At Home

Creative Genius

A highly personal narrative and plenty of hard work give this compelling Edgewood carriage house colorful new life.

Graphic designers lisa and victor russo are a renaissance couple. Sewing, baking, guitar-playing, beer-brewing and tango? Just the beginning. They also tackle home projects with the same fervor they bring to their work. If anybody had the energy to transform a nineteenth-century building into an inviting home, it was these two. Fearless about juxtaposing mid-century finds, antiques, tag sale treasures…

Distance Runners

Why give up color with weeks of warm weather to go? These fabulous underused plants fill the gaps.

After what experts refer to as the “big bang” — that spring and early summer color explosion — comes the quiet. Personally, we love harmonious all-green gardens full of textures and tonal variations, but then we visited Jane Case — proprietor of Wakefield’s Blue Moon Farm Nursery and Magic Gardens, a twenty-five-year-old garden design firm — and had a change of heart.   At home, the hostas…

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 An artful husband and wife team have given the outdated ranch a brand-new perspective: light, space and plenty of twenty-first-century personality.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…

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…

Kids’ Play

Gone are the country decals of long ago, the fussy wallpapers that screamed nursery. Today’s best children’s rooms are positively posh and ultimately livable.

Kids’ rooms are going to ultra-stylish new heights, and raising the bar are rooms like these Portsmouth beauties. Of course, in such a chic new house (architectural design by Newport Collaborative Architects, construction by Parker Thompson), you’d expect no less. Providence interior designer Nancy Taylor, who’s responsible for the interior detailing, didn’t scale back when it came to putting together…