Balancing Act

An ingenious redesign allows this Chatham home to fully embrace both its peaceful and playful sides

Say you’ve enjoyed your summer home with your family for about 10 years, but now you feel it’s time to make some updates. Do you renovate the house that holds so many memories, or do you tear it down and build anew? This is a tough decision for anyone to make, but especially if you are a family of seven, with five boys, ranging in age from 12 to 25, and a dog. So you decide to seek advice from experienced professionals. 

That question—to rehab or rebuild—is one that architect Leslie Schneeberger, associate principal of SV Design of Beverly and Chatham, had to wrestle with when contacted by a client who lived in an older house along the tidal inlet of Chatham’s Little Mill Pond. 

There was so much to love about the property. The view of the sprawling green lawn and the blue pond with boats floating along its surface was a life-enhancing sight that had given the family joy every day they spent there. It was clear that the lawn was the place the kids had been enjoying for years. As Schneeberger observed, “With five active boys, room to run around and play a game of tag football was a must.”