A publication of Boston Design Guide
Architecture: Amanda Martocchio Architecture; Photography: Michael Moran/OTTO
Custom Builders Inc.
310 Washington St., Suite 202
Wellesley, MA 02481
Interior Design: Live Well Interiors + Design
Photography: Warren Patterson
Flawless homes built for generations
Kistler & Knapp Builders
draws on over 40 years
of fine craftsmanship to
reflect the most demanding
With over 40 years of building experience, Kistler & Knapp Builders, Inc. is one of
the most highly-regarded construction firms in the Greater Boston region. Their work
reflects the finest craftsmanship and the most demanding architectural concepts.
Kistler & Knapp has always understood the importance of effective communication
and working well with the entire team in all aspects of the building process. The
foundation of their reputation rests on expert management, transparent accounting
and fiscal prudence. Owners Doug Stevenson and Renée West are committed to
creating successful relationships during construction and well into the future, thereby
maintaining a legacy of excellence in fine home construction. And Kistler and
Knapp’s Home Services Division is there for the long haul, maintaining their clients’
homes well into the future.
916 Main Street
Acton, MA 01720
Architect: Ruhl Studio Architects
Interior Designer: Bill Lewis
Photographer: Warren Patterson
From the Publisher
As springtime is a time of new beginnings, we’re
thrilled to present you with our second issue of
PRELUDE, which showcases content from the finest
professionals in the New England home industry in
an all-new way. While this magazine has arrived at
your doorstep (old-school style!), you can also find
its features (many of which are expanded) online
at bostondesignguide.com and via Boston Design
Guide’s social media feeds.
Storytelling is at the heart of PRELUDE’s philosophy,
and I love that this forum allows us to deep dive into
the projects and behind-the-scenes work of the some
of the foremost talents in architecture, construction,
interior design and landscape design in the area.
PRELUDE, which is a sneak peek of BDG’s annual
coffee table book which will be out this summer, has
given me and my staff even more reason to check
out all that is going on in the home industry and
check in with the professionals who are rocking their
Since Boston is a hotbed of new construction and
renovations, and bursting at the seams with activity,
City Living is a recurring theme again in this edition.
We explore how to build successfully in an urban
context, sparkling urban space saving solutions, and
the amazing projects in Boston’s hottest ’hoods
(p. 56). It also takes us out to the suburbs to
experience a charming farmhouse and landscape
renovation sealed with a French kiss in History in
the Making (p. 38), and inside a beautiful Weston
estate that is redefining traditional architectural
forms in The New Classic (p. 22). And, for fun, and
because spring is a season for sunny drives with
the top down, we showcase some pretty incredible
auto salons in Revved Up (p. 11), which is filled with
beautiful rides that inspire us to hit the road!
It is in this spirit that we encourage you to explore
the topics, profiles and talent within these pages
and support the companies and tradespeople who
have been kind enough to let us shine a light on
And, just maybe, you’ll be inspired to begin a project
or a journey of your own!
Melanie Perillo, Publisher
BDG PRELUDE - SPRING Edition, 2019, prints seasonally (spring, fall and
winter) and is published by Boston Design Guide, Inc. 348 Boston Post
Road, Suite 4, Sudbury, MA 01776. Boston Design Guide (“BDG”) provides
information on luxury homes and lifestyles. Boston Design Guide, its
affiliates, employees, contributors, writers, editors, (Publisher) accepts
no responsibility for inaccuracies, errors or omissions with information
and/or advertisements contained herein. The publisher has neither
investigated nor endorsed the companies and/or products that advertise
within the publication or that are mentioned editorially. Publisher assumes
no responsibility for the claims made by the Advertisers or the merits of
their respective products or services advertised or mentioned editorially
herein, and neither expressly nor implicitly endorses such Advertiser
products, services or claims. Publisher expressly assumes no liability for
any damages whatsoever that may be suffered by any purchaser or user
for any products or services advertised or mentioned editorially herein and
strongly recommends that any purchaser or user investigate such products,
services, methods and/or claims made thereto. Opinions expressed in the
magazine and/or its advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions
of the Publisher. Neither the Publisher nor its staff, associates or affiliates
are responsible for any errors, omissions or information whatsoever that
have been misrepresented to Publisher. The information on products and
services as advertised BDG PRELUDE are shown by Publisher on an “as is”
and “as available” basis. Publisher makes no representations or warranties
of any kind, expressed or implied, as to the information, services, contents,
trademarks, patents, materials or products included in this magazine. All
pictures reproduced in BDG PRELUDE have been accepted by Publisher
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MICHAEL J. LEE
introducing the Verellen Salon at Artefact Boston
1317 Washington Street, Boston MA 857.350.4397
1000 Pleasant Street, Belmont MA 617.993.3347
11 Revved Up
Four high-octane auto salons and their
22 The New Classic
Traditional forms are reimagined in
crisp—and wholly original—ways.
36 Designer Digs
Inside kitchen designer Donna Venegas’ own
Charlestown home and premier Wellesley
homebuilder Peter Fallon’s new masterpiece.
38 History in the Making
A landscape and architectural renovation blends
the former glory of Belmont’s 1850s Locke
Farmhouse with a French flourish.
42 Publisher’s Picks for the Bath
Must-haves for your master—from commodes to
cutting-edge spa therapies.
46 Signature Style
Four custom structures that all but whisper the
names of their makers in form and flair.
52 Wonders Of Wood
Top designers and builders embrace the beauty and
warmth of the natural material.
56 City Snapshots
Urban projects in Boston’s ever-changing landscape
represent each ’hood.
59 Tech Talk
Maverick Integration’s Dennis Jaques enlightens us
about new advances in lighting control.
Intricate hand drawings are an integral part of
Meyer & Meyer Architecture and Interiors’ process.
Cover: Marcus Gleysteen, of MGa | Marcus Gleysteen Architects
with homeowner and car aficionado Conrad Wetterau.
Photography by Roger Pelissier
S+H Construction continues to build its legacy
Architect: Rulh Walker Architects; Energy Consultants: Zero Energy Design; Photo by: Tony Luong
Sarah Lawson, owner of S+H Construction, won’t take credit for the success of the Cambridge-based general contracting
firm without acknowledging the efforts of co-founders Alex Slive and Doug Hanna, who handed over the mantle in a
gentle transition in 2016 when Lawson suggested a buyout. “The company’s greatness is because of them,” states Lawson.
“What they accomplished inspires us to work very hard to move the company into the future and make it even stronger. ”
Slive and Hanna took the business from “a-pickup-truck-and-tools” operation to a company that is known for its
sophisticated, beautiful builds. “Not only on what you can see and touch,” says Lawson, “but also on the sophisticated
infrastructure behind the walls.”
They’ve also created a culture of problem solving (a necessity on the job site), transparency and an environment
in which homeowners enjoy and feel in control of the construction process. Slive and Hanna are proud that Lawson is
carrying the torch. “The transition to Sarah has been fantastic. She has amazing ideas,” maintains Slive. “I like to think
that what we’re good at—and Sarah especially—is guiding customers through the demanding construction process and
producing a beautiful living space in the end.”
Quality Floor Coatings, Cabinets and Organizers
Nevermind pahking the cah on Hahvahd Yahd, this is where premium
vehicles are yearning to be when they’re not in the fast lane.
We explore the designs of four gleaming, high-octane auto salons (we
couldn’t possibly call them garages) that are home to high-performance
Porsches, thundering Ferraris, classic Mercedes and Corvettes, royal
Rolls and Minis with big dreams.
Above, Architect Marcus Gleysteen with homeowner Conrad Wetterau. Driving
one of Wetterau’s cars inspired Marcus, who used to race and now drives in track
events, to purchase a classic car of his own. Photography: Roger Pelissier
Conceived by Marcus Gleysteen of MGa | Marcus
Gleysteen Architects and interior designer Anthony
Catalfano of Anthony Catalfano Interiors, this Weston car
gallery was designed with three components: an exhibition
space for the owner’s three prized rides (an Enzo Ferrari,
a vintage Corvette and a 2012 Porsche GT3 six speed), a
more utilitarian garage that houses four vehicles on the
lower level and four on the lifts overhead, and a lounge
area where the collectors in the family “can watch TV and
have a beer,” says Marcus Gleysteen.
The lounge stops traffic, and boasts a vibe that is “very
modern, clean, Italian and sexy,” says Anthony Catalfano.
It merges contemporary Italian furnishings, including black
glove leather couches, with custom cabinetry, including
a Ferrari-red floating console with a high buff finish by
Wayne Towle Master Finishing and Restoration.
Maverick Integration equipped the salon with the full
technology of the main house, using invisible speakers
in both wings. When the homeowners play music “it’s all
hidden to keep the integrity of the uncluttered, clean-lined
space,” says design consultant John Bray.
Photography: Chuck Choi; Marcus Gleysteen
This tented three-car garage, also by MGa | Marcus
Gleysteen Architects, was inspired by the owner’s travels to
Saudi Arabia, and the stretch canopies at the Hajj Terminal
East airport. This award-winning project was conceived
as “a folly,” says architect Marcus Gleysteen, and, initially
designed to utilize a surplus of glass from the build of the
main home. In the end, the contractor found it to be easier
and less expensive to work with clear, half-inch tempered
glass, leaving the Mondrian-esque sliding doors the only
vestige of the original design. Its tent, which is illuminated
at night, was made by the same company that produced
the Bank of America Pavilion on the waterfront, and is the
smallest project the firm has done.
As the sculptural carport is located on a ridge overlooking
the Atlantic Ocean, sloping steel columns were attached
to concrete footings as stays. The engineers had to ensure
that the structure wouldn’t get carried away. “The uplift
on this point when the wind blows at 50mph is 70,000
pounds,” explains Marcus.
Photography: Marcus Gleysteen
Principal Patrick Ahearn FAIA of Patrick Ahearn Architect
puts a classic, Islander spin on his car barn, located
on Martha’s Vineyard. An avid auto enthusiast, Ahearn
often finds inspiration for his architecture in the lines and
designs of vintage automobiles, so it follows that he’d
create a home for the dream machines he has restored,
including a fire-engine red 1960’s Corvette and a hunter
green Porsche Speedster.
For this construct, he reinvented the livery stables of old,
modeling it after the “upscale New England barns one
would have found in historic towns like Concord, Mass.,”
says Ahearn. In keeping with tradition, he reused flooring
from a mill building in Maine as well as other reclaimed
materials like old beams and timbers, and a stone veneer
on the exposed foundation. He made a point of keeping
the first level freestanding (the second level boasts a guest
quarters) and devoid of columns to make the space easy
for cars to navigate, and incorporated plenty of brick
and beadboard, a Vineyard staple. A “man cave” area,
complete with a sitting area and TV, heating and AC,
provides a place to kick back and admire the four-wheeled
Photography: Greg Premru; Richard Mandelkorn
This Shingle-Style car barn in South Dartmouth was
designed as a stable for a fun-loving owner’s six candycolored
cars. Each vehicle—a red Nissan, orange
Lamborghini, yellow BMW, green Porsche, blue Subaru
and purple Rolls Royce—is wrapped in a color inspired
by ROYGBIV, the hues of the rainbow. Sounds Good
Corporation, the home automation firm that designed and
installed the garage’s security cameras, incorporated LED
lights in each stall colormatched to the tone of each car.
A separate Ferrari Room is attached to the basement of
the main home, which houses the homeowner’s favorite
sports car, a lounge area decked out in all things “Ferrari,”
a retro gasoline pump and even a race car simulator.
Photography: Keitaro Yoshioka
Cumar Dazzles with its Linea Couture Collection
Many know Cumar Marble and Granite for its gleaming
granite and marble, but homeowners may not be aware
that the natural stone fabricator carries a line of full slabs
of exotic and semiprecious stone typically seen only in
jewelry. This assortment—culled from personal searches
all over the world—is known as the “Linea Couture”
collection, and has stones so special, shares Vice President
Carlotta Cubi Mandra, “they are in class of their own.”
Comprised of coveted gems and materials like amethysts,
agates, petrified wood and quartzes, these luxe offerings
can grace that “once-in-a-lifetime kitchen, bath or custom
project.” Use them anywhere you’d like to make a brilliant,
beautiful statement—Cumar’s custom fabrications have
found expression on fireplace surrounds, backsplashes,
vanities, sinks, countertops, and more.
Add further drama by backlighting the stone. This design
effect accentuates the heady, saturated colors and intricate
veining found in nature’s glorious compositions.
Left: material: lapis blue semiprecious; designer: Kristin Paton
Interiors; photo: Eric Roth. Right: material: natural quartz
semiprecious; designer: Beth Martell & Enda Donagher NYC;
lighting designer: Barbara Bouyea; photo: Sargent Architectural
WE BUILD OUR SMART HOME SYSTEMS
To create the most sophisticated smart homes we work directly with the Client,
Builder, Architect or Designer. The Choice is yours!
Come visit us at the NEW Sounds Good Experience Center
Sounds Good Corporation
179 Bear Hill Rd. Suite 106
Waltham, MA 02451
781.890.8700 | Info@soundsgoodcorp.com | www.soundsgoodboston.com
Like us on Social Media: Facebook and Twitter: @SoundsGoodMA Instagram: @SoundsGoodCorp
“Western Window Systems aligns with our philosophy because
of the timeless modern design and the quality of the products.”
- Gabriel Keller, principal, Peterssen/Keller Architecture
Meet the Series 7600.
Our strongest and most energy-efficient aluminum multi-slide door ever.
A Weston home makes traditional design
not only relevant in the 21st century, it
makes it fresh.
According to interior designer Anthony Catalfano of Anthony
Catalfano Interiors, architect Marcus Gleysteen of MGa | Marcus
Gleysteen Architects has a gift for creating stunning architecture
that is at once timeless and timely. The designer experienced this
architectural finesse—and built upon it with his inspired designs—when
collaborating with the architect on a wholly original home in Weston.
“Marcus has created beautiful architecture that will stand the test of
time, yet it’s current. There’s an edge to it,” says Anthony.
The home’s bearing is no doubt a product of its form, which, says,
Marcus “is cleanly and crisply articulated.” It is also imbued with a
clarity and sense of purpose that Marcus finds in the great English
country houses he so passionately admires and draws inspiration from.
“Wherever you look, there is detail.”
While the exterior of the home, a subtle but sensual
country home, has classical Italian flourishes—dominant
columns, limestone-gray trim, cornices, a voluptuous
portico—“underneath this skin,” says Marcus, “is a
thoroughly modern house.” Everything about it: the way
it is built, the way it flows, the way its serves its owners,
the way it reacts to its site, is utterly contemporary, he
underscores. “People think that modern and traditional
design are mutually exclusive,” says Marcus. "That isn't the
case and never should be, except, perhaps in a museum."
Anthony has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with the
homeowner, having done many projects together, but
this job needed “to be very different and very fresh,
and comfortable to live in,” he says. Much of this
approachability is born of texture—in the extravagant
wood detailing that envelops spaces from
the great room to the study to the kitchen,
as well as in its upholstery and finishes. The
texture balances out Marcus’ architecture,
which, says Anthony, was a pleasure to
have as his backdrop.
This home has a way of reconciling
contradictions; it is traditional yet
modern, and both formal and casual. The
impressive ceiling of the great room, with
millwork by Peter Murray of Fine Finish Inc.
and Wayne Towle of Wayne Towle Master
Finishing and Restoration, is a case in
point. “Marcus designed this phenomenal
ceiling,” explains Anthony, “which we
decided to do in limed oak, creating
texture and warmth in the room.” It is
juxtaposed with “a very sexy, very elegant
mahogany bar,” with dark, highly polished
wood that graces the interior doors and
the handrails and balustrade of the stair for
a striking contrast. “The overall effect of
the wood is complex, but it reads as very
delicate,” maintains wood refinisher Wayne
Towle. “It’s not overdone.”
The foyer and stairway, with
its carved balcony rails and
interwoven balusters, are favorites
of owner Peter Murray of Fine
Finish, Inc. Artwork by Robert
Motherwell straddles the French
doors. In the study, the cerused
oak was wire brushed, though
not to the extent of the rift sawn
white oak of the great room.
The breakfast room and
kitchen is also laden with
millwork, with a sitting area
accented with Hunt Slonem
fabric by Lee Jofa. The
kitchen, which was done by
Fine Finish, Inc., features rift
sawn white oak cabinetry
panels within a painted face
frame that you don't see
until you're in the kitchen.
“This is the first time we’ve
done two-toned islands like
that with the wood,” shares
Peter Murray. The stove
was designed to be “a focal
point and monumental,” says
Anthony, with cooktop units
inset within mitered Imperial
Danby marble slabs from
Marble and Granite.
This house is formal and casual at the same time. The success of its
design stems from how it harmonizes two polar opposites.
The homeowners’ wishes, including the game room bar and the wine
cellar, provided the team with unique design opportunities. “They
gave us all these little follies that we could play with and chew on.”
—Allison Guay, project architect MGa | Marcus Gleysteen Architects
In the media room, Maverick Integration
configured a challenging but great
sounding space, says design consultant
John Bray, featuring a large-scale
14-foot screen and a motorized dropdown
lift that hides a projector in the
ceiling. The room also includes a flat
sawn oak bar with a dark background
and light ceruse. The wine cellar,
with its zinc walls with stainless steel
dowels, is another example of a great
collaboration; the team worked with
Jake Ducharme at Metalmorfis.
The home’s undeniable style stems, in part, from its
confidence. “The key is to keep it understated, knowing
that the design has such authority that it can be subtle and
serene,” says Marcus.
Chic, clean-lined furnishings and an overarching neutral
palette espouse this sensibility. Splashes of color in
contemporary art and accents, like the persimmon console
table by the bar and the throw pillows of the sofas, make the
interior design pop.
“Everywhere you turn, there’s a surprise,” says Anthony.
And a novelty that is carefully orchestrated. Every detail—
from the door casings to the stair rail motif to the stove
design—was approached as if it were being done for the
first time. “Even when you think you’ve seen everything,”
says Anthony, “there is something else to see.”
Like the interiors, the grounds, with its rectangular pool,
fire pit terrace and car salon, have a lot of program, but
Gregory Lombardi Design, together with landscape
contractor The Schumacher Companies, “culled out
moments” within the terrain, says Principal Gregory
Lombardi, unifying the landscape elements with a lush
lawn fringed with a garden edge. Not surprisingly, the
array is a natural paradox and “both fluid and geometric,”
he says. “That little overlook for the fire pit is pure
geometry,” and magic.
The home fully engages with its setting and sits privately
on a knoll among canopy trees. It is completely and
organically integrated into its site and the kind of house,
says Marcus, “that when you go by and take a look, you
realize how truly special it is.”
“The house wraps around the hill in an organic way,” says Gregory Lombardi, and specimen
trees like Stewartia and paperbark maples were salvaged to use in the new design. Features
include a fire pit overlook and a garden path walkway created for the homeowner and her dog.
There is a softness and a cottage feel to the landscape.
The plantings are not formal or off-putting, but gardenesque.
Architect: MGa | Marcus Gleysteen Architects
Construction Superintendent: Wayne Caruso
Interiors: Anthony Catalfano Interiors
Millwork: Fine Finish, Inc.
Wayne Towle Master Finishing and Restoration
Home Integration: Maverick Integration
Landscape Architect: Gregory Lombardi Design
Landscape Construction: Schumacher Companies
Masonry: O'Hara & Company LTD
Photography: Chuck Choi & Marcus Gleysteen
Text: Sandy Giardi
To give the exterior of the home "a warm feeling," founder
Nick O'Hara of O'Hara & Company used a European-style
stone veneer that mixes three types of stone sourced from
three different states. In keeping with the architectural style ,
the chimneys are constructed in stone and brick.
BUILDING IN THE CITY
LIVING ON HIGH
“Building in the city is not for every contractor,” says co-founder Eric Adams
of Adams + Beasley Associates. “There’s a huge amount of risk and liability”
to manage projects in the urban context gracefully.
Building successfully in the
city requires planning that’s as
finely tuned as a Swiss watch. It
means securing parking permits
for cranes and lining up police
details (even when the city has
other plans, like the Gay Pride
Parade or a Duck Boat victory
celebration) and playing by the
strict rules of each building and
thinking of the residents who
live above, below and beside
It can also mean “live loading” garbage bags full of “every
single piece of flooring, wall, plaster and lighting” of a gut
renovation into a dump truck or by crane from an oversized
patio because the Four Seasons doesn’t have a freight elevator,
only to do it again in reverse to bring in new materials.
Adams + Beasley Associates built their first Boston project in
2004, and since then, has completed 10 projects at the Four
Seasons, four at the Heritage and many more at the new 50
Liberty building, The Millennium Tower, The Clarendon, One
Charles Street South and, soon, One Dalton. And, while these
addresses may be among the most fashionable in Boston, it
often isn’t “sexy work.”
Adams cites the time his firm discovered that a historic Beacon
Hill row house was built on rotten wood pilings. Given that a
sound foundation is the most important thing for any structure,
Adams + Beasley, together with a specialty contractor, set
about cutting off the compromised wood, and flooded the
space with concrete to fill it. To do this, the team had to dig
below the water table (constantly pumping water out of the
area) and take care not to destabilize the 5- to 10-ton granite
blocks atop the pilings that the home rested on. “It was an
amazingly labor intensive and risky process,” says Adams, but
one that extended the life of that structure in perpetuity.
It may be dirty work, maintains Adams, but it’s gratifying.
“It takes a lot to get the job done right, but when it is, the
outcomes can be spectacular.”
When it came to the millwork of
his new house on a quiet street in
Wellesley, Peter Fallon, founder
of Fallon Custom Homes &
Renovations, went deep.
We wouldn’t expect anything less from the
custom builder with his own in-house cabinetry
and woodworking shop. When he ushered us
into his stately new build completed just last
fall, we were greeted by layers of fine cabinetry,
gleaming oak hardwoods, antiques, art and a soft
While Fallon can often be found in his third floor
lair, with its oversized TV and comfortable chair,
the kitchen is his favorite space in the house. He
loves the room’s symmetry, while we were taken
by its luxurious cream-colored coffered ceiling
that contrasts nicely with the rift and quartersawn
white oak floors in a Jacobean stain underfoot.
The kitchen is homey but refined, with a furniture
feel that stems from paneled appliances, the
island’s mahogany countertop and the legs of
the cabinetry. The space is emblematic of what
Fallon’s millwork shop can do—throughout a
Photography: Roger Pelissier
Donna Venegas was challenged when renovating
her marina-side Charlestown kitchen.“It’s easy to
listen to somebody and guide them,” she explains. “But to do your
own house is hard, because everything you pick, is everything you
She needn’t have feared. Her kitchen, which spills out to a patio where
she grills (a lot!), is warm and dazzling. If money were no object,
Venegas “would have done the whole kitchen in metal,” she says.
Instead, she did the next best thing: solid brass striae cabinet fronts
against a shimmering Ann Sacks ceramic backsplash, and a Sub-Zero
Wolf range recessed into the counter and clad in a brass face.
Photography: Roger Pelissier
The look is striking by day, and magic at night. Venegas favors how
“fluidly and flawlessly” her kitchen works. On the other side of a
central island topped in thick quartzite, she designed a secondary
space for her husband with its own surface, sink and storage. She also
ensured that the kitchen flows into a handsome bar area, within reach
from the dinner table. “It’s all about control,” says Venegas. “You can
control how you behave in a space—and how your guests enjoy your
space—by what you put where.”
A landscape and architectural renovation
blends the former glory of Belmont’s 1850s
Locke Farmhouse with a French flourish.
HISTORY in the MAKING
In order to write the next chapter for an Italianate
farmhouse, with roots embedded generations deep in
Belmont’s farming history, Patrick Ahearn Architect had
to first work backwards. His firm, which is renowned for
steeping new builds and restorations alike within a historic
vernacular, had to deconstruct and remove some wayward,
quick-sell renovations done in the 1990s before they could
reinterpret “what might have been,” says principal Patrick
Ahearn FAIA. “This was the second bite of the apple, if you
will,” he explains. And it is sweet indeed.
The goal was to recapture the essence of the home, which,
“while fairly stylized for the period,” says Ahearn, blended
Greek Revival and Italianate sensibilities with a dash of
Colonial restraint and “reimagine it in a way that is more
sympathetic to its rich history.”
Top: The home’s existing barn was renovated and repurposed to create a light-filled artist studio that opens up to the yard on the first
level and a gym/“man cave” on the second floor. Above: A pea stone gravel drive (like you “might see walking down the Champs-Elysees,”
says Ahearn) banded with red brick replaced the former heavy-handed brick driveway. Transom windows, re-detailed columns and new
light fixtures were added to the porte cochere to better suit the Italianate architecture; Right top: An outdoor living room with a fireplace
spills out to a clean-lined bluestone terrace. Low brick walls and an elliptical window set in lattice add to the French country aspect of
the space. Right: A converted antique fountain serves as a focal point for a checkerboard nook.
The other component was to immerse the home and
carriage house in a lush, more formal, landscape, taking
the setting from a bare lot to a series of heady, romantic
outdoor rooms. The grounds also had to give the
residents, one of whom is an artist from France, a taste of
the Parisian countryside without losing sight of the home’s
provenance or, what Ahearn terms, a “French country
meets Italianate farmhouse” sensibility.
To achieve this, landscape design and construction firm a
Blade of Grass “maximized every inch of land,” says owner
and lead designer Jim Douthit, leveling the backyard and
bringing beautiful, bountiful plantings all the way up to the
house. Douthit picked blooms like roses and hydrangea
as well as antique elements that borrow from both the
farmhouse and European idioms, and crafted a bluestone
terrace off the outdoor living room and porch “that makes
this incredible transition from the inside out,” he says.
The result is a setting that reads as if it has developed over
time and “recalls a more genteel way in which someone
would have lived,” says Ahearn. The beauty of it is that what
was scripted for the home and gardens is not just narrative,
it’s prophecy. Says Douthit, “everything that was done
outside has become part of the homeowners’ daily lives.”
Architecture: Patrick Ahearn Architect
Landscape Design and Construction: a Blade of Grass
Construction: Jack Sullivan, The Chelsea Companies
Photography: Greg Premru and Pete Cadieux
Text: Sandy Giardi
VEDANA BY BAINULTRA
The Vedana care unit allows homeowners to
incorporate luxurious wellness rituals into their
daily routines. Created for use in the shower,
Vedana combines five therapies that heal and
nurture the body, mind and spirit: Thermotherapy
(utilizing dry heat); Chromatherapy (mood-lifting
treatment using color); Light Therapy (to improve
mood and sleep); Aromatherapy (diffuses essential
oils for well-being); and Sound Therapy (using
music and vibration to de-stress). Available at
Photo courtesy of Splash.
PALMER CUSTOM SINK LEGS
Slender and statuesque, Palmer sink legs add flair to vanities in the
master bath or powder room. Far more than a support system, these
tapered beauties come in a wealth of styles and finishes—from natural
walnut to hand-rubbed brass to Lucite. Available at Moniques Bath
Photo courtesy of Palmer Industries.
UPLIFT TECH COLLECTION BY ROBERN
Illuminated medicine chests bring dressing room glamour to
the bathroom, as well as cutting-edge design and functionality.
Robern’s Uplift Tech Collection features modern, modular units
with an innovative vertical opening for storage, USB charging
ports and defogging technology. The perimeter lighting option
offers dimmable LED task lighting, rich saturated tone, as well
as a programmable nightlight. Available at Snow and Jones, Inc.,
Photo courtesy of Robern.
FOR THE MASTER BATH
KALLISTA FREESTANDING CLASSIC TUB
With its graceful styling on the rim and plinth, Kallista’s deep
soaking tub is undoubtedly the star of the master bath. It’s
a knockout in traditional designs when paired with Kallista’s
“For Town” bath faucet and handheld shower, inspired by the
classic telephone design. Available at Supply New England
Kitchen and Bath Gallery, www.supplynewengland.com.
Photo courtesy of Kallista.
WOLF WARMING DRAWERS
Add this kitchen staple to your bathroom cabinetry
and you’ll have your very own spa. With superior
air and temperature control, Wolf Warming
Drawers are the perfect place to store towels and
robes for a toasty après bath treat. Available at
Photo courtesy of Clarke, New England’s Official
Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen
AT200 SPALET BY DXV
Frank Webb’s Bath Center sells more of DXV’s SpaLet than
any other integrated electronic bidet toilet. The sleek and
ultra hygienic unit features an automatic seat lift, heated
seat, dual wand lengths for the bidet, a self-cleaning basin
(softly illuminated at night) and a room deodorizer—at a
refreshing price point. Available at Frank Webb Bath Center,
Photo courtesy of Frank Webb Home.
We Search the World for Extraordinary.
Photography: Warren Patterson
COHASSET, MA 508.280.3206 BRIANFRAZIERDESIGN.COM
No need to descend a flight of stairs to access your home theater. Now, your living
room can double as your very own screening room at the touch of a button. Evan
Struhl, President and CEO of Cutting Edge Systems Corp., walks us through this
living space’s A/V metamorphosis.
1. A custom soffit was engineered around the room to house the equipment and mechanicals for the projector
and the motorized screen. 2. The incredibly lifelike 4K, full HDR image is produced by a concealed Barco Professional
Laser Projector with certified, ISF calibration. 3. A full 7.2.2 Dolby Atmos surround sound system is piped in
through architectural speakers that are discreetly hidden in the walls, ceiling and the fireplace surround. Individual
components manufactured by Leon Speakers. 4. A 15-foot, silent, motorized, drop-down Stewart film screen descends
from a slot in the soffit as the room darkens and the projector turns on. 5. Automatic Lutron shades, with
sophisticated hem bar alignment, were tailored for a precise fit on the arc of the bowfront windows.
Photography: Keitaro Yoshioka
D. Michael Collins Architects’
fresh-faced farmhouse predated
the modern farmhouse trend. Its
gables, shed dormers, and low
and high roofs give the illusion
that the residence was “built
over time,” says principal Michael
Collins. Exterior materials—board
and batten, an elevated stone
base, cedar clapboard, zinc
coated copper roofing, etc.—were
selected to accentuate changes in
mass. Photo by Eric Roth.
Shope Reno Wharton has an
affinity for stair halls situated
beyond the main body of the
home. The feature is interesting
from the outside and arresting
from within. On the exterior, it
allows the architect to play the
vertical form off horizontal eave
lines; inside, it ushers in natural
light and “creates moments
of pause,” says AIA principal
Arthur Hanlon, allowing
homeowners to take it all in.
Photo by Durston Saylor
For this distinguished set of architects, no
two homes are alike. Every residential design
is client-driven and customized for the
homeowners’ taste and lifestyle. And yet, the
four projects featured here seem to whisper the
identities of their makers, and are emblematic of
the form and flair of their respective firms.
While the work of Eric Inman Daum, Architect defies
categorization, all of Daum’s designs are historically informed.
Daum’s process is rooted in “logic and order,” he shares, and
he “embellishes his designs with period appropriate details.”
This garden pavilion, which features granite stairs that lead
to a red access door and custom bronze metalwork, was
inspired in part by a mausoleum conceived by architect
Robert Adam for the English estate of the First Earl of
Shelburne. Photo by Warren Patterson.
Duckham Architecture & Interiors has a way with the gambrel
form. The firm loves to play with the subtleties of the shapes and
angles that best fit the context of a home. Gambrels are practical,
offering rooflines that can be heavily insulated, as well as versatile.
“On the ocean, they can be low and hunkered down to protect
against the elements. In town, they can be tall and proud,” says
owner Kent Duckham. The gambrel form also lends itself to
creativity, affording a wealth of options for detailing, banding and
siding patterns. Photo by Sam Gray.
Millwork by Thoughtforms Studio
At Thoughtforms, in addition to building
homes, we build and strengthen the
communities in which we work and live. We
also recognize and support the community-
One Family, Inc.
Thoughtforms | West Acton, MA | 978-263-6019
One Family, Inc. is an organization that aims to prevent
homelessness and break the cycle of family poverty in
Massachusetts by promoting pathways to economic
independence through advocacy, education, and innovation.
One Family’s programs help families to enter careers, increase
income, and secure permanent housing. Learn more about
One Family’s April fundraiser at onefamilyinc.org.
Creating harmony through technology with a product-agnostic approach to audio, video, lighting, automation, and entertainment.
CONSULT. DESIGN. INTEGRATE.
Photography: Keitaro Yoshioka
email@example.com – koncerted.com – 781-893-8610
Rosemary Fletcher Photography, Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects
Greg Premru Photography, Dan Gordon Landscape Architects
Rosemary Fletcher Photography, Hawk Design Landcape Architects
LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION | MASONRY | MAINTENANCE
R.P. MARZILLI & CO., INC. | (508) 533.8700 | 21-A TROTTER DRIVE | MEDWAY, MA 02053
Greg Premru Photography, Dan Gordon Landscape Architects
Top designers and builders embrace the
beauty and warmth of this prized material—
inside and out.
In the rec room… For a harborside oasis in Marblehead,
Groom Construction Co., Inc. layered an
entertainment center in quartersawn white oak. The
material is blond and beautiful within the contemporary
cabinetry, shelving and built-ins and in the
arched slotted design of a dramatic barrel ceiling.
The latter was chosen for its effective acoustics—one
end of the space is dedicated to a state-of-the-art
home theater. Builder: Groom Construction Co., Inc.;
design: Grazado Velleco Architects; interior design:
Jean Verbridge, S+V Design
In the courtyard… Landscape architect Matthew
Cunningham gave western red cedar a central role in
the striking courtyard of a row house in Beacon Hill
built in the 1890s. The small setting is a study in materials,
as bands of bluestone and red brick mingle
with the organic beauty of a custom wood shed and
illuminated alcove that lines the entirety of the garden
on one side. Landscape design: Matthew Cunningham
Landscape Design; landscape construction
Michael Coffin Landscape Construction; Metalwork:
Paradis Metal Works
In the bath… Reclaimed beams and salvaged floorboards
give a Provincetown bathroom by Bannon
Custom Builders a rustic sophistication. During the
construction of a major renovation, every last beam
was saved, numbered and integrated when possible
in the redesign. Wood is an unlikely choice in the
bathroom, but distinctive alongside marble, brass
accents, and distressed white subway tile. Builder:
Bannon Custom Builders; architecture: Hammer
Architects; cabinetry by Sharp Woodworking
In the pantry… This 2 1/4–inch thick walnut countertop
gives a nautical flair to a butler’s pantry crafted
by Longfellow Design Build of Cape Cod. The firm
is known for its high-quality built-ins and cabinetry—
an arm of their firm is devoted to it—crafted from
choice, furniture-grade woods and veneers. In this
treatment, they’ve embedded drainage channels
within the polished wood, allowing liquids to spill directly
into a single basin apron-front sink. The piece
is finished with a lifetime, no-maintenance marine oil
finish similar to that used on fine yachts.
Designed and built by Longfellow Design Build
Peter Sachs Architect and
Pella of Boston shed light
on a brilliant addition
An adventuresome client with a Tudor
house in Newton came to Peter Sachs
Architect with an unusual request: to create
an addition featuring a family room, kitchen
and mudroom, three bedrooms and a
three-car garage that “would de-Tudorize”
their dark home. Principal Peter Sachs
knew what the homeowner was getting at;
though picturesque, “the Tudor style has
a tendency to look inward,” he explains.
This new addition, “a pergola and trellis
expression” with hammer beams and
heavy timber that suits the architectural
style, would look outward instead. It would
achieve this by including custom-made
Pella windows and the brand’s industrialstyle
Pella windows, albeit an earlier series,
were used on the original brick portion of
the home, so incorporating Pella’s newer
Architecture Series was a natural. Sachs has
worked with Brad Kremer of Pella of Boston
for over 20 years, as the window and door
manufacturer can realize whatever design
and proportions he can invent. Aligning
the clean horizontal and vertical lines of the
mullions is essential to Sachs. “We can do
that with Pella. Other manufacturers don’t
seem to be sensitive to that.”
While the home’s new series of windows
harmonizes with the originals, they boast
a minimalist profile that is striking inside
and out. Because “they’re trimmed out in
plaster,” with no casings to speak of, “the
focus is on the window and on the black
contrast,” says Sachs.
They read as super lightweight, yet
they are hardy and well-insulated. Their
performance made them a possibility for
this project. “I give a lot of credit to Pella for
creating something we can work with in an
environment like New England.”
Credit: construction by RJ Gallerani and Son;
exterior photo by Richard Mandelkorn; interior
photo by Patrick Rogers
Out of Site!
MGa | Marcus Gleysteen Architects
Photography: Jeff Sinon
Meandering native stone drives. Jaw-dropping views.
Mossy, stepping-stone paths. Granite hardscapes that
take on the tones of the lake. Landscape design/build
firm Pellettieri Associates, Inc. brings nature’s splendor
to higher ground. At a time when homeowners are
appreciating the great outdoors more than ever—in
their lives and in their home designs—we sat down with
President George Pellettieri, who has been in the business
for 35 years, to see just how his firm does it.
First and foremost, Pellettieri Associates likes to enter
the picture early. “We can be the most beneficial if we are
the first ones on the site and the last ones to leave,” he
says. If his team can see the setting, they can assess its
features, views and special characteristics, and create an
optimal program, often with outdoor “rooms” that serve
They take their cues from nature—the granite of the
surrounding ledge, the direction of the sun—as well as
the wants of the homeowner. “Lifestyle is so important,”
contends Technology Director Graham Pellettieri; we
encourage residents to think hard about how they intend
to use their property. Will they entertain regularly and, if
so, how many guests? Do they cherish a particular tree?
What time of year will they be using the home?
Pellettieri Associates then brings these seamless,
sustainable settings to fruition, maintaining them for years
afterward. The company is happiest when asked, “Were
you really here?” offers George. “That’s a sign that we’ve
done our job well.”
There is no denying that it’s an exciting time to build in Boston. From daring new builds
to period-piece worthy historic renovations to soaring sky-high condos, every Boston
neighborhood has its own flair and personality. We bring you slices of the city’s finest, each
project reflective of its enclave’s unique character.
Clockwise from above: A South End corner
unit renovated by Kistler & Knapp Builders
is thoroughly charming and impossibly
hip, thanks to its parade of windows
and traditional detailing juxtaposed with
of-the-moment lighting and furnishings.
Photo by Warren Patterson. Pristine and
inspired, this Back Bay pied-a-terre by
F.H. Perry Builder features spectacular
views of the Public Garden and Boston
Common and spotlights the residents’
art collection. Architecture: Pauli and
Uribe Architects; Interior Design: Manuel
de Santaren; photo by Greg Premru. A
past client of Merz Construction, who
downsized to Downtown Crossing, now
has the city at their feet, in a lofty and
luxe apartment at the Millennium Tower.
Architecture: Act Two Architects; photo by
Richard Mandelkorn. A swanky bachelor
pad by I-Kanda Architects mirrors the
industrial vibe of the Seaport District it
inhabits. The loft-style home is progressive
and unconventional, and has wraparound
views of the Boston skyline. Photo courtesy
of I-Kanda Architects. A Beacon Hill
residence by Columbia Contracting Corp.
has all of the character of the locale it calls
home; it is intimate and neighborly with a
strong connection to its garden courtyard.
Architecture: Charles R. Myer & Partners;
photo by Brian Vanden Brink.
Architects: Act Two Architects
Photography: Richard Mandelkorn
Architecture: Flavin Architects; Photography: Nat Rea
That Reflect Your Vision.
See more at merzconstruction.com
or call 978-371-1828
Maverick Integration is one
of the first in New England
to embrace a new frontier in
residential lighting control:
the advent of color temperate lighting calibrated
to the time of day. Ketra lighting (later followed
by USAI, Savant and LF Illumination) has redefined
fixtures with automation that harnesses the color and
temperature of natural light and brings it indoors. Gone
are the days of the one-size-fits-all incandescent light
bulb you grew up with that has the same steady yellow
glow whenever it’s switched on.
“What Ketra did,” explains Systems Designer Dennis
Jaques of Maverick Integration, is to “provide a seamless
lighting experience that follows the Circadian rhythms
of our bodies and the earth.” Just after sunrise, this
technology adjusts and elicits a soft warm light; at high
noon, it captures that white-blue tone that streams in from
the window; and, come sunset, it imbues a “warm amber
glow, like a candle or the feel of a cool summer night.”
Photos courtesy of Ketra
Ketra’s system is configured to the
homeowner’s zip code, longitude and
latitude, so it knows when the sun rises and
sets in a given locale, year-round. Residents
“can’t tell where the sun or natural light stops
and the electronic light begins” in their living
spaces, continues Jaques. It is unintelligible,
and, like the sun, changes so slowly, you don’t
notice it. But you feel it.
Maverick Integration has deployed several systems
last year alone, and clients have been struck by
how much they enjoy the technology. Depending
on the time of day, the light makes you feel happy,
energized, focused, relaxed and ready for rest.
Delos, a New York based company and global wellness
pioneer committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing
in the environments where we live, work, sleep and
play, integrated Ketra within its new office space, as the
technology is in keeping with its ethos, but not everyone
in homebuilding has been quick to embrace it. “When
you think about it,” maintains Jaques, “the way we wire
buildings is the way we wired them back in the 1950s.”
Given the groundbreaking progress in the lighting world,
“it’s time for a change.”
LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION • HORTICULTURAL SERVICES • EXCAVATION • AGGREGATE & ORGANICS
(978) 263-1185 | ONYXCORPORATION.NET
The essence of your dream home lies in the details.
259 Turnpike Road • Suite 110 • Southborough, MA
01772 • 508.485.3999 • www.brendonhomes.com
Return to Grace
Marble has been enjoying a renaissance here in New
England within the last ten to 15 years, even surpassing
granite in popularity, says co-owner Melissa Bunis of
Boston Stone Restoration. And, “while marble looks
beautiful, it requires care,” she continues. Thankfully,
marble is the stone care specialists’ “sweet spot,” though
they also work on granite, terrazzo and other natural stone.
THE SOURCE DIRECTORY
54 Fitch Bridge Road Groton, MA 01450
Artisan Iron is a boutique metalworking shop
catering to private clients and the design
community. We design and hand forge
wrought iron gates, railings, furniture, garden
art, and other custom metalwork in bronze,
steel, brass and copper.
BETSY BASSETT INTERIORS
Newton, MA 617-332-8072
Betsy Bassett Interiors is an award winning
Boston-based full service design firm.
Betsy and her team relishes the unique
engagement with each of her clients to
develop and deliver a home that reflects their
personality, aesthetic, and lifestyle.
At Lavallee Systems, our master plumbers
and HVAC specialists are renowned for
quality, professionalism, and attention to
detail. We work with both homeowners and
builders to design and maintain complex
plumbing, heating, and cooling systems.
During the restoration of a municipal building in Western Mass.,
Boston Stone Restoration pulled up carpeting that had been there
for decades to reveal checkerboard marble. The firm cleaned and
polished the floor using a wet grinding method, taking care to
ensure that the black (notoriously harder to restore) didn’t bleed
into the white.
Melissa and her husband, Paul, with whom she owns
the company, have a passion for natural stone and for
returning luster to marble flooring, countertops, vanities
and showers that are dirty, stained and etched. They also
repair chips and scratches, and often apply a patented
protective coating to marble surfaces that keeps them
stain and etch free for 10 years!
Paul, who trained under renowned Italian stone expert
Maurizio Bertoli, finds no project too vexing, and the pair
delights in uncovering stone from years ago that “we can
help bring back to its natural beauty.”
For residences, Boston Stone Restoration typically
completes a job in one to two days. “People think a
restoration is going to be a big undertaking,” says Melissa.
“We try to be conscious that people are losing their
main kitchen area or bathroom,” and are as efficient and
meticulous as possible.
410 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Since 1915 we have been supplying stone
products for homeowners, designers, architects
and contractors. Come see our exclusives, our
concrete products, brick, artificial grass line in
our 1800 sq. ft. showroom.
S. WILDER & CO./CAPE COD LANTERNS
309 Orleans Road, PO Box 417
North Chatham, MA 02650
Cape Cod Lanterns handcrafts and
handpicks quality solid brass and solid
copper wall lanterns, post lanterns, hanging
lights, sconces, landscape lights, and
chandeliers. All lanterns are UL listed.
VARTER’S ORIENTAL RUGS
327 Pleasant Street, Belmont MA 02478
Quality selection of antique, vintage,
contemporary, modern, and oriental rug
collections to try in your home for up to 3
days. Cleaning, repairs and restoration done
on premises. FREE in-home pick-up and
BUILDING IN THE CITY
EVERY SQUARE INCH!
Owners Mariette & Magued Barsoum
“A great designer is able to give a homeowner all of
their needs and requirements,” says owner and principal
designer of Divine Design Center Mariette Barsoum—and wishes.
For a client renovating a townhouse on Union Wharf, Barsoum and
Divine Design Center architect and interior designer Jana Neudel
were able to grant all three. Chief among them? A luminous,
sophisticated look that plays up the views of the Boston waterfront,
and, not as sexy but no less important, storage.
The living room’s fireplace feature wall was a particular area of
concentration, and designed in a way that proves that big, bright
ideas aren’t at odds with an economy of space. “The key is to use
every single inch,” says Barsoum. That they did.
Along with a fireplace and TV, Divine Design Center created space
for a dry bar underneath the stair, outfitted with a wine refrigerator
and oversized drawers. Additional storage drawers run underneath
the hearth, culminating in extra tall cabinets that house what the
kitchen can’t. Illuminated display shelving and a textured gray
metallic tile create a luxurious backdrop. “When the light hits it, the
wall has an iridescent feel,” says Barsoum, “a little bit of shimmer.”
Photography: Portrait by Roger Pelissier, Interior by Keitaro Yoshioka
John Meyer, principal architect and co-founder of Meyer & Meyer
Architecture and Interiors, shares an integral part of his firm’s design
process: hand drawings of the homes he envisions.
Empty lots have no soul, until they come to life by means of these striking
renderings. Whether new or renovation projects, each starts with a clean slate
of what can be. Perspective drawings allow clients to share the vision at an
early stage. The drawings continue to become enriched with details of the
exterior and interior throughout the design process until construction begins.
They help clients better understand the expectations from plans. The creative
outgrowth of architectural design is unique to each property, and the building
of such homes is exciting to watch rise up out of the otherwise barren ground.
Several computer programs can assist in similar ways and are used in our
office. Computer programs don’t design; they are a result of lines drawn on a
screen. Computers are like empty lots waiting for the input of talent. The art of
hand drawings is personable, and very much alive and well at Meyer & Meyer.
Find Your True North...
A home where you feel comfortable, where you feel happiest,
where you thrive.
MONTGOMERY + KAPLAN
617.270.5598 | Brian.Montgomery@Compass.com
Protography: Roger Pelissier
to the place for creating a modern home.
Our 8000 square-foot showroom at Battery Wharf is New England’s largest Modern Kitchen & Living showroom
offering Europe’s top brands, including TEAM 7, LEICHT, MisuraEmme, Arketipo, Altamarea, Gaggenau,
Thermador, Rolf Benz and Miele, for kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, and wardrobes.
2 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109 | 617-443-0700 | www.divinedesignbuild.com