Looking to purchase a year-round home for their family of four—and two pint-sized pooches—Michele and her husband Paul instead fell in love with a seasonal home just a short walk from their current residence in the Minot Beach section of Scituate, MA. After buying the aging structure, Michele recalls briefly considering winterizing it, “but it quickly became clear that we would have to replace it to create a year-round home,” she says. The decision gave the family a blank canvas to design a warm and inviting space that would fit their coastal-loving lifestyle.
Michele—who is a long-standing customer of the seaside-inspired Welch Company Home + Design decor showroom—called on owner and interior designer Caroline Warner to create a kid and pet-friendly space that is at once traditional, modern and nautical.
A kitchen with texture baked in
“Caroline did an outstanding job in bringing in a variety of textures and finishes,” says Michele, which can be readily seen in the kitchen. The white cabinets, custom crafted by Roomscapes Luxury Design Center in Rockland, MA., are traditional with a modern twist: the glass cabinets have a textured surface, making the objects visible in the shelves appear more abstract. Meanwhile, the dark countertops and large center island are made of “Jet Mist” granite with a leathered finish, a material chosen “because it has a slight texture to it,” says Caroline, “and it won’t show fingerprints”—a must for a family with two school-age children.
Coastal living room
The warm-hued hardwood floors in the open kitchen, both durable and easy to clean, lead into the living room, where the classically coastal combination of blue and white accent a soft and neutral-colored room. At first glance, the sturdy white sofa—purchased at Circle Furniture in Pembroke, MA—might seem like a bold or even optimistic choice for a family with young children, but it is astoundingly spill-safe with a slipcover made of Sunbrella, a miracle fabric that is washable and fade-and-wear resistant. Lending visual interest to the room is a set of blue-and-white floral-patterned club chairs that face a beach-breezy mango wood coffee table with a weathered surface from Welch Company’s showroom.
The beach theme continues into the adjacent dining room with a table for six made of reclaimed pinewood, also purchased through Circle Furniture. It gives off “something of an earthy vibe with its warmth, texture and aesthetic richness,” says Cheryl A. Harrington, a senior design consultant at Circle Furniture, who adds, since the reclaimed wood has already survived for a hundred years, “It’s sure to last another hundred.” A playful mix of informal and formal, the table seating has four light-blue velvet burnout animal print chairs that are paired with a high-back settee for sharing.
More than a mudroom
As the main entryway into the home, it was important to the homeowners that the mudroom be both functional for kids and welcoming for guests. “We asked Caroline to help create something that would be unexpected from a typical mudroom,” says Michele. The bench, which is the focal point of the room, has tall decorative molding in taupe that almost reaches the ceiling. “We designed the bench to be an architectural detail in the room,” says Caroline. “We also wanted to give people a resting spot while they were putting on and taking off [their] shoes or boots.” Underneath are storage baskets for the various discarded articles of clothing and footwear. For the flooring, the homeowners chose easy-to-clean, color-coordinating “Philadelphia Cream” travertine from Best Tile in Dedham.
A happy homeowner, Michele enthuses: “With [Caroline’s] color palette, recommended tile and paneling patterns, and custom window treatments, the term mudroom barely does this room justice.”
Located just off the mudroom, a powder room utilizes a similar color palette to the formal and functional entryway. The multi-toned grass-cloth wall treatment adds softness, depth and texture to the small bath, while the large-scale iron and rope mirror, reminiscent of a porthole on a boat, ramps up the drama.
After starting over by building a new home, the homeowners ended up with exactly what they’d set out to find; a family-friendly year-round residence with a cohesive coastal feel that flows from room to room. Perhaps best of all? They’re already well-familiar with the neighborhood.