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Turning a house into a home

When renovating a house into a home, those that have previously tackled this type of project know how even the simplest home project seems to take on a life of its own.


A fresh coat of paint, and suddenly the sofa looks dingy. New upholstery renders the window treatments hopelessly wrong for the room. Before we know it, we’ve spent twice as much time (and goodness knows how much more money) redoing a room we thought just needed repainting.

For these homes, what started out as a simple project became a labour of love that transformed ordinary houses into homes.

The sophisticated design seems to increase the room’s size while placing the view front and centre. Crown mouldings the colour of ginger line the upper walls, drawing the eye upward and making the room look larger still. Other elements contributing to the living room’s tranquility include simple, pale upholstery on sofa and chairs and the opalescent Murano glass lamps, all of which bring an elegant restraint suited to the building.

Gaiety and good times carry on throughout, even down to the fabric on the formal upholstery. “I used a great indoor/outdoor yellow fabric on the sofa so the kids could sit on it, even if they were just in from the pool and had chlorine on their suits,” says the designer.





The open, informal layout leaves plenty of room for a comfortable seating area of plump brown couches and cream-coloured linen chairs. Green in the toss pillows, cashmere throw and artwork above the mantel adds a pop of colour. Texture is provided by the sisal carpet, and the zebra-print window treatments offer unexpected pattern play.

ABOVE: Durable furnishings for everyday living, including a genuine leather sofa for conversation or lounging and winged chairs flanking the fireplace, are the highlight of this space. Dark wood panelling was painted for a dramatically lighter feel.

new england journal