BDG PRELUDE Spring 2019

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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

architectural concepts.


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

(978) 635-9700


Architect: Ruhl Studio Architects

Interior Designer: Bill Lewis

Photographer: Warren Patterson

From the Publisher

Happy Spring!

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

respective fields.

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

their worlds.

And, just maybe, you’ll be inspired to begin a project

or a journey of your own!

Warmest regards,

Melanie Perillo, Publisher





Melanie Perillo


Sandy Giardi


Rob Silsby


Kathleen Parente


Jean Roberts


Ellie Benson

Ian Kaplan

Colleen Keelan

Maureen Lampert

Sharon Litchfield


Darlene Neufell


Kendra Keelan


Richard Mandelkorn

Warren Patterson

Roger Pelissier

Greg Premru

Keitaro Yoshioka


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

on the condition that such pictures are reproduced with the knowledge

and prior consent of the photographer and any homeowner concerned. As

such, Publisher is not responsible for any infringement of the copyright or

otherwise arising out of any publication in BDG PRELUDE. BDG PRELUDE is a

pending licensed trademark of Boston Design Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording

or any information storage and retrieval system, without the expressed

written permission of the Publisher. ADDRESS SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS

AND CORRESPONDENCE TO: Boston Design Guide, 348 Boston Post

Road, Suite 4 Sudbury, MA 01776. Email: Info@BostonDesignGuide.com or

telephone 978-443-9886.




introducing the Verellen Salon at Artefact Boston

1317 Washington Street, Boston MA 857.350.4397

1000 Pleasant Street, Belmont MA 617.993.3347

info@artefacthome.com artefacthome.com


11 Revved Up

Four high-octane auto salons and their

impressive rides.

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.



64 Soapbox

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 9

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

bostondesignguide.com 11



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

bostondesignguide.com 13

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

bostondesignguide.com 15

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




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

bostondesignguide.com 19

“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


window systems

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.

bostondesignguide.com 23

“Wherever you look, there is detail.”

—Anthony Catalfano



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

bostondesignguide.com 25

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.

bostondesignguide.com 27

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.

bostondesignguide.com 29

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 31

“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.

—Gregory Lombardi

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.

bostondesignguide.com 33

Landscape Architecture




“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

your client.

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 35

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

gray palette.

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

Designer Digs

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

didn’t pick.”

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 37



A landscape and architectural renovation

blends the former glory of Belmont’s 1850s

Locke Farmhouse with a French flourish.


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.”

bostondesignguide.com 39

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

bostondesignguide.com 41




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

Splash, www.splashspritzo.com.

Photo courtesy of Splash.


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

Showroom, www.moniquesbathshowroom.com.

Photo courtesy of Palmer Industries.


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.





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.


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

Clarke, www.clarkeliving.com.

Photo courtesy of Clarke, New England’s Official

Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen


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.

bostondesignguide.com 43

We Search the World for Extraordinary.


Landscape Architecture

Photography: Warren Patterson




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


bostondesignguide.com 45

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.

Signature Style

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.

bostondesignguide.com 47

Custom Builder

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.


Photography: Keitaro Yoshioka

hello@koncerted.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


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

bostondesignguide.com 53

Full Transparency

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

French door.

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

multiple uses.

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 55

South End

Back Bay

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.

BEacon hill



downtown croSSing










bostondesignguide.com 57

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.”

bostondesignguide.com 59


(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.



54 Fitch Bridge Road Groton, MA 01450




@artisan-iron @artisaniron

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.


Newton, MA 617-332-8072



@BBassettInteriors @BetsyBassettInt


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.


(888) 884-4122


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




@PlymouthQuarries @plymouthquarriesllc


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.


309 Orleans Road, PO Box 417

North Chatham, MA 02650




@Cape-Cod-Lanterns @capecodlanterns

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.


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






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

bostondesignguide.com 63

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.


617.270.5598 | Brian.Montgomery@Compass.com

Protography: Roger Pelissier

Welcome Home...

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

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