Permanent Vacation

A holiday abode is styled to evolve into a family’s year-round home.

By Ann Luongo • Photography by Nat Rea
Interior Design: Digs Design Company

When imagining the house of your dreams, it is important to have a vision for the inside as well as the outside. All the details, large and small, that will make a house your home should be considered by a design team that can take your ideas, add their own experience, and translate that combined vision into reality.

A robin’s egg blue door makes a statement in the cheerful entryway.

A robin’s egg blue door makes a statement in the cheerful entryway.

New homeowners did exactly that when they decided to build a home in Middletown, Rhode Island. For the interior design and décor, they chose Digs Design Company, in Newport. “In 2013, [a project of ours] had the honor of gracing the cover of Southern New England Home,” says Joceyln Chiappone, the company’s lead designer. “This client fell in love with that room and looked us up when she was beginning to start the construction on her new home.”

The homeowner’s focus for the interiors was on comfort, soft edges and livability. “When we started out on this journey, we presented Jocelyn with potentially inconsistent goals,” says the homeowner. “We wanted our new home to be comfortable and relaxing, a place that would entice our growing family – our daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren – to spend as much time as possible with us. So the design would need to take into account the needs and tastes of multiple generations.”

At the same time, she adds, this was to be their dream home – a home they’d been thinking about for a long time, so they also wanted the “wow” factor.

The Sarah Richardson fabric chosen for the upstairs study creates a serene space to sit in and read or just relax.

The Sarah Richardson fabric chosen for the upstairs study creates a serene space to sit in and read or just relax.

“As a designer, it’s essential to listen to the clients’ needs and wishes,” Chiappone says.  “It’s important to consider practicality, usefulness and budget when making the selections. Great design is not just a combination of beautiful things. Great design happens when both the designer and client achieve their goal of creating a fabulous living space.”

For the open-concept home, a soft gray paint was selected for the walls throughout the main living area, offset by a crisp, white shade on the woodwork and kitchen cabinets. The mix of blues and creams in the living room gives a coastal feeling, with a few snappy fabrics to lighten things up. The family loves to gather in this space. “The big, cozy ottoman was the perfect tool for their young grandson while he was learning to walk,” Chiappone says.

The kitchen counters are done in Eureka Danby marble.  “It’s the ideal white marble for a coastal kitchen. I just loved it!” Chiappone says. The pendant lighting, from Waterworks, adds a simple elegance, while the flat-weave carpet makes the perfect runner. Chiappone says she “knew it was a winner the moment I saw it.”

The bedrooms were a fun project for all involved. Each of the couple’s daughters added a bit of their own personality to the design of their rooms.  As for the guest room, “They took a leap with the pink accents and I know they were happy with the results,” Chiappone says.

In the upstairs study, a Sarah Richardson print fabric was used on the chairs and ottoman and for window treatments. Chiappone describes the setting in this room as perfect “for a cup of coffee and the morning paper.” The fish pillows on the window seat are done in a lively print by Peter Fasano. “I love to support smaller fabric houses that produce wonderful, hand-painted silkscreen fabrics,” says Chiappone.

Building a new home can be daunting and stressful, so having the right team in place makes the process easier. The homeowners and design team worked together with architect Alec Tesa and builder Mark Horan, both of Newport, to ensure the project unfolded seamlessly with magnificent results.

“While this home is beginning as a holiday home, we expect it to evolve into our full-time residence, so it needed to adjust to the seasons and to how we use it in the future,” the homeowner says. “The home draws you in from the moment that you enter the front door. Every area is stunning, yet also embracing and functional. Jocelyn created exactly what we were looking for. We couldn’t be happier.”

 

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