the new custom-designed stairway
is located at the back of the house,
near the kitchen and breakfast area.
The railing includes three balustrade
designs, which interior designer Martin
Potter describes as “a New England
concept given a French look.”
The tongue-and-groove ceiling
is stained mahogany. The conservatory
(opposite), a wish list item for the
flower-loving homeowner, is off the
breakfast area. The floor tiles are
antique; woodwork is mahogany.
The kitchen, a collaborative design
in conjuction with Kochman, Reidt and
Haigh Cabinetmakers of Stoughton,
Massachusetts, is centered on a
marble-topped island where there is
plenty of room for several children
to help make holiday cookies. The
white-painted cabinets are enlivened
with rich accents of blue in the tile
around the range and on the interior
wall of the glass-front display cabinet.
repetition of color, in this case red. Wallpaper, a reproduction of a toile
the designers found in an antiques store, complements the boiserie. “All
the decorative trim in this room — the walls, the molding, the ceiling
medallion — are designed to make that translation into French style,”
Because music plays a large role in the family’s life — all three children and their mother play the piano — an intimate and cheerful music
room took form in a front parlor. “I love yellow,” explains the homeowner in
a nod to sunshine-hued walls that pop against the mahogany beams in the
new coffered ceiling. In another example of MJ Berries’s artful repetition
of color, the room’s furniture and draperies add more layers of yellow.
At the rear of the house, where the addition meets the footprint of the
original 1868 structure, is the new stairway. A wide and handsome architectural element designed by Potter, it is located precisely where the family
most needs it —in the high-traffic space off the kitchen. It’s a
move in keeping with the overall goal of comfort, a comfort
that encompasses layout as well as important, yet invisible,
technology. Hidden from sight are such modern conveniences as radiant-floor heating, central air conditioning,
new electrical and plumbing systems, and even a snow-melting system
under the driveway.