Escape from Manhattan

Teeming with energy, Manhattan brags about being the city that never sleeps. But sometimes, a good sleep is what you want more than anything. The relaxed pace and sea breezes of Westport, Massachusetts are the perfect antidote to the Big Apple’s relentless pulse for this fortunate family, now that their new home overlooking the Westport River is complete.

The family of four, including a young son and daughter, embrace everything Westport has to offer. They love to clam and quahog, then cook up a coastal feast in their gourmet kitchen. In the evening or on rainy days, the game room is the perfect spot to work on the intricate puzzles they transform into works of art.

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The area rug by Safavieh Rug Company sets the tone for the living room’s decor.

Photography by Diane Anton
Written by: Lenore Cullen Barnes
Interior Design: Manchester Interiors

A ‘dream’ collaboration

The couple purchased the property at the framing stage. Originally designed by architect Chip Gillespie, Karen Baldwin came on board and completed the project. “Both are amazingly talented to work with,” said Pam Manchester, interior designer and owner of Manchester Interiors, who created the interior spaces throughout the home. “It was a dream job.”

Manchester, who worked for Leonards New England for 17 years before starting her own design firm six years ago, enjoyed collaborating with the wife. “She knew what she wanted and has fabulous taste,” said Manchester. “The entire house is blue, but doesn’t feel overwhelmingly blue. They wanted it to be family-friendly and forgiving.”

The blues in the living and dining room stemmed from rugs by Safavieh Rug Company. Manchester introduced cream upholstery and a custom coffee table. The children chose some of the beach stones that compose the fireplace. In the dining room, English chairs surround a D.R. Dimes table. The open kitchen, dining room and living room share the spectacular river views.

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Antique pendant lights hang over the expansive marble island in the kitchen.

A seamless blend of styles

An antique double pendant light hangs over the Calacatta marble island and sets the tone for the kitchen. Dennis and Leen stools have leather seats and striped backs, finished with a blue custom tape with nailheads. A tiger maple cabinet, also by D.R. Dimes, adds style and a ‘collected furniture’ feel to the room.

It’s all kicked-back relaxation in the family room, where an “incredibly comfortable” sectional, according to Manchester, is upholstered in a navy Kravet fabric.

In the adjacent game room, a round pedestal table and custom banquette window seat invites reading or daydreaming. A glass breakfront, another piece by D.R. Dimes, sits opposite the window seat. “I like the painted color, ‘blueberry crisp,’ against the strong tone of the sycamore walls,” Manchester said. “It balances the blue of the sofa in the family room.”

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Each of the children’s rooms features built-in sleeping space to accommodate overnight guests.

A stylish second story

The master suite, children’s bedrooms and bath, and the wife’s office fill the second floor. The third floor has a guest room and half bath. Fun built-ins provide sleeping space for guests in both children’s rooms and each bedroom boasts a four-poster bed by Stephen Plaud Inc. The son, an avid fisherman, dreams of the great catch in his Nantucket thistle bed, featuring a Bass fish carved into the headboard.

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Warm wood furnishings play off the crisp wall color beautifully.

“The master bedroom was built around the very strong Empire tiger maple bed, customized with lower feet to maximize the view,” said Manchester. Creamy walls and a pale blue and cream rug keep the palette soft and the view in high relief.

In the master bath, the mirror above the vanity is set into a field of blue glass tiles. A Jane Churchill linen valance is finished with a black bead fringe that mimics the antique glass chandelier and tiles. The children’s bathroom is equally spectacular with a free-standing tub, two glass bell jar pendants and quatrefoil tiles decorating the walls.

Light blue grass-cloth, a New England Home hooked rug and mahogany desk render the wife’s office serene and cozy.

But it’s the outdoor shower that epitomizes the spirit of the home: the husband’s idea to insert a brass porthole into the side wall perfectly frames the river vista. Classic, fun-loving, fresh and beautiful – the shower, the home and the life the family enjoys here.

Article published in 2013-14 issue.

Want more interior design inspiration? Check out this updated traditional home.

Manchester_master bedroom_Diane Anton

Warm wood furnishings play off the crisp wall color beautifully.

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