The Bay Magazine February 2012

Page 27

Live Well Home Style

by Andrea E. McHugh

seeiNg the light: this seaside home boasts 44 windows, many of them with this stunning view

Divine Reinvention

A couple’s new home mixes old with new

Photography: Janice Lee Kelly

When Gerry and Barbara Vachon were looking to downsize from their expansive 4,000 square foot Massachusetts home to a cozier Rhode Island cottage by the sea, they turned to the captivating community of Bristol. Though willing to sacrifice space, they weren’t willing to compromise on function or character. “We were looking for a place with an open concept, but all we found at first were condos,” explains Gerry. “We wanted something kind of new.” The couple’s hopes and needs merged at Sea Star, a stylish but comfortable home perched on the edge of Narragansett Bay, adjacent to the Bristol Highlands Improvement Association. Just five years old when they bought it, the home had a fresh appeal that enticed the Vachons, especially with its open floor plan and the 44 windows that capitalized on the pan-

oramic views of the glistening bay. “We came in here and fell in love with it,” says Gerry with a smile. “The home’s builders were very thoughtful and very good,” Barbara chimes in. Single-level living, two spacious bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a two-car garage make the home ideally situated to their lifestyle. But, like any nesters, the couple was eager to make the adjustments needed so that the home would truly feel like their own. Though already elegantly appointed and in turnkey condition, the couple looked to Glenn Marr of Living Design in Warren to help integrate their existing furnishings and décor with the new surroundings, and to locate complementary antiques that would offer a polished, comprehensive aesthetic. “We had no intention of re-designing our entire home when we asked

Glenn to decorate our master bedroom,” explains Barbara. “While creating that masterpiece, he made suggestions regarding other rooms and we just could not resist.” Gushing over Glenn’s talents, Barbara met the highly-touted designer in a serendipitous way: he was working on a project next door. By the time he made his way through the Vachon’s Sea Star, he had spent nearly a year there. Though they had bought some new pieces for the home, it was Glenn’s talented eye that was able to tie it all together. “He only got rid of a few chairs and a few lamps – and a few oriental rugs,” says Barbara with a laugh, conceding that the rugs may have been the most difficult items to part ways with. “After considering our lifestyle, he blended our furnishings with a few antique pieces, added interesting moldings and created

a soft color scheme that flows and blends from room to room. We are so much more comfortable!” The master bedroom, the first leg in the home’s reinvention, gave the Vachons a peek into the mind of the designer. “In each room he chose something to be the focal point, and in this room, he chose the rug,” explains Barbara, pointing to the plush carpet underfoot that’s awash in a spray of bold hues, contrasted with subtle shades. “Crushed raffia” is the wall color, a restful green that morphs to khaki as the sunlight changes. The soft tone complements the sky and sweeping water view, which regardless of the luxurious bedding (made by Glenn), will always take center stage. The existing en suite bath, a soft pumpkin color, was modified slightly with the installation of marble countertops and new whimsical light fixtures with frosted glass

February 2012 | The BAY