granite surround is the attention-grabber. Exposed beams cross the ceiling, built-in bookcases fill the corners, a trio of windows offers a view of the backyard, and white oak original to the home sits underfoot.

French doors painted a moody black to match the fireplace surround open to a 187-square-foot sunroom with a terra-cotta-colored ceramic tile floor and wood on the walls and ceiling. The windows have been updated, but they were designed with muntins to match the dining room windows, which are original to the home.

The wood-burning fireplace with the wooden mantel is the focal point of the living room. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The sunroom has walls of windows and wood on the walls and ceiling for a uniform look. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The 163-square-foot dining room also features thin crown molding, a chair rail, a built-in china cabinet, white oak flooring, a period light fixture hanging from chains, and a bump-out with a window seat. All the lighting in the home is a homage to the turn of the last century.

The dining room windows are original to the home. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

A swinging door in the dining room opens to an updated kitchen with recessed lighting, a bay window, a pot rack hanging from the ceiling, Shaker-style cabinetry with a warm-wood finish, and an island with a butcher-block top. The countertops here are a mixture of wood and stainless steel. The backsplash and appliances are stainless steel and high-end.


The home’s half bath, traditionally found on this level, is halfway up the stairs to the second floor. It has a pedestal sink and a hardwood floor.

The kitchen, which has been updated, features recessed lighting, a bay window, an island with a butcher-block top, and a pot rack. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The half bath comes with a pedestal sink. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The second level houses the primary bedroom, two secondary bedrooms, the laundry room, and a sitting room — most of which radiates off an L-shaped hallway.

The sitting area (75 square feet) is actually one of two on this level; the primary bedroom has one, too. The one everyone in the home shares offers a curved window flanked by two double-hung ones, ensuring a sunny spot for contemplation.

This space offers a quiet spot to relax with a book. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The main bath has a single vanity with a Carrara marble countertop, a whirlpool tub/shower combination behind a curtain, and walls, flooring, and a shower surround of porcelain tile.

The secondary bedrooms are 106 square feet and 159 square feet, and each one has a single-door closet and two windows with full-length wood shutters.

The secondary bedrooms have hardwood flooring. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The bedrooms feature full-length wood shutters. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The main bath comes with a whirlpool tub. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The primary bedroom takes up the entire right side of the house on this level. The bedroom (which alone measures 134 square feet) has thin crown molding, white oak flooring, and several windows, and it flows into a 115-square-foot sitting area. Full-length wood shutters ward off the sunlight on lazy mornings.

The space also features a 41-square-foot walk-in cedar closet that affords the only entrance to a laundry room with space for a stacked washer and dryer.


The primary bedroom is a front-to-back, taking up the right side of the house on the second floor. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The primary bedroom comes with a walk-in cedar closet. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

A carpeted stairway leads to the fourth level: an attic converted into a bedroom and office space with a nook for the bed — an area totaling 442 square feet.

The attic bedroom comes with built-ins. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The office space in the attic. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The walkout lower level has a private entrance and offers a kitchen, bath, bedroom, living room, and office, but it cannot be rented, per the listing broker. The flooring throughout is ceramic tile, and the bath comes with a pedestal sink and a shower with white subway tile walls.

The walk-out lower level offers a private entrance and its own kitchen. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

There’s a bedroom on the walk-out lower level. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The bathroom on the walk-out lower level includes a pedestal sink and a shower. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The primary home office features open shelving. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

The house sits on a 0.43-acre lot filled with mature plantings and includes a big bluestone patio.

The bluestone patio overlooks mature plantings, ensuring privacy. — Jack Lourenco/Drone Home Media

According to a 1982 survey by the Massachusetts Historical Commission: “Overall, the scale of 215 Washington St., its stucco walls and plantings (numerous trees and shrubs) all combine to illustrate the Belmont ideal of a rural, comfortable, healthful environment.”

Patrick Murphy of Coldwell Banker Realty in Belmont is the listing broker.

The property is on the National Register of historic homes, Murphy said, but “there are no restrictions to modifications to the interior or exterior.”

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 pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com