Vila lived in the home for nearly a decade in the late ’90s and early 2000s and used his skills to transform the residence for his own family.

Prior to the rise of HGTV, Vila was the preeminent figure in home improvement TV. He’s best known for his tenure as the host of the long-running home improvement shows “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again.”

Built in 1897, this shingle-style Victorian was designed by architects Hartwell & Richardson.

Exterior

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Living room

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Bedroom

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Bathroom

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“When he lived here, he did an extensive renovation to the home,” says listing agent Lisa May, of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. There have been two other owners since Vila.

Vila opened up the floor plan and added a bathroom to each bedroom, she adds. “He also made a beautiful, light-filled space that was a former attic on the third floor that is now a large, sky-lit family room, but could also be used as a study.

“Even though it is a large home with nearly 6,000 square feet of space, the current owner just loved it and found it very cozy. It’s just a very interesting house,” May says.

The plumbing and electric are newer, and there’s radiant floor heating in three bathrooms.

Dressing room

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Dining area

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Kitchen

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Evidence of the 5,878-square-foot home’s history is still visible in its restored hardwood floors, numerous built-ins, and arched ceilings.

While renovating the home, Vila took care to balance the original architecture with modern amenities. For example, the primary suite now has two dressing rooms with private bathrooms.

“He redid the kitchen in a way that I think is really smart,” May says. “It is not as open a kitchen as people might desire today, but it is large with a lovely space tucked away in the back with a pantry.”

Vila was also prescient with one of his upgrades in the kitchen: a separate workstation that overlooks the garden and patio. It’s a feature that’s in high demand today.

“Out back, there are two lovely trees that create a canopy over the seating area, so it’s really private,” May says. “If you have a small child, you could even make an area there for a children’s play structure. There is also a deck that is accessible from both the living room and kitchen.”

The location is also a big plus: “The house is located in an extraordinary part of Cambridge where most of the homes have older systems and windows,” she says. “Everything inside this home has been modernized while the aesthetics haven’t changed.”

The home’s appeal spans generations and could be alluring to buyers with young families or empty nesters.

“The house definitely suits a number of different interests on the part of the buyer,” says May.

Deck

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Patio

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