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A Family Embrace

Marstons Mills waterfront home by Doreve Nicholaeff and Delphi Construction

With views from every window and walls that disappear, the home is designed to blur the lines between inside and outside enjoyment.

Before getting a glimpse of the spectacular backyard, visitors first are greeted by a front entry that has a center door, flanked by sidelights, with two-over-two divided lites, topped by transoms, across the entire entryway, making for a bright and open welcome. A curved roof overhang sets up another bank of two-over-twos that is crowned by another subtle curve in the roofline, and finally topped by a single four-over-four at the cupola level, banked by two strong fieldstone chimneys—all resulting in a very soft symmetry evocative of a special layer cake waiting for a celebration.

Inside the open floor plan of the first floor, the house rules are immediately established: this is a space to be shared. “We knew we wanted an open floor plan, one where kids, friends and family could just sit back and relax, but I also wanted it to be open to the kitchen, since I’m the one that is usually in there cooking,” the homeowner says with a laugh. A comfortable living room with dark wooden ceiling beams spools off toward the back of the house and is anchored by a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace with a generous granite raised hearth just perfect for perching. The homeowner goes on to say that she knew they didn’t want a separate dining room, but rather a large table that would seamlessly transition the spaces. The large open kitchen also is free of upper cabinetry so that the views and sunlight barely skip a beat as they fill the interior spaces.

One of the most impressive details that truly blurs the line between life inside and life outside is the massive NanaWall, a folding glass wall that transitions the outside in and vice versa. Nicholaeff was deliberate in the subtlety of the flooring transition to make sure that the travertine tile in the kitchen continued, sans threshold, and functioned as a border for the Ipe decking on the exterior dining porch. The dining table outside is also long and spacious in order to easily accommodate any number of guests who invariably will be stopping by.

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