Transplanted Houstonites Nancy and Dick Gould faced an uphill battle when they decided to erect a spectacular mountain
retreat on a hilltop with sweeping panoramas of the Northeast’s tallest
mountains—the Presidential Range of northern New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
To take advantage of breathtaking vistas, builders blasted through bedrock, as
well as created a three-quarter-mile-long winding driveway.
Now, the couple’s handsome home looks like the retreat of a colonial gentleman, but it functions like a sky-high weather observatory. “As morning clouds settle in the valley, we’re suddenly transported to what looks like a fjord,” says Dick, a real estate developer. The immensely welcoming, two-story beauty with its postcard views is securely nestled on rugged Beech Hill in Twin Mountain.
With the help of architects Rob Turpin and Sonya Misiaszek as well as builder Dale Blackley, the
house the Goulds built is both stylish and substantial. Inside are paneled
walls painted dark slate green, an entry graced with a vintage hand-forged iron
chandelier, and, flowing to either side, hallways lined floor-to-ceiling with
books. “To me, the secret to making a house look lived in is lighting
fixtures,” says Nancy, who lassoed three matching colonial-style chandeliers in a single lot at a Houston auction.
The paneled entryway is punctuated with a tiger-maple corner cupboard
by artisan David LeFort, an antique pedestal game table, and a painted
octagonal box by Betsy Salm, author of Women’s Painted Furniture.
The sunroom lights up in every season. The fieldstone fireplace was custom-designed by stonemason Chad
Sanborn. Vintage and reproduction lighting
fixtures—including this six-light iron chandelier with tole shades—spread a
warm glow on new construction. The sofa and chairs are from Crate & Barrel.
The paneled living room walls, painted in Sherwin-Williams’s “Enduring Bronze,” change color depending
on the light. A pair of armchairs beside the window are covered in a burnt
orange damask to complement the antique Turkish Oushak rug underfoot.
The kitchen's classic Windsor stools are by New Hampshire furnituremaker Bill Morse. “We both cook, and I am terrified I
will cut my arm off someday while lost in a sunset out that window,” says
In the dining room, Nancy seamlessly blends old and new. She takes the hard edge off new construction with a sponge-painted
fireplace overmantel that duplicates the look of smoke. “Historically,
smoke graining was done with the smoke from a lighted candle,” explains Nancy,
who adds that no interior is complete without books. “We only use old books in
the dining room because it adds softness while we’re eating,” she says. Two
heart-and-crown banister-back chairs that sit at the dining room table were
made by superstar cabinetmaker Allan Breed of York, Maine.
High ceilings add drama to the master bedroom, painted “Raintree Green”—a soothing slate green by Benjamin Moore—which laps up
southeast morning light. At the foot of the bed is a
hand-carved bench by talented New Hampshire furnituremaker David Lamb.