Newport. Indeed, Harris and Sawyer were interested in innovations such as geothermal technology and smart-house automation. Mostly, though, they loved Le
Chalet’s original architectural detail.
Fortunately, the house still had many elements in place. “In many grand old
houses, pieces of the architectural trim, the fireplace mantels, and other bits
begin to be sold off or disappear over the years,” says Hughes, whose firm, Duncan Hughes Interiors, is in Boston’s South End. “But that wasn’t the case at Le
Chalet.” The banister of the main stairway, for example, required only refinishing; interior door casings and several sets of pocket doors were intact; the paneled
front doors were original; and the second floor’s maple and fir floors could be salvaged. The entry’s stunning walnut and oak flooring, however, couldn’t be saved.
“It had been sanded so many times, and the boards were thin to begin with, that
we couldn’t keep it,” says Grosvenor. Instead, replica floorboards were milled and
installed in the same pattern.
The public areas at the front of the house — foyer, dining room, library, and living room — retain much of their original layout and detail, but the rear of the first
floor was heavily reconfigured. Among the changes, Grosvenor designed a kitchen
addition at the southwest corner of the house to give the homeowners the living/
entertaining space they craved. Open to the family room, the new kitchen is the
core of the house for the couple, who share a passion for cooking, a pursuit Sawyer
the dining room (above) makes a bold statement with saturated green walls and dark blue
velvet dining chairs. Capiz shell chandeliers illuminate the 12-foot-long shagreen-topped
table. The original crown moulding in the 16-by-28-foot room was replicated in wood.
3 living room
5 family room
7 powder room
9 guest bath
10 guest bedroom
11 dining room
BUILDER Behan Bros. Inc.