A New England Craftsman Colonial Goes Contemporary

A New England Craftsman Colonial Goes Contemporary

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Anna Spaller
Nov 10, 2016

Name: Sarah, Keith, Charlotte (age 9), Cormac (age 6), and Otis "My Man," their Wheaten Terrier
Location: Melrose, Massachusetts
Size: About 2,200 square feet (including finished basement)
Years lived in: Owned 8 years

Sarah and her husband Keith moved from Boston up to Melrose, Massachusetts after getting married and having their first baby. Having a small child in the city wasn't ideal for them, and it seemed like the right time for more space. They were looking for a home they could really grow into over the years, and since Sarah's parents used to live in Melrose, their search began (and ended!) there.

Fast forward eight years, another baby and plenty of renovations: Sarah and Keith have created a truly welcoming home where you can see their personal touches and love for their space and family.

After renovating the kitchen, half-bath, outdoor space, and basement, they've built a home to be proud of. Although that's not to say Sarah doesn't have a future to-do list for more renovations! She inherited her love of interior design from her mother, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We try to incorporate different styles that we like without adhering to one specific aesthetic. We have a mix of traditional, rustic, Chinoiserie, and mid-century furnishings.

Inspiration: I inherited my love of interior design from my mother. Her taste is more traditional than mine, but she has always taken great pride in how her house looks. Also, my paternal grandmother had an interesting style and I always admired it growing up. She lived in a beautiful old Victorian and her walls were covered with art, most of which was painted by her. I am lucky to have ended up with one of her oil paintings hanging in my living room.

Favorite Element: I love the style of our house (1910 craftsman colonial) and the original details such as built-ins in the dining room and upstairs hallway, the hip roof, exposed eaves, and front porch.

Biggest Challenge: Size of bathrooms and closets. Appropriate for the era when the house was built, but they don't work very well today.

What Friends Say: You guys are so neat! And, hey, can we come swimming??



Biggest Embarrassment: Our front/side yard. We redid our backyard this summer so now the front yard looks terrible by comparison. We ended up needing to park construction vehicles on the front yard while the garage was renovated, so the lawn died in the process.

Proudest DIY: My children's wall of art in the kitchen. Kind of cheating since it's their DIY; not mine! I am also proud of the decorative wall we stenciled in my daughter's bedroom, which was not easy.

Biggest Indulgence: Redoing our backyard and garage to make room for an in-ground pool this summer. We spent a small fortune, but it was worth every penny to have a place where we can hang out as a family all summer long.

Best Advice: Your house is a continual work in progress. If you want to truly love your home, don't think you can decorate it overnight.

Dream Sources: Flea markets for art and antiques, Jonathan Adler, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. (Ravenswood, Chicago)

Thanks, Sarah, Keith, Charlotte, Cormac & Otis!


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