with its contemporary furnishings and glowing tray ceiling, the living room now feels poised and calm. Dark woodwork around the fireplace is matched by a new floor. Above the foyer, the rotunda (facing page) doubles as a gathering spot and sculpture gallery. The floor inlay is a cherished art piece the owners made sure survived the renovation.
laminate kitchen, and an anodized-aluminum stair railing in the foyer that
did double duty as an arresting piece of sculpture. Combined with his and
his wife’s considerable art collection, the house was “screaming ‘wild!’”
says the husband. They loved it, but by the time the 2000s rolled around,
it was time for a change — toward calm.
Which is perhaps why they found themselves at a designer’s reception at Montage one evening in late 2004. At this contemporary furniture
store founded in Boston 50 years ago, the common thread tying most of the
retailer’s offerings together is a quiet, understated elegance. Also in attendance was architect Bradford C. Walker, whose Boston firm Ruhl Walker
Architects is known for its clean, almost minimalist design, with an emphasis on honest materials and precise geometry. After introductions, Walker
was invited out to the house for a look.
“We agreed that the house needed a kind of hierarchy,” says Walker.
“The architecture was competing with the artwork — it was a boisterous
place that the owner wanted to simmer down.” Thus began a collaborative