Landscape designer Matthew Cunningham’s environmentally sound approach to this property is also low-maintenance. Working with
landscape contractor Phil Mastroianni of Waltham, Massachusetts, he incorporated 95 percent native plant materials, a 3,400-gallon
rainwater-capture system that irrigates the property, and areas of pea stone that allow surface water to percolate into the watershed. Food
sources for wildlife include low- and high-bush blueberry, viburnum, and holly. The work will continue now that the owners have purchased
an adjacent lot and are collaborating with Cunningham, architect Treff LaFleche, and interior designer Jill Litner Kaplan on the next phase of
the project: a larger pool house (with complete kitchen), tennis courts, and more landscaped areas with fieldstone paths and walls.
and a garage level built into the downward-sloping lot. By placing the
house very near the street (allowable because the property is an “old
lot,” as defined by local zoning) with the front facade turned north/
northwest, he was able to maximize the size of the backyard and give
all the rooms that face it a southern exposure.
In that brightness, all the key family living spaces are found. “We
live in our kitchen. It’s the area where everyone congregates,” says the
homeowner, who can see the family room, breakfast area, screened
porch, and backyard from the vantage point of the kitchen’s stunning
11-foot-long granite-topped island. “The kitchen and family room are
definitely the heart of the home,” says Kaplan, who had worked with
the couple on the interior design of their previous house. She injected
those spaces with kid friendly patterns and surfaces, such as ikat fabrics and rugs that are as good for hiding stains as they are for establishing a sophisticated look.
Throughout the first floor, Kaplan layered textures and patterns
grounded in a neutral palette of taupe, gray, greige, sea-foam green,
and watery blue, adding visual stimulation with everything from the
tribal pillow patterns of the media room to the antique suzani-uphol-stered bench in the entry. It also was important to reuse favorite pieces