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  • Lisa Tharp

BEFORE / AFTER: A House by the Sea is Elevated with New Millwork + Furnishings

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Interior by Lisa Tharp Design. Photo by Read McKendree. Living Room makeover, before after, interior design, boston interior designer, house by the sea, waterfront home, vacation home, beach home, blue, interior architecture, custom furnishings, millwork, upgrade, new construction, renovation, chatham, cape cod, nantucket, martha's vineyard, hamptons, boston designer, boston interior design

Our design program for this newly-built waterfront home included interior architectural upgrades as well as beautiful furnishings. The open floor plan highlights spectacular views along the entire width of the house. Yet, such a strong horizontal space can make ceilings feel lower. So, we visually reshaped perceived space with new millwork, doors and tall draperies... all while instilling a sense of timeless architectural grace to this new house.

BEFORE: The thick horizontal mantle is replaced with full-height panel detailing at the fireplace. Empty tray ceilings receive planking and box beams to draw the eye upwards. Floors are refinished in a lighter tone for a more ethereal effect.

RENOVATION PROGRESS: Crown and astragal moldings add classic elegance to the ceiling.

We collaborated with the home's original design/build team, Polhemus Savery DaSilva, who skillfully realized our vision.

A pale gray paint color emphasizes the transformed fireplace and bookcases. Walls are otherwise painted to match white trim so that the eye travels uninterrupted.

French doors that sit at the dining area (between living room and kitchen) gave us an opportunity to break up the long run of space.

We added a new panel above the French doors to give them extra perceived height.

Expert teammates Alex MacMillan and Julie Weinstein plan out full-height draperies.

By adding a panel over the French doors, we were able to maximize the height of new custom blue doors flanking the views.

Now there is both verticality and separation between living room, dining space and kitchen. Custom furnishings from Lisa Tharp Collection add streamlined plush comfort.

BEFORE: Beautiful views inspired our design team's vision for the main upstairs bedroom: to recreate the simple vacation luxury of sleeping in a tent by the sea.

Walls and ceiling are now upholstered in a stripe linen fabric from Schumacher. Our signature sail shades dress the windows. Custom lantern and antique Gustavian daybed lend timeless style. Our Signature Box Pillows are made up in beautiful window pane fabric from Holland & Sherry.

How to elevate a child's enjoyment of their own bedroom views?

We built in a sleeping loft with hidden play space below.

A guest bedroom is treated with upholstered walls in Cape Cod-based Design No. 5's Mermaid's Purse fabric, and lots of texture.

A lower level space can sleep four with built-in bunk beds (twin beds installed end-to-end on each side of the room).

It doubles as a favorite hideaway for the kids.

For a video tour of "A House by the Sea," click here.


Photography by Read McKendree. Aerial image courtesy of Polhemus Savery DaSilva.

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Oct 22, 2020


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