Colorful meets classic in this stylish take on the traditional vacation house.
A couple with a large extended family wanted a lakeside summer home in New Hampshire and, with the skilled expertise of architects Vaune Dugan and Heather Wells, built the house of their dreams.
As a retreat for empty nesters with five married children and 11 grandchildren, the home is 10,226 square feet on four levels. But rather than overpowering the site, the home was designed so that just two of the four levels show from the street.
Faced with a steep, sloping lot, Dugan worked out a plan and siting to accommodate the challenging topography and blend with the natural surroundings and existing architecture.
Long porches line the rear of the house to take advantage of lakeside views. The custom cedar railing shows Chinese design influence.
The airy interior is a modern and colorful update of the traditional summer home.
In the living room, painted grass cloth--in a custom pink--adds natural texture and peppy color to the family gathering space. Wrought iron on the lighting fixtures and cabinet hardware balance the pink walls and provide a visual anchor.
Traditional panel-style detailing, appropriate to the New England setting and house style, accents the mantel and cabinet doors. Crisp white paint offers contrast with the pink walls and deep-green- and brick-color tiles.
Glazed tiles were custom-colored a deep forest green, reflective of the woodland setting. The hearth tile matches for visual continuity. Accent tiles, in a brick color, trim the brick-lined firebox.
Subtle details--such as a coffered ceiling and painted grass-cloth walls--enrich the dining room.
Near the garage for easy unloading of groceries, the kitchen accommodates multiple cooks with its large island. Abundant built-ins and an adjoining walk-in pantry provide ample storage. A pine floor with planks of various widths adds rustic interest.
Expansive windows join shiplap wall paneling and a high bookcase to make the family room an inviting blend of modernity and tradition.
One of Wells' challenges was choosing colors for the open floor plan. Bright white, raspberry, lime green, lemon yellow, periwinkle blue, grass green--every room is dazzling. "[The colors were] a little mind-bending at first, but once I got into it, the idea of layering all that color was really fun," Wells says.
The interior architecture of the home--materials, finishes, and palette--was designed to create a sense of continuity with wall paneling, and the designers explored the available variations. "There's paneling--raised, vertical, or flat--or wood-textured walls in almost every space," Wells says. "That helps to tie everything together visually."
The living room's custom chandelier in bold raspberry red draws the eye upward. On the ceiling, a simple grid pattern adds visual interest while the allover green creates a seamless look.
The bright master suite includes a cozy office (in background), a luxurious bath, and private access to the deck with a view of the backyard and lake.
As seen throughout the home, the bedroom's cheery colors, textures, and patterns add a vibrant playfulness to the cottage style.
The homeowners wanted to be able to live on one floor, while accommodating their children and grandchildren when they visited. So Architects Dugan and Wells designed a floor plan with the secondary spaces--such as the gym and the office--on the upper level. And the guest quarters are all on the lower level. But the rest of the couple's day-to-day rooms--the master suite, the kitchen, the dining/living room, and the main porch--are all on the main level.
The 3,124-square-foot main level features:
-- Combined living spaces that reflect casual summer living and entertaining
-- A large master suite tucked behind the open living room for privacy
-- Private access to the deck and a separate sunroom that provides all-weather relaxing
-- Generous expanses of windows to frame the view
The 2,841-square-foot lower level includes:
-- A long, narrow covered porch that serves as outdoor living space and as a transition from the house to the dock and lake
-- A large family room, which adds an informal retreat with an adjacent bath
-- A pool table and casual living area with an adjacent bath for people coming in from the lake
-- Three bedroom suites to accommodate the homeowner's extended family
From the 1880s into the early 20th century, Shingle-style summer cottages dotted the New England countryside, built as getaways for the well-to-do. The quietly comfortable structures were typically 2,000-2,500 square feet, and the style tended to ramble, spreading out rather than up, with multiple outbuildings. Short on ornamentation, Shingle houses featured curved porches, steeply pitched roofs, towers, and the shingle siding that gives them their name.
In this home's interpretation, prominent, steep rooflines, with deep overhangs reference Shingle architecture. The front entry is more restrained than in historical Shingle homes, where porches often spanned most of a front facade.