You would never guess that where this Newport property now stands, was once a small, white 1940’s ranch home with pink shutters — but that it was, indeed.
Starting from scratch
Homeowners Ken and Michelle Loffredo decided to tear down said ranch house, which had belonged to Ken’s parents, to build a new dwelling that best maximized the lot; this meant situating the new home up on the hill, capitalizing on the exceptional water view. After two years of planning and construction alongside architect Robert Morin and builder John Ventura, both from Middletown, RI, the couple was ready to move in. “Robert’s design opened up the house, with multiple levels and angles that make everything feel light and airy,” says Michelle. “John kept the project running smoothly, within budget and on time.”
As with virtually any re-build, the interior aesthetic was just as important as the exterior. To bring together their vision of “coastal elegance,” and to ensure a decorated home upon move-in, Ken and Michelle hired interior designers Ramona Rodger and Barry Gano of Lifestyle Designs of Newport to create a cool, beachy tone throughout, which they elevated with a mix of Schonbek crystal, embroidered silks and casual, comfortable furnishings.
The glamorous kitchen
An open space with high ceilings and natural light, the kitchen is the centerpiece of the home and was constructed around unique mother of pearl fish pulls purchased by Michelle. “The vision for that room was that it not look like a kitchen,” says Ramona. “The [Wolf] induction cooktop is unobtrusive, the appliances are not prominent, we even went so far as to conceal the refrigerator in a mahogany armoire cabinet with mirrored, mullioned doors and crystal accented nickel pulls. No one knows it’s a refrigerator!”
Outfitted with crisp white cabinetry, the rest of the kitchen stands out with its Azul Aran blue granite countertops, crackled glass backsplash and cherry floors. A great entertaining space, the kitchen flows seamlessly into the dining area, complete with wet bar, cozy seating and hidden television, and is a small step up from the living room. A fireplace of Pennsylvania bluestone stands between the kitchen and living room.
The stunning master suite
The master bathroom complements the kitchen with its square mother of pearl floor tile and shower, and an accent wall in iridescent blue glass. The decor is soothing: Corian countertops, chrome and crystal fixtures, additional chandeliers and petite vanity – truly sophisticated minimalism at its finest. Ramona helped create new window treatments and bed coverings for the master bedroom that now evokes a retreat-like surrounding. Painted in a soft blue hue and accented by rich yellows and golds, the furniture and decor perfectly marries feminine and masculine taste.
Room for the family
Though their two daughters are away at college, Ken and Michelle joined two separate upstairs bedrooms with a spacious Jack-and-Jill bath, or in this case Jill-and-Jill, for the girls to enjoy on trips home. Each room includes a chandelier, white and blue window treatments and bedding and plush white carpeting.
Michelle says of her new home: “It’s totally livable; we use all the rooms all the time.” But her favorite is the kitchen. “The light is always right. I love the sparkle of the chandeliers when I’m entertaining at night… it is really the heart of our home.” And that’s exactly what Ramona and Barry strived to accomplish. “Barry and I worked closely with Michelle, trying to solidify their ideas for a fantastic outcome,” she says. “We always stress that the elements have to fit the vision. Staying on top of the decision making process ensures a smooth running job.”
For Michelle, the choice to hire Ramona and Barry came with an immediate affection for both personalities. “They always made me feel like I was their only customer,” says Michelle. “They are extremely knowledgeable and professional and gave me an end product that was more than I imagined.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Chris Vaccaro
Interior Design: Lifestyle Designs of Newport
**As seen in Southern New England Home magazine’s 2012-2013 print edition.