An elevated site, 270-degree water views and coastal design details make these homeowners feel as if they're living aboard a yacht.
STYLING BY Serena Gaitskell | INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY Sarah Farkas |
EXTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY Move Mountains Co.
When homeowners Paul and Marina Latham decided to build a new waterfront home, they knew exactly who to call—Meridian Custom Homes had built Paul’s previous home a decade ago. “They are easy to work with and I like the way they make the process fun,” he says. “The quality is excellent, and you always know where you stand on costs during the build.”
Given the location, the homeowner needed to obtain permits from the state and town to be able to build on the water. Meridian worked closely with the engineers and the homeowners to obtain those approvals and helped them find the right professionals to manage the process.
Starting with a blank slate on this secluded Barrington lot, Meridian carefully designed and sited the four-bedroom home to take maximum advantage of the elevation and the southwest-facing view. “It was really important to the homeowners to consider the locations of the rooms, the placement of the windows, the openness of the floor plan and how one room related to the next,” explains Meridian’s Alex Mitchell.
The result is a warm and welcoming sun-drenched home, a beautiful marriage of shingle-style Queen Anne exterior design combined with a coastal open floor plan. It sets a relaxed vibe the moment you walk through the front door with 270 degrees of stunning water views overlooking the marsh, the beach and Narragansett Bay beyond. The living room features copious exterior windows and a fireplace flanked by interior windows that look into the sunroom, which itself has three walls of windows.
Enabling that additional living room wall to be open through to the sunroom brings in even more natural light to the great room. There is a view from every room on the first floor,” Mitchell says.
That engineering, coupled with open space and bright white color scheme, virtually eliminated any definitive line between inside and outdoors.
“When you look out you don’t see any ground around you, you see right to the water and you feel like you are on a boat,” Latham says. “We wanted a contemporary, coastal feel with an open layout but practical spaces, and they succeeded.”
The living room opens onto a large dining area which flows into an open kitchen anchored with a magnificent walnut-topped island and bar seating, perfect for entertaining. That was one of the unique features Latham chose when touring other Meridian-built homes during the design phase.
“Paul was able to visit a number of homes that we have under construction—and even some of our completed homes—to look at different features we’ve incorporated and consider using in his home,” Mitchell explains. “A lot of people are uncomfortable making design decisions. But if they can see it first-hand, get a feel for the space and know that they already love it, they can narrow down their choices and not feel like they are taking a risk.”
Latham admits it’s difficult to choose a favorite room in the 4,150 square foot home—each is bathed in wonderful light that changes as the sun moves through the day. “We like the open feel of the main living space,” he says. “But our favorite is probably watching the sunset from the sunroom. We love the feel of that room with the shiplap on the walls and the expansive view of the water.”
The sunroom has inspired some beautiful photography projects, backgammon playing and cactus-growing. Marina Latham says she’s never known a house like it for her plants and cacti; they are growing and thriving with new shoots. Another stone fireplace keeps the room cozy for year-round use.
Custom bookshelves were another must for the homeowners who are also avid readers. Meridian incorporated built-in bookshelves under the stairs and a window seat nook that turns typically unused spaces into useful destinations while adding architectural interest at the same time.
“That area was originally intended as access to the crawl space with a latched door,” Mitchell says. “The homeowner decided he’d rather have access from outside, which left us an interesting nook to design. The window seat perfectly fits his aesthetic as well as the language of the home.”
Upstairs, four bedrooms each have their own ensuite bath and a view. The master bedroom and bath are defined by vaulted ceilings covered with shiplap. A large circular window reminiscent of a ship’s porthole offers a stunning view and infuses more nautical ambiance. The huge master bath is airy and spacious enough for a divan perfectly positioned for a sunrise view. The large window floods the expansive glass-walled shower with natural light.
“We love waking up and opening the blinds and looking out at the view of the bay from the master bedroom,” Latham says. “And I like watching the sunrise from the master bathroom.”
Outside, the home is tucked into the landscape on a gentle rise, backed by trees and flanked by marsh land that evokes a sense of privacy and serenity. The home’s creamy colored cedar shingles and numerous windows are highlighted with black window trim and a charcoal-colored roof. On the back deck, Meridian used open cable railing so as not to block the view and to add a nautical flair. It is surrounded with an unfussy bed of hydrangea and other native plants while cottage-style lattice hides the foundation.
That wrap around deck is another favorite homeowner destination. “We love being out on the deck on a nice day—that’s been great through lockdown,” Latham says.
One of the best features of the home’s location is that you are literally steps away from a beautiful beach. A meandering sandy path brings you right down to the sand, a perfect place for sunset and a cocktail.