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In the Eye of the Beholder

Sea Change

While the storage/display unit partially frames the living space and separates it from the stairs and den at the back of the home, an airy arcade, in its series of four columns, forms a border with the entrance hall. The kitchen/dining space, with cabinetry designed by Classic Kitchens & Interiors, and living room lie on long, perpendicular axes. DaSilva notes, “The fireplace provides a transition, a knuckle; it’s a freestanding object and a partial barrier between the two spaces.” Set on an obtuse 130-degree angle from the shelves, the turn the fireplace makes also lines up with the pattern on the ceiling and points toward the side-yard-facing porch. The overall layout allows for circulation as well as social flow. Says DaSilva, “You can be in the kitchen or in the living space and still feel connected.” This is true of the dining area, as well; it inhabits a space with wraparound windows at the back side of the kitchen, to which it remains completely open. Says the homeowner: “Having the two islands in the kitchen is really great for us, having two cooks in the family. We also enjoy the banquette, near the fireplace—it’s nice to sit there and have coffee, to watch the comings and goings on the street.” Other elements of the layout include the location of the master bedroom on the first floor, which, says the owner, “works really well for us,” and three other bedrooms upstairs. In the southwest corner of the second floor is a game room, which notably contains no television. Family and friends use this space for board games or playing cards.

When the owners approached PSD, they wanted in Sea Change a shingle-style home with Classical design. However, says the homeowner, “We really stressed to John that we were open to anything—that he should use his imagination and also consider the neighborhood. He pulled it together such that the house leaves people to interpret meaning—like art.” The final result draws upon tradition—for instance, DaSilva points out that shingle-style is the first American architectural invention, appearing in the late 19th century—yet contains contemporary and whimsical elements that he says “cause observers to first wonder and then smile.”

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