are replicas of old doors, others are original custom designs by Collins and
builder Marc Conrad of Conrad & Sullivan Builders in Dover.
Nearly every room in the house, save most notably the kitchen, features slightly varying styles of wainscoting, from flat and scoured board to
beadboard, paneling, and dadoes. In a nod to simple farmhouse detailing,
the window casings and baseboards are flat and substantial and are paired
with understated crown molding. And when the standard windows felt “too
new” for the space, Marvin Windows retooled their factory to produce their
signature chain-and-pulley double-hung windows “that work like a charm
and have the Old World element,” says Conrad.
The home’s showstopper, however, is the 8-foot-4-inch-tall, 3-foot-9-
inch-wide brick fireplace and pizza oven that was inspired by a 17th-century
beehive oven the owners had seen while house hunting. Intent on replicating
the organic beauty of the fully exposed chimney, the masons were instructed
that imperfection was ideal, something the wife ensured by occasionally poking holes in the mortar. Along with baking exceptional French bread, the
fireplace adds a sentimental touch — it was built using brick saved from the
demolition of the small ranch house formerly on the property and features
one old brick from the factory where the wife’s father worked.
“To think about some of the homes I was willing to move into because
it was an old house,” says the wife with a laugh. “We would have been sorry.
There is nothing else I can ask of this house.”
the barn structure (facing page), which houses the three-car
garage and upstairs lounge/office, is demarcated from the rest of
the house by its zinc-coated copper roof, varying rooflines, dormer
window, and cupola. The staircase (top) gives stature to the foyer.
“I wouldn’t go as far as to call it elaborate, by any means,” says
architect D. Michael Collins, “but with everything else being rather
subdued, it’s a little more eye-catching.” The front of the house
(above) displays all the elements of the farmhouse vernacular.