COOL, CALM, COLLECTED, AND CHARISMATIC. That’s the vision the owner of a brand-new 8,000-square- foot neo Arts and Crafts–style house in a lovely old neighborhood of Wellesley, Massachusetts, had in mind when he purchased the property in 2007. To attain that very personal style for this builder’s spec house, however, would require some serious customization.
What attracted him to the house, built by a contractor who
had razed the small house on the property, was the opportunity to
re-landscape the half-acre lot while maintaining some mature plantings,
as well as the dignity of its exterior architecture, its expansive interior
spaces, and its overall potential to take on his own persona. “I liked the
layout,” he says, but he knew that for the house to work for him, many
elements would have to be radically altered. The winds of change
had to blow through.
At the top of his list of unacceptable elements was the kitchen.
With its traditional cabinets, black wrought-iron hardware, and
small windows, the room was dark, anathema to anyone who, like