a fieldstone arch frames the informal kitchen in the all-season
sun porch. The custom counter houses refrigerator drawers, a stone
apron-front sink, and built-in grill. The massive tree-root table is
surrounded by antique wood and leather chairs.
different shapes and are perfectly level with the hand-planed, ebony-stained walnut floor of the adjoining front foyer.
The limestone reappears as small diamond-shaped tiles on a
backsplash above the La Cornue range in the kitchen, which was
done in collaboration with Dalia Kitchen Design at the Boston
Design Center. Its work area is enclosed by three islands, one positioned centrally as a prep station, another with seating that makes
it ideal for snacking and socializing, and the third placed so that it
doubles as a side counter for both kitchen and dining area.
Though plus-sized, the house feels personal and enveloping,
a sensibility enforced by the intimacy of the all-seasons sun porch,
butler’s pantry, music/sitting room, formal dining room, and Alan’s
“This is the opposite of a touch-me-not house,” says Donna.
“It’s bonded to nature, and it’s here to stay.” Even when she is home
alone, “it still feels cozy to me — just what I envisioned.”
Romancing the Stone
Specially requested by the homeowners, the
surprise element in the master bathroom (right)
is the curved wall sheathed in fieldstone,
interrupted only by a sliver of window that looks
out to the surrounding marshlands. Pride of place
goes to the sculptural Vintage tub by Kohler and
the tall free-standing faucets. The floor of
Tunisian stone tiles laid on the diagonal is
finished in chocolate brown. The whole affair is
set within a turret with clerestory windows that
allow plenty of natural light by day. At night, the
room is illuminated in part by the decorative iron
and crystal chandelier that adds a grace note to
the rustic motif. Slightly formal furnishings
enhance the sense of the unexpected. Adjoining
walls (not in view) have built-in vanities and
full-size windows galore.
A second-floor guest bathroom (below) is
distinguished by a sparkling leaded cut-crystal
vessel sink set atop a bombé-style vanity. “This
room is meant to have a bit of bling,” says interior
designer Karen O’Brien.
The custom chest, made to look old, is curved
both front and back to fit snugly into the convex
shape of the wall. An interior oval window is
cleverly positioned to overlook the great room.