center holds firm.” The family, too, has held firm. The wife, an executive coach, had grown up in the house that had stood on the property
since the 19th century. When her parents began to spend winters in
Florida, she and her husband, an asset manager, said yes to the opportunity to buy the place and share it with the snowbirding grandparents
during the warmer months. At first, the couple had hoped to remodel
the original house, which had suffered a century of random alterations,
but one rainy night, as they lay in an upstairs bedroom with rainwater
leaking through the roof and filling buckets all around them, they realized they needed to start from scratch. “Life is short,” says the wife.
“We wanted to create the memories now” for their own kids — happy
childhood memories, not those of drafty windows and leaky roofs.
They also wanted a fresh look. The husband grew up in a 1760s
house in Connecticut, so he, too, had had enough of mossy New England style. Both were ready for a Modernist twist. Under traditional
peaked roofs, the central element of the new house is the kitchen, whose
cabinets have a white, high-gloss finish that makes them as sleek as an
iPod. Mimicking the curve of a sea wall outside, the room is shaped like
a pointed ellipse, suggesting the family hobbies of surfing and boating. Contours from the kitchen ripple throughout the house, show-