How do you transform a 100-year-old manse into an inviting family home while maintaining its historic elegance? By mixing casual elements with durable, but refined accents that are fashionable enough to please a grown-up crowd. “We wanted the space to be open enough for all of us to gather together as a family, and we wanted to be able to entertain,” say homeowners Ellen and Sam Webster. Peek inside their family home that offers just that, and a whole lot more.
A teak hutch that homeowners Ellen and Sam brought with them from their previous home is offset by Mexico City artist Francisco Castro Leñero’s large-scale grid art in the dining room. German designer Hanna Ehlers’ ceramic-and-wood Apu stools serve as functional sculpture, while high walnut baseboards are an extension of the kitchen’s warm cabinets.
The Websters’ Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Foxy Cleopatra, loves the kitchen’s heated limestone floors. A six-burner Wolf range is put to work regularly by the family of six. The walnut cabinetry’s horizontal grain and an unexpected mix of flat-front lowers and framed uppers has a unique modern look.
Leathered black granite counters cover the perimeter of the kitchen — an understated counterpoint to the Silver Wave marble island that anchors the space. A playful chandelier by Castor picks up the colors of the grid art around the corner.
“It took six months and three tries for the slab to arrive in one piece,” says Ellen of the polished Nero Marquina marble that tops the Saarinen dining table. Paired with silver Tulip chairs, it’s a cool modern counterpoint to the warm walnut cabinets in the adjoining kitchen.
“We didn’t want a formal living room that only gets used three times a year,” Ellen says. An onyx bar helps create the mood of a cocktail lounge, and the rug has the energy of a disco ball.
“The ceiling was an opportunity to add something unexpected in the entry. The padded Osborne & Little fabric was the perfect solution. It adds visual interest as well as soft texture to absorb sound,” says designer Kim Lambert.
“We took some time considering whether or not to paint over the cherry panelling, but in the end, we decided that we wanted the family room to have a more contemporary feel,” Ellen says. Using the same glossy grey on the ceiling adds drama and warmth. The fireplace surround was updated from tile to marble, and a shag rug adds retro texture.
In the principal bedroom, old plaster moldings were carefully restored and reconfigured. A gold statue and beaded Barbara Barry table lamp complement the gilded design on the bed by Baker.
The dated principal bathroom was revamped with a sleek Crema Marfil floor and a sculptural freestanding tub. The walnut vanity is framed in travertine with a double-thick waterfall profile for added drama. Roman blinds in a tone-on-tone damask add subtle pattern.
In Catherine’s room, a bunk bed complete with ruffled curtains and crown molding suits the room’s traditional panelling. A shaggy pouf and ’70s Le Klint pendant light keep the mood modern.
House & Home February 2015