Just outside Boston, in the town of Wellesley, Mass., the owners of a home that bordered conservation land faced changing needs. After purchasing the 1,700-square-foot, 1930’s house, the residents performed a renovation in 1995 to increase the size to 2,000 square feet. Over time the family of four grew to a family of six, and the owners were ready for a master suite, home office and a larger place to entertain guests. They loved the house, neighborhood and peaceful conservation land abutting their backyard, so rather than move, the owners decided to undertake a 2,600-square-foot addition to more than double the home’s size.
The $1.6 million addition included a master suite; his and her bathrooms; a 2-story mahogany library that serves as an entertainment room and home office; a guest room and guest bathroom; a large basement renovation with a recreation room, gym and mechanical room; and a new entryway. The project won the Silver award in Qualified Remodeler’s 2010 Master Design Awards in the Room Addition over $100,000 category.
True to the Original
The original 2-story house was designed by acclaimed residential architect Royal Barry Wills, who earned high regard for his modernized Cape Cod and Colonial Revival homes during the first half of the 20th century. Wanting to preserve the home’s architectural character, the owners retained the designer who had handled their renovation years before, Tom Catalano of Boston’s Catalano Architects Inc.
“Our ultimate objective was that the addition not be apparent from the street to remain respectful of the original structure and retain its classic appeal,” Catalano notes. “We accomplished this through a variety of architectural devices, techniques and materials.”
The addition was set on the east side of the house. To accommodate a new entry gallery that leads to the living room and new addition, Catalano moved the front porch forward by 12 feet. Arched white-oak beams and columns that supported the former porch had deteriorated, and new hand-hewn ones were fashioned from white oak to match the originals. Catalano further maintained continuity by extending the front porch across the new length of the house.
Exterior stucco, roof slate, whitewash basket-weave brick, live-edge siding boards that reveal the tree they were cut from, oak trim and locally sourced stone are identical to the materials used in the 1930’s construction. Granite, bluestone and brick paving incorporated in uniform and combination patterns around the house harmonize with the previous outdoor spaces.
A new garden shed near the street is reminiscent of a gatehouse and visually breaks up the scale and length of the renovated home. The shed shares much of the home’s exterior detailing with a similar slate roof, copper details and a custom cupola.
Although the existing house favored a provincial quality, the owners sought a more sophisticated atmosphere for the addition’s interior.
Rustic to Refined
Although the existing house favored a provincial quality, the owners sought a more sophisticated atmosphere for the addition’s interior. Catalano responded with elegant finishes and voluminous spaces.
“By articulating the ceilings, I could express the structure without making the tall spaces seem cavernous,” he explains. “Ample wood, traditional detailing and joinery techniques also lend a refined aesthetic to the new rooms.” Catalano worked with the owners and interior designer Chris Benson of Boston-based Benson Interiors Inc. to decide on the specifics for each room.
The master suite has vaulted ceilings with painted beams that were built onsite. The ceiling, moulding and windows are all highly detailed. A wood-burning fireplace and wall-mounted media center are at the foot of the bed. His and her bathrooms are joined by a shared glass steam shower but separated from the master bedroom, which allows an owner to bathe, shower and get ready without disturbing a sleeping spouse. Curved elliptical beams divide the ceilings in the bathrooms to define the smaller spaces. Radiant heating in the floor is topped by custom ceramic tiles. Built-ins and separate walk-in closets maximize storage space.