2006 Idea House: New England Classic

This home in Portsmouth, Rhode Island displays a unique blend of architectural innovation and classic style.

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI

Photo: Jean Allsopp


Cambridge, Massachusetts, architect Marcus Gleysteen turned to iconic New England architecture for the house. "We wanted it to look like it had always belonged, like it was here before anything else," he says. Sited to capture views of Narragansett Bay, the house embraces its site with all rooms pointed to the sea.

Decking: Trex; Siding: James Hardie; Lighting: Charleston Gas Light; Furniture: Agio

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Entry

Photo: Jean Allsopp


Every house needs an easy-to-find entrance. Here, a gleaming mahogany door under a gently curved portico says 'Welcome home.' The expansive views of Narragansett Bay just inside say 'Stay awhile.'

Siding: James Hardie; Lighting: Charleston Gas Light; Door: Borano

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Living Room

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Living Room

Bright, airy, and casually elegant, these interiors reflect fine New England style. Blue tones take center stage for a look that classic and crisp. Dark mahogany furniture with navy and white fabric adds yacht-like appeal. Designer Lynn Morgan created two seating areas: one defined by the fireside sofa, another, by club chairs in the bay window. Accessories underscore the nautical theme: photographs of sailboats, pieces of artificial coral, and a seashell mirror.

Design tip: Blend the blues. Layering shades and tones of one color will give a space unity and depth.

Furniture: Lexington Home Brands; Shades, pillow fabric, and chair upholstery: Robert Allen

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Dining Room

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Dining Room

Upholstered armchairs surrounding a rich wood table with wood inlays set an elegant tone in the dining room. Lynn added informal coastal flair by lining the display shelves with beaded board.

Design tip: Make any ordinary object extraordinary by customizing with color. Lynn inked the trim on the lamp shade over the table with a simple navy marker.

Furniture: Lexington Home Brands; Chair upholstery and fabric shades: Robert Allen; Window treatments: Hunter Douglas

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Kitchen

Photo: Jean Allsopp


The kitchen is the hub of this floor plan. An island outfitted with a counter bar accomodates extra company. Best of all, even the chef can take in the view. Cobalt appliances make a statement against white walls and cabinetry, and a pale aqua coats the island.

Design tip: Combine style and function. The designers chose a deep sink and a faucet with a pullout sprayer—great for cleaning those big lobster pots. Woven baskets in place of drawers store everything from dish towels to oven mitts.

Appliances: Viking; Cabinets: Plain & Fancy; Faucet: Franke; Hood: Best by Broan

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Master Bedroom

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Master Bedroom

An earth and sea palette makes the master bedroom a calming retreat. A handsome sleigh bed dressed in striped duvet has coordinating sheets. Linen shades soften darker tones and mimic hues from the ocean beyond. French doors open onto a private balcony.

Bed: Lexington Home Brands; Bedding: Nautica; Fabric shades: Robert Allen

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Master Bath

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Master Bath

Luxurious, sophisticated materials define the master bath. Thin borders of pale-blue glass tile frame subway tile around the tub, which is crowned with a slab of gleaming white Carrara marble.

Design tip: Keep it serene. Louvered fabric blinds close for privacy,yet diffuse soft light.

Tub and faucet: Toto; Window treatments: Hunter Douglas.

2006 | New England Classic | Portsmouth, RI | Porch

Photo: Jean Allsopp


A generous porch overlooks the bay and connects first-floor rooms to the outdoors. The home's fiber cement shingle siding looks like the real thing, but will hold paint longer than wood. The composite decking is made of reclaimed wood and plastics and won't split, rot, or warp.

Decking: Trex; Siding: James Hardie; Lighting: Charleston Gas Light; Furniture: Agio

For more information on the products featured in this home, please see the November 2006 issue of Coastal Living magazine.

Printed from: