Meridian Custom Homes Delivers Classic New England Charm

The combination of classic design, earthy tones, wood accents and wide plank floors delivers an authentic coastal New England feel.
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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

When this active family of four relocated from Oregon, they were excited about moving to a great town with a great school system. They focused on a lot in Barrington near the beach, and soon discovered Meridian Custom Home’s reputation for an exceptional design and build process and artisanal craftsmanship. Meridian had already built six homes in the neighborhood, each with a unique design sensibility.

“With a move across the country, it was very important for them to meet a critical timeline,” says Meridian’s Alex Mitchell. “We worked very closely with them to perfect the layout of the house so it met all their needs. They had very specific desires, such as a combination of both an open family space and a more formal adult entertaining space.”

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

The family’s overarching vision was open, airy and organized.

 “Our goal was to create a new home that felt warm and welcoming,” the homeowner says. “It was important to us to integrate authentic coastal New England details with our own style.”

The result is stunning simplicity in a shingle style gambrel home with a classic New England front porch. There are many different spaces throughout the home that provide a lot of utility, but they flow perfectly resulting in practical, functional space made beautiful.

“It was important to create a conversation between the landscape and the house.”

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The pantry houses a second dishwasher and copious storage. The dining room is perfect for formal entertaining, while the island overlooking the great room is a family favorite. Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

The home is sited to take advantage of sunsets, with a perfect southwestern outlook overlooking a pond and a distant view of Narragansett Bay over Town Beach. Meridian took advantage of the site’s natural contours for a walkout basement with sliding doors leading to a flagstone patio. It was also important to the family to maximize the number of windows and south-facing glass. Several rooms have windows on three sides, resulting in a sun-drenched breakfast nook, warm and welcoming kitchen/great room and a sense of nature allowed to come indoors. The house flows easily right from the front door, with a glass encapsulated home office to the right and great room straight ahead where the sunny views beckon visitors forward. The entire back wall of the first floor features large windows and doors leading to the deck and outdoor entertaining.

“The family is very outdoorsy and active, so it was important to create a conversation between the landscape and the house,” Mitchell says.

Throughout the home, warm, earthy tones, wide wood plank floors and repeating wood elements deliver a cohesive look and calm, beachy vibe without going overboard.

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

The kitchen is a key room for the family, with a huge island and comfortable seating for congregating. But it doesn’t feel cavernous thanks to clever design choices such as a mix of light and dark cabinetry. Polished brass pulls and brass-trimmed lighting bring warmth, and chef grade appliances are offset with geometric tiles that give the room a focal point. The range hood is softened by rustic sawn wood planks and horizontal shiplap.

In most homes the pantry would be a rarely seen, functional space. Here the pantry is a stylish destination in itself, with diamond-patterned wallpaper and natural wood open shelving that keeps key items easily accessible. Echoing the design themes of the kitchen, it’s beautiful and functional with a sink and second dishwasher that make entertaining a breeze.

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

In the great room, authentic wood beams and subtle architectural millwork bring attention to an often under-utilized design space: the ceiling. The same rustic sawn wood on the massive mantel plus vertical shiplap on the bookshelves flanking the fireplace deliver the coastal New England feel the family desired. A large area rug anchors the furniture, creating a cozy, intimate space. The great room and kitchen are joined by a wine fridge and glass fronted cabinets to showcase glassware, perfect for the family’s entertaining style.

As much as the family loves the open kitchen/great room, it was also important to them to have a little more formal dining room. Situated just across the hall from the kitchen through a large cased opening, the dining room is accessible to the kitchen yet separate enough to feel elegant. Meridian’s design again encourages the eye upward toward an impressive tray ceiling with inlaid natural wood that imparts a feeling of spaciousness and adds a focal point that is sophisticated without feeling fussy.

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

Throughout the home, hardworking storage and thoughtful open shelving proved vital to the home’s function without adding visual clutter. Being able to view other homes Meridian had built helped make design choices easier for the homeowners.

“We have a rich library of plans, finishes and artist renderings in our design center, but seeing first-hand how a particular feature looks and feels in another home is always helpful,” Mitchell says. 

The home’s gambrel style makes the second floor truly spacious.  It boasts four bedrooms each with access to its own bathroom, a comfy den for TV-watching and an expansive laundry room with seven feet of countertop and plenty of storage cabinets. It’s true that you can never have enough closets, and here a seven-by-six foot linen closet stores all the towels, pillows and blankets one could want.

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

Warm, earthy tones, wide wood plank floors and repeating wood elements deliver a cohesive look and calm, beachy vibe.

The airy master bedroom suite makes the most of the dormer with copious windows and a dedicated seating area plus two large walk-in closets. Dual custom wood vanities and basketweave tile in the en suite bath nod to the desired New England style while the enormous walk-in shower says spa-aahhh after a long day.

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Photography by Tony Luong. Styling by Serena Gaitskell.

It was also important to the family to have a large mudroom, situated just inside the back door. It’s a really useful space for the kids’ sports gear, their friends’ gear and more. Baskets for footwear, hooks for jackets and lots of cabinetry helps them stay organized.  

 From the initial design to the floor plan to the finishes, Meridian’s in-house design team and personal approach made the process easier, the home super-functional, and the end result gorgeous.