Upscale Downsizing

Upscale Downsizing

It is hard to believe that 3,500 square foot of living space could be considered “downsizing”. But when you have lived in a 10,000 square foot house for over 15 years, going from 10,000 feet to 3.5 feet — is definitely a downsize! But going smaller can still be upscale. Location: Mahoney Farms, Sudbury, Massachusetts. This home is part of a small group of town houses adjacent to conservation land,  and embodies a traditional, classic style with custom features. Designer associated with the project: Dena Hamilburg of Hamilburg Interiors, Wayland, MA. When project was designed: 2016. Why this project is interesting: Fifteen years ago, Interior Designer Dena Hamilburg had worked with her clients, James and Kristine Melvin, on their 10,000 foot, custom-built dream house in Carlisle, MA. At the time, the couple was in their late thirties, and had three small children. The Carlisle house was beautiful and expansive, including (among other features) two family rooms, a wine cellar, and a billiard room, as well as manicured grounds and acres of land. At Christmas time the home was transformed into a magical, Martha Stewart-like vision. Recently, Dena was asked to help her clients create an equally exciting vision for a new phase of their lives. Now in their early fifties, they no longer wanted the upkeep of a large landscaped property and home. Although Their three children were either leaving for college or soon to to graduate, the Melvins felt that it was important for each of them to have a room of their own to come home to. The Melvins did not want to move to the city, and so opted to stay in suburbia. When they found the 3500 square foot townhouse in Sudbury,  they viewed it as a potentially ideal solution, and acted upon it immediately. The townhouse was then in the final stages of construction; this  permitted some important changes, which were costly but definitely yielded a more upscale result. The townhouse had some inherently, distinctive architectural elements, including large pilasters, custom built-in bookcases, vaulted wood ceilings, and three fireplaces. The kitchen was not at the desired levels of quality and style, however, and needed gutting and serious. The cabinets were replaced in a painted-wood finish and the granite countertops were changed to quartz. A small marble subway tile added sparkle to the monochromatic kitchen as a backsplash. Removing a short wall between the kitchen and informal livingroom opened things nicely. Although many  people do not want fully separate dining rooms these days, the Melvins decided to transform the 16×16 foot room adjacent to the kitchen into their dining room. The new dining room was less traditional and formal than they had had in Carlisle,...

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Find Your Own Sparkle For the Holidays and Throughout the New Year

Find Your Own Sparkle For the Holidays and Throughout the New Year

It occurred to me one evening recently while driving at dusk that the majority of the people in my neighborhood put an enormous effort into decorating their bushes and trees with Christmas lights, mostly white. It seemed that the profusion of lights had become a universal means of welcoming in the spirit of the holidays and was a great deal more widespread than I remembered from my youth. While holiday decorations run the gamut from beautiful and tasteful to over the top, the light and glow that they produce can translate well at any time of year.  The glistening of silver and mirrored items can add dazzle to any corner of your home, whether it be holiday related or not. A silver wall covering used in a dining room or powder room radiates elegance as seen in the Gracie wall covering above. Silver urns are especially beautiful when they are resplendent with winter greens and berries. They can look well for several weeks and reflect a charming winter look It is best to  remember to use balance and unity when you are selecting sparkling decorative accessories, but be sure to have lots of fun in the...

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Decorating Around The Fireplace For The Holidays

Decorating Around The Fireplace For The Holidays

As temperatures drop and winter hovers, we find consolatation in our romantic images of winter and the holidays. One very human instinct is to yearn for a warm spot. Home is indeed where the hearth is! Beyond the physical warmth coming from oil, gas, or solar, we look to the fireplace, as an important anchor of a room. A comfortable chair or two with an ottoman creates a cozy nook for lounging or reading and balances the other upholstered pieces around the room. Throwing a splash of color from a a beautiful throw is great for snuggling and can serve as a wonderful accent color. For many people, the ritual of building the fire itself is most important. A log basket is practical to have close by and can also be a decorative element. Since arranging chairs around the fireplace can be tricky, make certain you have adequate space for the necessary fireplace tools and firewood. It is definitely worth investing time to find the perfect accessories for the fireplace mantle, such as large candlesticks/and or hurricane lamps. At the end of the day, when the gift wrap is crumpled up and the table is cleared, what lingers in our minds is the laughter, the stories and all the light-hearted banter around the fireplace. These are the moments that become the treasured memories of our past. Dena Hamilburg is the owner of Hamilburg Interiors and  www.myinteriordesigncenter.com. She welcomes any questions you might have concerning interior design. You can e-mail her at...

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Monochromatic Can Be Memorable

Monochromatic Can Be Memorable

The definition of a monochromatc-colored room is when one color is used throughout the entire space. If designed skillfully, however, a monochromatic room is hardly monotonous or boring.  In fact, a room created around one color can in many instances achieve a look that is  more dramatic and has more of a cutting edge than a room of many colors. The main advantage of using only one color is that the sameness produces unity and harmony from the onset. The talent in creating a truly stunning monochromatic room comes in using several other contrasting surfaces that will pop. Introducing a shot of a second color in two significant accessories, such as a large bowl on a coffee table, some pillows, or an end table, is sure to soar and excite the...

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The When And Why Of Wallpaper

The When And Why Of Wallpaper

When (and why) to incorporate a wall covering into an interior design scheme? Good question! Specifically, why would one choose wallpaper over paint? The most obvious reason to use wallcovering is simply to add another layer to the decorating mix. A well-chosen wall covering often can add pattern and interest to an otherwise uninteresting space, especially one lacking architectural detail. Wall coverings also can create the illusion of a more spacious room, if selected cleverly. Rooms that can often benefit from wallpaper are powder rooms, dining rooms, and guest rooms, as well as small spaces (such as hallways) which could otherwise be ignored. Most importantly if you are considering wallpaper, please select a hand-printed or good quality one. You don’t want it to look as though it needs to be replaced with paint! Several years ago when I was redecorating my own family room, I had a major decision of whether to paint, glaze or paper the walls. In my professional work with clients, I tended to choose paint or a decorative finish for a “cleaner” look.  Somehow this personal decorating decision was different, though, as the family room was open to our new kitchen, and I wanted to coordinate the two rooms. With much thought (and legwork), I selected a William Morris paper (“Windrush,” pictured with this post) in a gold/thyme colorway. The multi-colored pattern set off the cream-painted and glazed corner bookcases, lined with books and mementos, and helped me to achieve my goal: The look of an English country home’s library. Playing off of the furniture-quality, beautifully figured cherry kitchen cabinets, the paper created a sophisticated, yet cozy feeling. I have never regretted my decision to paper this space, and I have enjoyed it daily ever...

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