Forever Home ....................................... 12
A brand-new farmhouse links the owner’s childhood to her family’s future.
opposite: The metal porch table appealed to homeowner Christine Arcese’s love of all things retro: “It has the look of something my grandmother would have had in her kitchen,” she says. She painted the ceiling a shade that mimics the sky over the Atlantic, just a block from their Duxbury, Massachusetts, home. this photo: A chest that husband Eric’s dad used for basement storage is the star of their family room. “The doors are tricky. You have to have just the right touch or the handles fall off,” Christine says.
this photo: “I like to build collages of collected pieces rather than scatter them all around, which I think lessens their impact,” Christine says of the sculptural mounted heads above the fireplace. A cattle hide laid over a cotton-and-jute braided rug softens the seating area. “Layering rugs feels a little more Bohemian to me and makes a space feel less generic. And it feels really plush underfoot,” she says.
When IT executive Eric pulls into the driveway, Anna, 10, and Olin, 7, race to the door to jump into his arms. Christine is prepping a meal of local seafood and can’t help but sway to the music pumping from built-in speakers. It’s the weekend; everyone is in high spirits.
And why not? They can dance in their light, airy kitchen or tuck into comfy armchairs to read by the fire. Olin can play with Legos on the kitchen table made from salvaged factory beams (“It’s indestructible,” Christine says), while Anna paints next to him. It’s exactly the kind of family togetherness that guided the building and decorating of their 2015 home. Christine and Eric asked architect David Kenoyer to create a 3,800-square-foot structure with the look of an improved-over-time farmhouse, conjured by steep rooflines, board-and-batten siding, exposed rafter tails, and two different roof materials. For Christine, who grew up on a working crop farm in New Jersey, these details were key to the home’s authenticity. “I see my childhood when I look at a white farmhouse,” she says. “We wanted the character of an old home but with an updated infrastructure and modern finishes.”
Christine, an interior designer, worked daily with builder John S. Baldwin during the yearlong construction to achieve a home where every detail contributes to a consistent whole. “We wanted the millwork inside— textured shiplap walls, the built-ins, even the balusters in the stairs—to seem as interesting as the outside.”
Inside, a lively mix of new and old furnishings is united by clean lines and relies on slightly weathered surfaces, including worn paint, floors finished to look like aged driftwood, and antiqued leather on the sofas. “With two cats and two kids, I didn’t want the furnishings to be precious,” Christine says. During planning and construction, she thought of the house as their forever home—a place where the family could grow up together. “It’s easy to envision sleepovers, sweet sixteens, graduations, weddings, and grandchildren all while living in this house,” she says.
Friday night is a giddy time in the Arcese house.
top: Anna, Christine, Olin, and Eric gather on the front porch of their then-year-old farmhouse. They’ve since applied a gray wash to the rough-sawn wood columns, “to soften the contrast with the white house,” Christine says. above: Exterior cladding...