On Warwick Neck, a Ranch Gets a Reno Worthy of its Priceless View

The designer thought of everything, including an upgraded dining area for the couple's two adorable pups.
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Photography by Angel Tucker.

Outside, Inside
It takes a leap of faith to see beyond a dowdy exterior and recognize the potential beauty beneath, but that was the happy outcome of this formerly frumpy 1940s house perched near the tip of Warwick Neck. The addition of a dining room in its previous life had turned the home’s symmetrical shape into a floor plan that didn’t make a lot of sense; it was also in need of extensive renovation. “It wasn’t really a ranch at this point,” says designer Nicole Martel of Three Sparrows Interior Design. “It’s more ranch-ish.”

The pluses, though, were a quiet location on a dead-end street and spectacular views of the bay from almost every window. They instantly sold the new homeowners, who just happened to live a few doors down. With a full gut and reno, this would be their forever home, the couple decided.

Martel’s main mission was to create a light, airy vibe, giving each room a facelift. That included vaulting the ceiling in the living room, with custom cabinetry throughout by Jutras Woodworking, and the installation of nickel gap on most of the walls to suggest an informal elegance. The fresh color palette of navy blues, soft whites and wood accents introduce elements of the outdoors.

Custom House
“This is one of the first times I’ve been able to work completely custom,” Martel says. That included designing a bespoke kitchen, master bath and mudroom. She also opened up and reconfigured the master suite. The dining room and powder room got a refresh, with new flooring, paint, wallpaper, fixtures and window treatments. The moist climate meant solid wood floors were out; the new flooring, engineered hardwood, was given a beachy whitewash. The effect translated to the homeowners’ coffee and end tables in the living room. Once heavy and dark, Renewed Home Decor whitewashed them as well.

Not to be outdone, the wife, armed with her own spot-on design sense, fashioned roman shades for many of the windows of her new space, and tackled the guest room and powder room. The original spindle-leg sink in the half bath was restored rather than replaced, and she opted for natural grass cloth as wall covering.

Sky Views
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the project was done in a little more than a year. The homeowners got the wet bar and wine cooler they’d wanted, and the four-legged family members weren’t forgotten either. Individual dog food drawers slide out of a lower mudroom cabinet during dinner and their food is stashed in the middle. “The couple love to entertain, so the location really fits their lifestyle,” Martel says.

There were challenges when products were delayed and furniture delivery was two months behind schedule. Luckily, the property has a small guest cottage where the homeowners camped out during the renovation; it became home to the husband’s mother. Now everyone’s settled, with a wedding rehearsal dinner to be planned on the lawn that slopes down to the water with glimpses of Patience Island and Colt State Park in the distance. Shortly after the couple moved in, they and their pups were out on the back deck to view the first full moon and, in that moment, they came up with the perfect name for their forever nest. They’ve dubbed it Moondance.