Project Reveal: Wellesley New Traditional
There are some projects for which family is at the heart of the design, and our Wellesley New Traditional project is one such example. From the concept to the construction to the finishing touches, this gracious Massachusetts home exudes warmth and puts family first. Take a virtual tour of this remarkable new build — one that has become even more meaningful in an age when families are spending more time than ever at home.
Room to Grow
With three school-age, athletic children in tow, this active family of five knew they needed more space. They loved the area where they lived, so a move across town — or to a new town altogether — wasn’t a consideration. When a 2,400-square-foot fixer-upper on a large parcel of land came on the market in late 2016, it provided the perfect opportunity to start fresh and to spread out. In a remarkably serendipitous turn of events, the property was just around the corner from where they already lived. By every imaginable standard, it was — as they say — meant to be.
From the Ground Up
In the realm of real estate, basements can be relatively uneventful spaces: they are generally underground, often accompanied by a faint musty smell, and devoid of light. When you have the opportunity to design your own space, however, you get to rewrite the rules.
In our Wellesley New Traditional project, architects Shope Reno Wharton built a foundation that allowed for subterranean, livable spaces. They embraced the basement’s large, open areas to create rooms for indoor activities, including a great room with a Restoration Hardware billiards table and ceiling light designed by Chapman & Myers. The space also serves as a home theater with a projection screen coupled with a generous, cozy sectional large enough for the entire family to watch movies together (the projector is compatible with video game systems, as well, we say with a wink).
With the family’s love of sports in mind, art advisor Hadley Powell of Powell Fine Art Advisory worked with our clients to source vintage posters from the Olympic games, turning to a local Boston gallery, International Poster Gallery, to source posters for a large wall in the basement’s recreation room. The shop, located in Boston’s SoWa art and design district, offers thousands of original vintage posters from around the world. (Tip: posters, photographs and prints are a wonderful entry point for collectors looking for a place to start). Five vibrant posters from the 1972 Munich Olympic games were selected for the space.
Continuing our clients’ love of sports, the room adjacent to the great room is solely dedicated to an AllSportSystems custom home golf simulator, with an undulating putting green and wraparound drop cloth screen. With the option to play any golf course anywhere in the world, this is, naturally, a sports enthusiast’s dream recreation room.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the basement is one of the home’s two offices; a dapper workspace featuring saturated hues and a variety of textures and patterns that make the space feel at once professional and inspiring, yet warm and inviting. For this space, we leaned into our client’s love and appreciation of American history, which became a recurring theme throughout the home.
First Floor: Comfort is Key
It was essential to our clients that the home feel warm and welcoming throughout, which meant dialing down some of the rigidity that can be traditionally associated with more formal spaces. Working with lead architect John Gassett of architectural firm Shope Reno Wharton, together with KVC Builders, we created an open, spacious concept for the first floor that allowed for easy traffic flow and ample space for gathering.
Living Room & Dining Room
The living room, one of the first spaces seen upon entry from the home’s front door, doubles as a music room, showcasing our clients’ refinished heirloom Steinway piano. This space has also become an ideal setting for our clients’ young sons to take virtual music classes in a time of remote learning.
To make this space feel warm and inviting, we embraced cozy textures and patterns, including sumptuous fabrics by Schumacher, Cowtan & Tout and Pindler, timeless finishes by Classic Brass, and the easy-going elegance of Thomas O’Brien wall sconces and a Williams Sonoma chandelier. Powell also played with the room’s palette of earthy neutrals and ocean blues, testing an abstract work by landscape painter Julia S. Powell over the fireplace.
In the adjacent formal dining space, we created an instantly polished feel with traditional lines, from a sideboard sourced from Perigold to dining room chairs sourced from Ethan Allen that were paired with our clients’ existing dining room table. To create a seamless transition between the two spaces, we developed a color palette that echoed the hues featured in the adjoining living room.
Kitchen & Breakfast Nook
Just a corridor away from the formal dining room is the kitchen, the central artery of this family-focused home. As with most homes, the kitchen is the primary gathering place for our clients and their children — a veritable beehive of activity in mornings before school. A large kitchen island with room for gathering and casual eating was a must.
Additionally, the kitchen is fully outfitted with ample storage space and professional-grade appliances, reinforcing the space as a comfortable, useful environment for the family to enjoy. Attached to the kitchen is a little breakfast nook built into an airy dome, an architectural element conceived by Shope Reno Wharton that gives this new build the charm and character one would expect from a historic New England home built in the 19th century.
To fit this unique space, our design team sourced a round table from Century, with the right dimensions to allow those seated to comfortably navigate the tightness of a circular space.
Just steps away from the kitchen and breakfast nook in this open floor plan is the first floor family room. Here it was all about getting cozy; our clients wanted a space to snuggle up to and watch movies together as a family. For this space, we sourced soft, textured fabrics that exude coziness, and we layered blankets and throw pillows for extra comfort. With any family-friendly space, selecting durable textiles was critical — as was the furniture layout, which was determined to allow for easy traffic flow.
Also located on the first floor is the second of the home’s two office spaces. Here, we initially designed the desk to be centered in the room facing the office fireplace. After our initial presentation, we revised the design to better suit our client’s needs, creating a built-in desk that overlooked the window to the backyard, allowing a busy mom to keep an eye on her young boys playing in the backyard while she works.
Second Floor: Personal Space
The beauty of the second floor spaces lies in the ability for all members of the family to spread out and have space to themselves. We worked closely with Shope Reno Wharton and KVC Builders to create a floorplan that allowed our clients a comfortable master suite with space for rejuvenation — a relaxing spa experience without leaving home.
The master bedroom was outfitted with a cozy fireplace and chaise lounge, as well as a layered bed for a luxury hotel feel. Across the hall in the home’s gracious master bathroom, we opted for a clean, bright palette of white and soft grey, underscored by Discover Tile’s exquisite tilework throughout. We juxtaposed a Bain Ultra soaking tub with sleek, modern lines with traditional plumbing fixtures for a fresh take.
For each of our clients’ three boys, we created spaces that celebrated their individual interests, hobbies and activities, and envisioned a unique color palette that made each space feel distinct from the other spaces. Each child now has his own bedroom and en suite bathroom; space for everyone in the family to spread out and be comfortable.
From concept to execution for this remarkable home, family has been at the heart of the design; creating a space that feels true to the interests and lifestyles of this active family of five. Opting for durable fabrics, comfortable floor plans, and easy-going elegance was top-of-mind in this project.
Ultimately, making the home fun for our clients’ children was the mission of our design, and we’re confident this labor of love will be cherished by the family for years to come.