Does anyone else out there FINALLY feel like she’s getting back on track after the holidays? Between snow days & a gas leak at school, I had my boys home for something like 3 weeks! I mean, I love them, but it was TIME!
Today, I’m sooooooo excited to share Project HGD Summer Sunsets with you, which is featured in the January/February issue of New Hampshire Home Magazine!
A NH Lake House with a Modern Twist on Nostalgia
This project was 2.5 years in the making. I signed onto this project WAAAAAAY back in February 2020 — that’s pre-pandemic, people! — during the architectural design phase. I’m hoping that the worst of the trades backups and lead time delays are behind us for good, but this project was conducted right in the thick of them. We finished over the summer.
Btw, bringing in a designer at the beginning of the design phase is so critical! We were able to weigh in on room flow, lighting placement, HVAC placement, millwork, window style … everything!
Located on one of New Hampshire most iconic lakes, the land parcel is on a point looking across the water to the mountains and had originally been bought by the wife’s grandfather, several decades ago. She had spent her summers visiting. Eventually, the land & the 1970s house on it were passed down.
While the lot could not be beat, the house was dark and cramped … nothing historical or nostalgic about it (see this post about how much I love truly authentic lake camps!). So, she and her family decided to tear it down and build their dream Forever Home!
The result is a beautiful New Traditional style home that blends vintage touches on a transitional style base, with a few modern accents thrown in for fun! I was privileged to work with Bonin Architects & McGray & Nichols Builders on this project.
For Part I today, I’ll walk you through the “public rooms” on the ground floor — the entrance, laundry room, powder room, and great room. We’ll get to the master suite, the wife’s office, the other bedrooms/baths, and the teen hang-out loft another week.
If you want the reason behind the rhyme, you can read about all the inspiration & planning in the below posts:
All photos are by John W. Hession for NH Home Magazine.
The home is actually NOT gargantuan in size. Minus the husband’s music studio above the garage, the total square footage is around 3,500. That meant that absolutely every room had to be “right-sized,” with the perfect flow and amount of storage — no square footage to waste!
The entry (which is actually along the side of the house, due to the lot’s siting constraints) serves the dual purpose of main entrance AND mudroom. We wanted to have some pizazz — like a more formal foyer might have — but also the unfitted functionality of a British boot room, with highly durable surfaces.
To accomplish this, we chose a fabulous green tree wallpaper and a SUPER durable slate-lookalike porcelain tile for the floor.
A vintage hand-knotted wool rug is the best thing in the world for hiding stains and standing up to wear & tear! This one actually belonged to the wife’s aunt, and had, in prior years, been located in her NYC apartment. It actually served as the color springboard for the whole project!
Again, we were going for an “unfitted” look, rather that a lot of mudroom built-ins. I sourced the burnished antique campaign chest from a local auction. It holds all sort of things — hats, gloves, scarves, dog leashes, doggy doo-doo bags….
This is a good source for vintage campaign chests, if you can’t find one locally.
The laundry room is right off the entry. The wife requested lots of open shelves throughout the house. The v-groove paneling we used in the the laundry room is a repeating motif we used in specific areas throughout the home to create continuity & texture.
One of the owners requests was a dog bath. Isn’t the lagoon blue penny tile in the dog wash cute? The cafe curtains are made from a sheer indoor/outdoor fabric and are mold & mildew resistant.
The wife also requested lot of places to hang clothes to dry. So we put a small rod beneath a cabinet, if she only has an item or two. But we knew she would want more rod space than that. However, I also didn’t want to put a rod between cabinets and across the window, because I didn’t want it to visually compete with the cafe curtains.
What to do?!?!?!?!?
I’d seen old-school retractable hanging contraptions from turn-of-the-century laundries in grand houses, and you can find some reproductions, but I didn’t want anything that showy. Then I found this AWESOME white retractable rod — it practically disappears into the ceiling!
Powder Room & Stairs
To the left of the entry, you walk down a short hallway, past the powder room & stairs. I wanted to keep the idea of vintage touches going with a custom vanity meant to look like a converted iron work table. The cane mirror and ikat grasscloth (sadly, discontinued) make “texture” look “tailored.”
The framed watercolor prints continue the botanical theme, but not in an obvious way I hope!
Bonin Architects did a beautiful job of making our ideas for the stairs — not super modern, not totally traditional, just a little nautical — a reality. The balusters are white oak to go with the wide plank engineered white oak flooring.
The vintage oars belonged to the wife’s mother; in fact, there’s a picture in the wife’s office with her mother as a young woman holding the oars upright while standing on the boat dock! (You’ll see that room next week.) The staircase was the PERFECT place for them!
The wool stair runner is a variegated chevron pattern & evokes the waves outside the big picture window in the living room!
The Living Room
I used this space as a part one of my lessons in The Home Glow Method® because, as an open concept room, it provides so much material to work with on so many fronts — floor planning, flow, working spatially with color & pattern, planning window treatments, lighting flow, etc. a great example of floor planning, window treatment planning, etc.
Lots of seating & maximizing the view were the main priorities in the space, along with a request for a recliner!
You’ll notice we employed the v-groove on above the fireplace. We lined the bookshelves with white oak — a nod to the white oak perimeter cabinets you’ll see across the room in the kitchen further down the post.
This is the recliner that we came up with!!! According to my client, her two teenage boys often argue about who gets to sit here. It’s a modern twist on a Morris Recliner Chair. The rods in the back are unlacquered brass and just gorgeous. The chair is covered in an indoor/outdoor linen-like weave.
(Morris chairs have a very dear place in my heart. My husband owns his grandfather’s old Morris chair — his grandfather studied for med school in it, and so did my husband. It has to be close to 100 years old! Maybe someday I’ll take a picture of it for you.)
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT — I have a second one of these chairs for sale!!! (No ottoman.) The vendor was very late in delivering this to us, and, for the photoshoot, had a second one expedited. But then they both showed up at nearly the same time! Email me at email@example.com for more information, pics, pricing, etc.
The tribal-patterned wool rug is a custom bound carpet, which we had treated for UV resistance.
Read this post for my favorite ways to use broadloom carpet.
This room gets full-on southern exposure. White solar shades that practically disappear into the white millwork can be lowered for light control and UV protection. We used lots of designer tricks to protect fabrics against sunlight — the velvet fabric on the sectional is treated for UV light resistance. And the pinstripe daybed is an indoor/outdoor fabric (UV resistant).
However, the BEST way to protect your interior surfaces is to put a UV film on your window glass. It’s pricey, but if you can do it, you should!
Window treatment planning for continuity & function is another HUGE lesson in The Home Glow Method®.
I LOVE the dining space!! We employed lots of tricks to visually separate it from the living area, even though it’s part of an open concept room:
- The ceiling is delineated by using white oak, rather than millwork, beams.
- The light fixture creates a dining focal point. The clients really had a lot of trust to go with the lighting plan we created for them, and it paid off in spades!
- We also used drapes in a linen-blend, matching the walls, to give softness and differentiate it from the adjacent living area, which only has those solar shades. The drapes can be pulled in the evenings, when it’s light inside and dark outside, to block the view from curious eyes from the house next door in the evenings!
The fabric on the host chairs — more variegated blues! — was treated for stain resistance.
The Kitchen & Pantry
We designed this kitchen from start to finish — layout, basic organization for all kitchen items, the custom door styles, brass inlay on the marble-like counters (made from Neolith — read this post for more info), hardware, etc.
The V-groove on the range hood mirrors the v-groove above the fireplace across the open concept space.
We wanted to mix up the stainless appliances. The homeowners aren’t huge cooks and only wanted a 36″ range. This KitchenAid range in the color milkshake coordinated beautifully with our paint choices, fitting the bill at a great price point. More open shelves for the wife’s everyday dishes!
Caution: Using your counter surface as a backsplash for a range, like we did above, is a beautiful & simple look — not to mention, super popular these days. HOWEVER, do NOT do this if you are using quartz for your surface. It is not heat resistant enough for behind a stove. You may end up damaging your surface. You can only do it with materials (stone, sintered stone, soapstone, tile) that can withstand the heat.
The pantry is located through the doorway to the right of the kitchen. The clients wanted this to be open to the kitchen & not enclosed by a door.
Since the spaces are open to each other, we wanted the kitchen & the pantry to relate without being the same. To do that we employed the same cabinetry finishes — white oak & moss green — but flip-flopped the typical spots for wood vs. painted cabinetry in the pantry — this time, wood on the bottom and painted green on top.
We also used a soapstone-like quartz for the counters (the same that we used in the laundry for continuity) and brought it all the way up to a mid-height shelf. The shelf satisfied the wife’s desire for some open shelving, while keeping most of the storage closed.
I.e. If the pantry is going to be fully in view of the kitchen, we wanted most of the “unsightlies” to be “out of sight” still.
What’s Holding YOU Back from the Forever Home of Your Dreams????
What’s holding YOU back from making your house into the Forever Home you dream of?
- Is it indecision?
- Analysis paralysis?
- Afraid of making a mistake you can’t afford to fix!
- Something else?
PLEASE! Let me know in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I LOVE designing homes with character & continuity for my clients, I can teach YOU to do it for yourself as well! Want to learn how? Check out The Home Glow Method® and sign up for the waitlist for our next session!
Don’t see the design help you need? Let me know how Home Glow Design can be of assistance!
I’ll be back soon with Part II of Project HGD Summer Sunsets the Reveal! — The Master Suite, Bedrooms, and Teen Loft!
‘Til next time!