At Home

Heaven Sent

Forget a wing and a prayer. Transforming this supersize building entailed a serious devotion to artful living.

The Westport, Massachusetts, church that artist/designer Alyn Carlson worships wouldn’t be the same without her. With her savvy guidance, the aged structure has morphed into a livable home — character intact. Birthday soirees, poetry readings, family dinners — the 1900 architecture is an ideal backdrop for Carlson’s life, as well as her work and that of her partner, fine and commercial artist and photographer,…

Play House

Fashion designer Carina Schott and her husband, figurative painter Karim Hamid, transformed their mid-century Matunuck compound with a deft edit, keeping it fresh and fun.

After 9/11, Manhattan seemed a foreboding place for their son. So Carina Schott, who heads the Wakefield children’s boutique Nonchalant Mom (below, in her studio/shop), and husband, Karim Hamid, bought a car on eBay and headed for the hills. Off they zoomed to upstate New York and Vermont, then down Long Island and finally to Rhode Island where they discovered…

Ranch Dressing

Long gone are the days when this house never turned a head. An artful husband and wife team have given the outdated ranch a brand-new perspective: light, space and plenty of twenty-first-century personality.

Years ago, an old high buddy enlisted these owners in a summer rental. Taken with South County, the New York couple, children in tow, returned almost every season. Then the eighties rolled around and they craved their own getaway, a low-key place to foster family-time. Eschewing anything too pretentious, they nabbed a humble house — that they fondly labeled “ranch-burger”…

Net Results

Relax on the porch? Not if bugs are buzzing in your ears and nibbling at your ankles. Today’s smartest homeowners are revisiting the screen porch as a savvy solution that increases living space and maximizes nature’s sweetest season.

Captain’s Quarters Right away, visitors sense this inviting Little Compton porch (architect: Mark Mascheroni, New York) is as beautifully crafted as a fine yacht. Indeed, its teak floor, ceiling and window frames (the owners swap the screens for glass in cooler months) evoke thoughts of the sea, although its locale, near a verdant golf course, is more pastoral than salty….

Shifting Gears

A rundown garage undergoes a traffic-stopping transformation. In its new life it’s a chic cottage characterized by an enviable open floor plan and modern aesthetic.

Heaven knows lesser mortals would have run from the dilapidated garage/carriage house. But Providence interior architect Kirby Goff was hunting for just such a design. “I’ve always been fascinated by a long rectangle,” she explains. “I wanted to recreate that Malibu house feel: a minimal, unpretentious facade. Then, you walk in and discover a great space.” And as luck would…

At Home

Garden Variety Problems Don’t fret the shrubs crying for haircuts, the straggly path or the neighbor’s unsightly trash. Here’s how to mend six common landscaping woes and keep your yard looking fabulous all season long. You’ve heard there’s beauty in imperfection, right? Still, when the snow melts and the flaws resurface it’s easy to get downhearted. With the years come…

Homework Solutions

Beautifully rehabbed mill buildings in Providence and Pawtucket now double as dazzling work-live spaces. No commute, and nests that nurture and inspire—what more could uber-creative artists want?

Dance Fever Ellen Mayer, founder of Providence Tango, lives a life filled with rhythm and music. And as if that weren’t enough to make us desk slaves envious (recall, please, philosopher Nietzsche’s wisdom: “…we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced…”), this multi-talented woman also designs jewelry, sews and paints. » read more   Novel Ideas…

Dirty Business

Yesterday it seemed the most trafficked rooms in the house were also the most neglected. No more. Utility rooms have become chic and central to an orderly life.

Heaps of dirty clothes, legions of mittens minus partners, drippy umbrellas! It’s not pretty. In the spirit of a new year with organization once again topping our resolution lists, utilitarian spaces are gaining attention. Next to open kitchens and porches, in fact, such multi-purpose rooms are de rigueur in new house construction. “I’m hearing it all the time,” says Providence-based…

Vintage Rooms

Cellaring your wine with some help from the pros.

Wine cellars, old as the hills, are the country’s newest trend. Haute or humble, these unique spaces channel sunny vineyards and make every gathering a celebration worth toasting. » Creating a wine cellar » Bordeaux Country » Urban Legend » The Collector: Louis Mueller

Designer Genes

They share looks, but what about taste? We visited mother and daughter designers at home to determine how alike—or not—their decorating style really is.

It’s no surprise that a visual achiever like Karen Vaughan (facing page), proprietor of the popular Newport shop that bears her name, would have a similarly talented daughter. But interior designer Kim Kirby (this page), of Kim Kirby Interiors, also in Newport, is no clone. True, our snooping revealed more similarities than differences. But, in the end, these high-drive women…