By Lisa Pierpont | May 5, 2017 | Home & Real Estate
You’ve waited your whole life to create the ultimate domestic bliss. Now meet the teams that can help you build it.
Interior designer Wendy Valliere sourced authentic midcentury pieces or custom-created them with Woodmeister Master Builders.
What’s your fantasy? Come on, dream a little. Actually, dream big. Boston hosts some of the world’s most elite general contractors, architects, landscape artists, and interior designers. They’ve developed two-sided fireplaces on Nevis, sunken gardens in England, majestic master bedrooms in Aspen, and… here! Right in your own backyard. Meet them. Do it. Build that rainbow.
The 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom condo took five months to customize—the speediest project to date in the Fan Pier development.
SEA AND BE SEEN
Floor-to-ceiling windows, a sweeping view of Boston Harbor—this waterfront condo had it all. Still, the couple who moved here from their suburban home had to 1) downsize like mad, and 2) customize it to feel like home. That’s when CEO Ted Goodnow of Woodmeister Master Builders came to the rescue.
Philosophy: “Our fundamental construction and design team are intrinsically connected,” says Goodnow. “It is the master builder concept; we build everything. When you have consistency with your design team, it puts clients at ease.”
Custom Fit: Goodnow’s team built a wooden ceiling to allow for lighting fixtures, constructed custom closets in the master bedroom, maximized the flow through rooms, and tricked up the master bathroom with luxe cabinetry and hand-crafted storage.
Design: “We wanted it to be traditional but with a city twist. Very tailored, very clean,” says interior designer Wendy Valliere, founder of Seldom Scene Interiors. “We chose high-gloss paints to keep it slick, a nautical blue outline, and high-quality, midcentury furniture. Everything revolved around the view.” Woodmeister Master Builders: 1317 Washington St., 617-423-2900; Seldom Scene Interiors: 2038 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT, 802-253-3770
The Victorian detail of the fireplace adds depth and character to an otherwise contemporary entryway.
This grand home is smack in the middle of a neighborhood of Tudors and Capes, but you’d never know it if you were luxuriating in the backyard or anywhere in the house—exactly the goal of the family who tore down a preexisting home to build their perfect palace. “It needed to fit in, but also needed to reflect the owners’ stylish spirit,” says John MacDonald, cofounder of architectural firm Morehouse MacDonald and Associates.
The Contract: “We listen hard to our clients. We immerse ourselves in their lives. We go to great lengths make sure everything works together,” says MacDonald. “The end product just shows.”
The Build: “We created a property with understated elegance, a strong masculine feel, and classic arts and crafts architecture,” says MacDonald. A grand fireplace in the kitchen and family room, old-fashioned entry with French doors, and vaulted three-story entry with a flying staircase and inglenook are highlights. “Our houses are a piece of furniture; the materials interact,” adds senior associate Greg Graham.
The Yard: Greg Lombardi Design was called in to maximize outdoor space and privacy. “We worked to create walls and terraces that incorporated rich material palettes: bluestone, granite, fieldstone,” says owner Greg Lombardi. “Plantings were done to layer the landscape into various outdoor ‘rooms.’” Morehouse MacDonald and Associates: 3 Bow St., Lexington, 781-861-9500; Greg Lombardi Design: 2235 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-2808
The 8,000-square-foot property won the 2016 Prism Award for Best of Show of New England for Morehouse MacDonald and Associates architects.
Talk about role reversal. When Bob Ernst, president of FBN Construction, received a phone call from a young couple asking if he could help them move out of the suburbs and into the city to build a townhouse to raise their children, he was floored. “That never happens,” he says. “It’s always the opposite.” Never a man to resist a challenge, Ernst rolled up his sleeves and got to work: a three-floor brownstone right next to the Boston Public Garden. “The couple’s purchase of the property fully depended on whether the renovation could be done to their liking,” says Ernst. Needless to say, the couple bought it. FBN built it. Here’s how it was done.
Prep Work: “We didn’t pick up a hammer for a year and a half,” Ernst says. “That is how we work. We first develop an all-inclusive design, architectural and building blueprint, and budget with full transparency. The client knows exactly what will be done and how much it will cost.”
Construction: The team designed a family-friendly flow, including a garden-level playroom, open kitchen and family area, and cutting-edge bathrooms. “The family wanted a very modern, fashionable space,” says Ernst. FBN restored and painted existing finishes, upgraded electrical wiring, and installed lighting.
Design: C&J Katz Studio added a very light palette to create an airiness and mirrors to expand the space. “The quality of the construction allowed extremely modern finishes and cabinetwork to live side by side with elaborate traditional details,” says cofounder Jeffrey Katz. “Every single light fixture is special; every piece of furniture, new or antique, is an example of exquisite craftsmanship. The whole effect adds up to a warm family home.” FBN Construction: 17 Wolcott Ct., Hyde Park, 617-333-6821; C&J Katz Studio: 60 K St., South Boston, 617-464-0330
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREG PREMRU; SAM GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY; DAN CUTRONA