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Intersecting Lines & Life

The evolution experienced in Nicholaeff’s own home has been subtle, like her adroit touch in all of her designs. Tabacco-hued hardwood flooring grounds the entire living space and provide a perfect counter-balance to the creamy white walls, millwork and old world sumptuous rugs. “I do like modern things, but I like comfortable, warm modern things,” she says when defining her balance with austere perception of modernity. The polish that Nicholaeff naturally exudes clearly inspires the environments she creates and her home reflects that kind of well-loved patina and glow a classic marble statuette might cast in the right light. Nicholaeff, who carves out precious free time to draw and paint in her small studio adjacent to her work space, says “What excites me, in architecture; drawing; and painting is the composition.”

Her deft understanding of line is the underlying power source in any of her designs. “It’s how the line creates the plane, how the planes create the space and how the space in its three-dimensionality evokes the atmosphere and creates function. That for me is where I go with design. I don’t go with ‘the style.’” She goes on to say, “How the building sits on a piece of land, how it relates to its neighbors, and more importantly, how our clients live is all part of the exploration of design.”

The lines that ultimately become treasured homes for Nicholaeff’s clients are just an extension of the lines she has etched in her own life. Criss-crossing the globe as a young disciple of history and architecture, and now presiding over a boutique firm in bucolic Osterville, Nicholaeff defies her spritely demeanor with a keen and focused command of how to masterfully create a home of discernment. “It’s how all the pieces go together. How does the inside relate to the outside? How do the outside elements become incorporated with the inside of the structure. There are so many ways to achieve successful design,” she adds. “How do you get there? This has been my way.”

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