It was love at first sight. Homeowners Mike and Beth Richardson knew their Marshfield home on Bartlett’s Island, with its sweeping views of the marsh and North River, was the one. “We didn’t even go inside before we decided to buy it,” says Beth.
With the help of Caroline Warner, interior designer and owner of The Welch Company in Scituate, MA, the interior soon matched the surrounding beauty of the natural landscape. From the start, Warner had a clear vision for the living room and kitchen. “Both rooms had potential for warmth and comfortable elegance,” she says, “with the marsh views offering a commanding focal point.”
Photography by Dan Cutrona
Interiors: Caroline Warner of The Welch Company
Great room, great view
Since the Richardsons like to entertain, they needed plenty of open space and ample seating that would take advantage of the outdoor views. “We wanted to bring in the natural color and light from the river outside,” says Beth, “and we wanted it to be comfortable and inviting.”
Mother Nature provided the inspiration for the color palette. “Fall’s golden hue, soft greens of spring and the ever-changing blues of the river and sky presented a wide range of color options,” says Warner, who first added to the great room two soft caramel-colored tufted sofas on either side of the river-stone fireplace. To bring interest and elegance to the main sitting area, Warner brought in two updated wing chairs in a printed pattern and a patterned rug. An oval-shaped coffee table with an antique bronzed finish and delicate legs brings a bit of glamour to the space; “We wanted the room to have some sparkle at night when the focus is no longer on the views,” Warner explains.
To further enhance the indoors with the beauty of the outdoors, Warner and the homeowners chose to display original artwork reminiscent of the landscape just outside the home. The painting over the fireplace by Scituate-based artist Michael Coyne, with its large size and soft colors, warms the room while replica watches creating drama, says Warner. A smaller painting, of Nantucket Harbor, was done by Sergio Roffo, who has since visited the Richardsons’ home to capture the views on canvas and even gave Mike, a novice painter, a lesson or two while there.
Pleased with the results, Beth says, “The great room is great to sit and read a book by the fire; the sofa is so comfortable you could just melt into it.”
The spacious open kitchen—looking out into the great room in one direction and out onto the marsh in the opposite—is ideal for entertaining; the homeowners can talk to guests while they cook and with an amazing view of the marsh, doing the dishes afterwards feels like less of a chore.
“The overall goal of the kitchen design was to provide plenty of cabinetry and counter space without sacrificing the view,” Warner says. The bank of windows took away cabinet space, so instead there are large cupboards located on the inside walls of the kitchen. The cherry cabinets, which complement the existing red oak floors, radiate a subtle warmth throughout the kitchen. Meanwhile, the small pendant lighting over the moss-colored kitchen island, with built-in gas stove, pick up the neutral fake watchescolors of the marsh and help with the continuity between the great room and the kitchen, explains Warner.
“It’s natural and soothing,” says Beth about the entire remodel. “Now we entertain so much more. There is so much space.”