“ALL ALONG, MY GOAL WAS TO CREATE A HOUSE
BIG ENOUGH TO BE A FAMILY HOUSE, BUT THAT WOULD ALSO
TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE SITE” — PAUL WEBER
the first floor, such as paneled kitchen
cabinetry, a coffered ceiling in the living
room, deep base and crown moldings,
and ample window trim, infuses the
open layout with a sense of tradition.
A winding stairway with a handsome
mahogany handrail leads to the second
floor, where four bedrooms are positioned for southern and
western exposures. The
stairway continues to the
third floor, where, in the
five years since the family moved into
the house, a partially finished attic has
become a project space for Darcy, now
8, and Ainsley, now 11.
“All along, my goal was to create a house big enough to be a family
house, but that would also take full
advantage of the site and the orientation relative to the trees and the
light,” says Weber, who a few years
ago started his own architecture practice in a restored mill building along
Newport’s harbor. Now, with plenty
of light for Bonnie and an inviting
lawn for two girls to romp, by all
accounts, the family is home.
Vintage Tiles Find a Home at Last
Architect Paul Weber brought his architectural and geographic roots home to
Newport when he designed a living room hearth made of vintage tiles (inset) from
Pewabic Pottery in Detroit. “When I was about 10, my mother picked up my
brother and me from school and took us to a house that was being demolished in
Museum. “When I started designing this house, I knew I had only a certain number
of the old tiles,” says Weber, who used most of them for the living room fireplace.
He also used them sparingly as accent tiles in the kitchen backsplash. “I didn’t
know my great-grandfather or grandfather, but I feel a connection in using Pewabic
tiles in our house,” says Weber, who makes it a point to visit pottery every time he
returns to Michigan.