Aurora Porter Designs a Refined Yet Contemporary Kitchen

An elegant Back Bay kitchen is rooted in European design.

Photo by Lesley Unruh

Aurora Porter infused a European sensibility into her Back Bay condo kitchen and dining area, which lacked character, despite its 1871 provenance. The designer drew on the refined yet contemporary aesthetic she soaked up during her years living abroad and traveling around the world. “I love classical elements in contemporary spaces,” says Porter, a design director of RADstudio. “So, we went classic, but very minimal, to create grandness without too much detail.”

A wide arch spans the width of the space across from an ornate, gilded mirror repurposed from a nearby building, while thin strips of LED lights on the ceiling outline the perimeter, and a lush, black granite island with amber veining sits like a sculpture in the center. The space is now “romantic,” the designer-homeowner says, “without [feeling] overwhelming.”

The playful Flos light fixture over the Desalto dining table twists and turns like limp spaghetti. “Like the mirror, it’s an organized chaos that breaks the tension and seriousness of the clean lines,” says Douglas McClellan, another design director at RADstudio. / Photo by Lesley Unruh


Michael Sullivan and Sons

Interior Architecture & Design

Freestanding cabinetry divides the kitchen from Porter’s home studio. “This is my domain,” the designer says. “I draw and cook at the same time, going back and forth between them; it’s very fluid.” / Photo by Lesley Unruh

See the rest of the Kitchens Guide 2022.