Name: Jessica & George (Jack & Murray, two Maine coon cats)
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 8½ — owned
Jessica and George live on a street in Manchester that anyone would consider busy. Although right off the highway, their home is set far back on a hill encompassed by trees and a long front lawn. It is clear that they like their privacy too, because their home exudes relaxation and recreation. It is a large comfortable house fit for swimming, hosting a dinner party, reading, making art or music, and lounging.
It is easy to imagine all of the creative and restful ways to spend time in their home but after speaking with them, it is clear that a lot of work happened first. When they bought their home almost nine years ago, the entire first floor was carpeted in blue shag. Yes, even the bathroom! There were large shrubs covering most of the windows which blocked the natural light. In a word I would describe their home "before" as stuffy, as in cramped with texture, competing textiles, and little natural light. The former owner was brave to pair blue shag carpet with red and orange drapes!
Jessica and George did most of the renovation themselves including adding an outdoor irrigation system, adding a very long stone walkway, tiling the bathrooms, building the pool deck and cabana, partially refinishing the basement, and adding the staircase railing. They are obviously related to the right people, because most of the furniture has been passed down from grandparents and great aunts! Other pieces they found on sale or on the side of the road.
I particularly love the arrangement of the living room furniture. Those fabulous leather chairs beckon you to sit. A New Hampshire state senator lived here during the sixties and seventies and outfitted the home with the fixtures in the first floor bathroom and kitchen, and wallpaper in the bedrooms. He also had most of the drapes custom made. Jess and George have kept all of these elements to create a nice fusion of contemporary meets retro.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style? George: Frank Lloyd Wright meets Monster Garage
Jessica: For me it's more about the 'piece'. I have transformed rooms for their placement.
What is your greatest inspiration? George: The number 3
Favorite Element: George: Stair Railing
Jessica: It changes with the season; At the moment it is the cabana.
Biggest Challenge: George: HVAC
What Friends Say: George: Always a fun place to be
Jessica: Fun, cool and a space worth wandering
Biggest Embarrassment: George: That after 9 years I've yet to build a roof-top sun deck, with an outdoor spiral staircase and fire pole.
Proudest DIY: George: Designing and building the deck and cabana
Jessica: The front walkway; my only mosaic.
Biggest Indulgence: George: Quality and style
Jessica: Items that will last a long time.
Best Advice: Instinct is never over designed.
Jessica: When estimating the time it will take to complete a project, multiply by 2.
Dream Source: George: Falling Water
Appliances: Rick Restorations
Furniture: Machine Age, Antique stores, yard sales, consignment, hand me downs; Base for the dining room table was made by Kendal McAdams.
Accessories: Think Geek, CB2, Fred Flare, West Elm, Anthropologie, consignment and antique stores, flea- markets, Urban Outfitters
Lighting: Same as above.
Rugs and Carpets: FLOR
Tiles and Stones: Corriveau Routhier for walkway stone
Window Treatments: Former owner
Artwork:Mostly Jessica and other talented friends
Flooring: Lumber Liquidators
Thanks, Jess & George!
Images: Violet Marsh Photography
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