Mod­ern touches with Old World val­ues.

Old World val­ues set off by con­tem­po­rary ac­cents make Caro­line and Danny Epi­fano’s home a per­sonal state­ment

Grand Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Nancy Harper Photography To­masz Adamski

NEARLY FOUR YEARS af­ter Caro­line and Danny Epi­fano’s cus­tom-built home on the out­skirts of Cam­bridge was fin­ished, cu­ri­ous Sun­day driv­ers are still slow­ing down to take a look — and some of the cheekier ones even pull into the drive­way.

Not that this hard-work­ing cou­ple re­ally minds. At 4,700 square feet of above-ground space, the Epi­fanos’ home cer­tainly >>

>> is larger than most, but it is the de­sign that makes it such a stand­out. And the de­sign is Caro­line’s.

For Caro­line, “cus­tom built” meant work­ing side-by-side with an ar­chi­tect through ev­ery draft un­til her vi­sion was fully cap­tured.

“From that mo­ment on, it was all about soil testing, per­mits and hir­ing trades for ev­ery phase of con­struc­tion,” Caro­line says. “While the foot­ings, foun­da­tion and the fram­ing was go­ing on, we were out re­search­ing our ex­te­rior and in­te­rior trade prod­ucts.

“From ma­son, brick and win­dow choices to the to­tal in­te­rior de­sign of the kitchen and bath­rooms, plumb­ing hard­ware and fix­tures, all floor­ing, doors and trim, car­pen­try, stair­case de­sign, light­ing, paint, wall­pa­per … You name it, we chose it all.”

If that sounds ex­haust­ing, it was. But there was more. “Although at times it was su­per, crazy busy do­ing all of it for this house, we also planned our wed­ding — a lovely big Ital­ian wed­ding — in the midst of it be­ing built,” Caro­line says.

Both Caro­line and Danny, a Cam­bridge na­tive who has been in the dry­wall busi­ness for nearly 20 years, were thrilled that the end re­sult truly re­flected who they are as>>

>> a cou­ple. They moved into their dream home in July 2011.

“We were heav­ily in­volved ev­ery step of the way, heart and soul, in an at­tempt to cre­ate a great, flow­ing lay­out that Danny and I could truly en­joy and that our guests would feel com­fort­able in,” Caro­line says.

“We love and be­lieve in the beauty of the time­less­ness of clas­sic de­sign, but we couldn’t help but bring to it a touch of mod­ern too.”

Vis­ually stunning with a rustic, invit­ing look, the ex­te­rior el­e­va­tion was in­spired by Euro­pean manor-style homes. That theme extends to the in­te­rior where there are sim­i­lar hints of the Old World: rustic black spin­dles, an­tique-style chan­de­liers in the

kitchen, a four-me­tre is­land, seven-inch barn­board-in­flu­enced hard­wood floors and stained-glass trans­forms over the main doors.

“I knew I wanted our home to re­sem­ble and have nu­ances of an old French manor,” Caro­line says. “I love the el­e­ments of cop­per-turned-green, old stone, brick and wood, high-pitched roof tops, finials … and just that rustic, worn-but-beau­ti­ful ap­peal. I’m al­ways keep­ing up when it comes to the lat­est in­te­rior looks and trends. But I al­ways try to work in the look of the ex­te­rior into the in­te­rior, if even just small hits here and there.”

Hard-pressed to pick a favourite room, Caro­line does have a soft spot for the kitchen. “I’m a foodie and I love to ex­per­i­ment and pre­pare good food,” she says. “Our kitchen is open, al­low­ing for many peo­ple to gather com­fort­ably.”

Danny’s favourite is the games room, which sports ev­ery­thing from a full-sized wet bar to poker and pool ta­bles to sports me­mora­bilia, all while main­tain­ing the co­zi­ness of a fam­ily room.

The stair­case is also a point of pride — Caro­line was heav­ily in­volved in its de­sign. Its open ris­ers, thick planked steps, and cus­tom-crafted, curvy lines make it a nat­u­ral fo­cal point of the house.

“I em­braced the project from start to fin­ish and can’t wait to do it again,” Caro­line says. “My hus­band and I share a strong ethic in gen­eral, but when it comes to the home, I bring that drive for or­ga­ni­za­tion, ef­fi­ciency and plan­ning. Ev­ery­thing needs to run and present as best as it pos­si­bly can … al­ways.”

Asked whether it was an ag­o­niz­ing wait from the early de­sign stages to the fi­nal prod­uct, Caro­line says it was all worth it.

“Of course, as with any project there are un­ex­pected set­backs, but Danny and I were able to work through it,” she ex­plains. “There were some spa­ces where we faced ma­jor de­lays and that was >>

>> ex­tremely frus­trat­ing, but the end re­sult of one par­tic­u­lar space was amaz­ing. The true, old-fash­ioned crafts­man­ship — you know the kind that’s hard to find nowa­days be­cause most things are mass-pro­duced — comes through. It’s fan­tas­tic and I have to say it was worth the wait.”

Right now in­te­rior de­sign is a hobby, but Caro­line hopes to even­tu­ally ded­i­cate more time to her pas­sion.

“I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for the arts,” Caro­line says. “As a child, I used to fill my sketch pads with ev­ery­thing from home el­e­va­tions to fash­ion. My dad was a con­trac­tor and used to frame houses. Although he was never for­mally trained, he was well sought af­ter be­cause of his pas­sion, pre­ci­sion and work­man­ship. I can re­mem­ber as a lit­tle girl look­ing at each page of a floor plan and try­ing to fig­ure it all out. It was a chal­lenge I loved. My dad would test me to see if I re­ally un­der­stood what I was look­ing at, and I used to love the smell of the freshly printed blue­prints.

“I’m in­trigued and in­flu­enced by the dif­fer­ent cul­tural dé­cor of eras gone by. And although I ma­jored in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion, I mi­nored — with far greater en­thu­si­asm — in vis­ual arts and art his­tory.”

Caro­line was pleased to col­lab­o­rate with lo­cal ar­chi­tect Alan Paton of Home Im­age Plans, and is think­ing of do­ing it again in a cou­ple of years.

“The cur­rent house is a lot of space, maybe too much for just the two of us. In a new house there’s not much I would do dif­fer­ent aside from down­siz­ing a bit.”

Work­ing through an­other project doesn’t faze her.

“When you love do­ing some­thing, it never feels like a chore. My friends and fam­ily are for­ever seek­ing my ad­vice and help when it comes to new builds, plan re­vi­sions, ren­o­va­tions, redec­o­rat­ing, paint se­lec­tion … It brings me great plea­sure when I’m able to help oth­ers bring their own vi­sion to fruition. I’d love to one day soon be able to fo­cus strictly on my love and pas­sion for cre­at­ing all sorts of beau­ti­ful spa­ces.”

So does Caro­line have any words of wis­dom for oth­ers who might be con­sid­er­ing tak­ing on the mam­moth task of a cus­tom build?

“Be pa­tient, take your time and re­ally re­search what you want and how to make it func­tion well and flow,” she says. And it cer­tainly doesn’t hurt to seek the in­put of a sea­soned pro­fes­sional who re­ally un­der­stands how to make a de­sign vi­sion come to fruition.

Caro­line Epi­fano’s de­sign sense em­braces the com­bi­na­tion of clas­si­cal el­e­ments and touches of mod­ern decor.

Danny and Caro­line Epi­fano were thrilled with the fin­ished house, feel­ing it re­flects who they are as a cou­ple.

The games room has pool and poker ta­bles as well as a wet bar, but re­tains the co­zi­ness of a fam­ily room.

The at­ten­tion to de­tail and the con­trast of con­tem­po­rary and clas­si­cal el­e­ments is re­flected in ev­ery room of the house.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.