Architect Michael Collins employed
the same rich materials — wood,
stone, and metal — and neutral palette
used inside on the house’s exterior
(above). The back patio, where the
main house meets the guest wing, is
“where you experience everything
about the house in one view,” he says.
Here, stone, cedar shingles, board and
batten siding, and standing seam
metal and asphalt roofs converge in a
moment that summarizes the home’s
aesthetic. The metal roof, made of
zinc-coated copper for an industrial
low-sheen look, is reserved for
one-story spaces, i.e., the kitchen and entry, which also have lower-pitched
roofs, as illustrated below. A built-in gutter (above) accentuates the edge of the
metal. Despite the gap created, note that the metal seams are perfectly aligned.
elements setting the tone, interior designer Lucie Beauchemin
of Beauchemin Grassi Interiors of Boston created an atmos-
phere of casual comfort for the family. The dining area features
a table made from a single 14-foot-long slab of wood with a
live edge that the owners handpicked from Uhuru, a Brooklyn,
New York, design/build furniture company. “The table means
more than it would have if it had just been selected from a cat-
alog,” says Beauchemin, “and the kids will have a story to tell
about how Dad picked it out.”
Collins’s take on the “split level” starts at the front door.
The entry hall has a vaulted ceiling. Straight ahead, French
doors open to a cozy terrace with an outdoor fireplace (the
back side of the great room chimney) tucked into the corner
where main house meets guest wing. To the right, it’s six steps
up to the guest bedroom, bath, sitting area, and deck, and to
the left, five steps lead up to an 8-foot-wide corridor connect-
ing to kitchen/living/dining space, gym, library, and TV room.
A central staircase, a modern configuration of ash paneling,
oak treads, and cold-rolled steel, provides access to five bed-
rooms and two offices on the second floor and a home theater
on the level below. “It couldn’t be boring,” says Collins of the
stairway, which he acknowledges took more than a couple tries
to achieve the final design.
The owners got what they wanted — a home
that is spacious, comfortable, and interesting.
Collaborative work pays off, says Hill. “The clients allowed the design team to be creative.”