The challenge for architects Frederick Spitzmiller and Robert Norris, of
, and interior decorator Suzanne Kasler was turning a palatial house into a warm and welcoming home. Built originally by a couple whose children were grown, the house had to shift gears dramatically to accommodate a young family of six. The design team found their solutions in replacing cool surfaces and stark detailing with more family-friendly materials and introducing more human-scaled details. Spitzmiller & Norris 93
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Decorator Suzanne Kasler wisely chose one large rug (specially woven by Beauvais) to unify this double-height room. Spitzmiller and Norris designed new pairs of doors and carved pediments and added an anthemion frieze to the entablature to give needed detail, scale, and weight to the room. The matching hand-carved limestone mantels were also designed by Spitzmiller and Norris.
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The expansiveness of the room was well modulated by the addition of champagne-colored Venetian plaster to the walls and ceiling. The view through the tall openings is toward a beautiful lake.
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Formerly the formal dining room and used mostly at night, this room with its lake views was changed to become the family’s den. The hand-carved mantel, designed by Frederick Spitzmiller and carved by master carver Sarah Rowe, depicts pheasants in flight on its frieze.
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Here the warmth of the Venetian plaster, the enhanced entablature, and the gravitas of the new limestone mantels show how the space was made warm and inviting. The painting is by Ivan Olinsky; rock crystal sconces are from Therien & Co.
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The children’s den and family dining room were an exercise in appealing light augmented by the richness and warmth of wood: dark walnut was used for the floors and pecky cypress for the ceiling. The ceiling design is by Spitzmiller and Norris.
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The kitchen is completely interior, so openings to adjacent windowed spaces were created to bring in much-needed natural light. The cabinets are by Christopher Peacock. The antique pot rack, from Ann-Morris Antiques, puts pots and pans conveniently at hand.
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Handsome over-door pediments supported by a rich door casing were designed by Frederick Spitzmiller for the master bath. The tub and shower are clad in calacatta marble and the marble-patterned floor echoes the violet hues used by Suzanne Kasler throughout the master suite.
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“Her” master closet, with glass-paneled doors, was designed by Spitzmiller and Norris. The lucite pulls were selected by Spitzmiller and are from Matthew Quinn Decorative Hardware. Suzanne Kasler chose the Pluie chandelier from Allan Knight. Her “Alexandra” chair, from Hickory Chair, is upholstered in violet silk.
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Frederick Spitzmiller changed a former media room into the formal dining room. New steel doors were added to a wall that previously had no doors or windows, and false steel doors, glazed with mirror, were added to give reflected light to the room as well as symmetry to the architecture. Spitzmiller also designed the paneling and decorative plaster ceiling.
All photography by Simon Upton.