Once the building was tight, they removed a layer of flooring to
reveal soft pine, which they refinished and stained a deep, nutty brown.
In the kitchen, they installed new cabinets, appliances, and black granite countertops. The peninsula is an antique scrubbed-pine piece that
once served as a counter in a coffee store.
Beyond the kitchen, the first floor flows through a series of cozy
rooms — dining, living, library, and sunporch — that perfectly suit
Irvin-Ware’s lifestyle. She likes to host intimate dinners and cocktail
parties, and says Gourd, “The space works really well for entertain-
ing. It’s a continuous thread of livable spaces, with a simple palette
of white and wood that puts the focus on the plants and the people.”
The most vibrant room is the three-season sunporch, furnished
with wicker and decorated with tropical-themed fabric and two grace-
ful potted plants that reach to the ceiling. A sisal rug is framed by the
deep-turquoise painted wooden floor, which picks up the blue in the
fabric. These cheerful pops of color are echoed in adjacent rooms:
the summer sky in a painting over the fireplace mantel, the gleaming
bottles and glass shelves of the built-in bar, the books on the built-in
shelves in the sitting room/library.
The second floor was reconfigured with function in mind. It
includes a simple bedroom for Irvin-Ware, a master bath with a spacious shower and concealed washer and dryer, and a tiny former bedroom that now serves as a spacious walk-in closet, with enough room
for a small desk and chair.
Outside, things are coming together. Irvin-Ware, whose floral company (formerly called Flowers, Flowers) focuses primarily on
hotel and hospitality clients, worked with landscape
contractors Paul S. Marchese and Homestead Landscaping, both of Dorset, Vermont, to design and install
a small backyard garden and stone walkway lined with
three varieties of moss. Plans call for a breezeway to connect the house
to the small backyard barn, which provides ample work and storage
space for her business.
“We’ll see what the barn becomes,” she says with a laugh. “This
home is a work in progress, as we ourselves are works in progress. You
build a home, and as you evolve, the home evolves.
“It’s a lovely journey.”
a wood-and-wicker theme continues in the dining room (facing page), with
an antique table and hutch and a twig chandelier from Shades of Light. The
living room, with working fireplace, is visible beyond. “The environment
doesn’t take away from the inhabitants,” says Gourd. “Metaphorically, the
simple palette lets the plants and the people ‘talk.’ ” The second-story
bedroom (right top) is appointed in wicker, rattan, and simple, crisp white
linens. Julane Irvin-Ware worked with two local landscapers to install the
backyard garden (right bottom) and stone walkway, which is planted with
three kinds of moss.