It’s a day in the life at Taste. Our client, Heather Burgess is coming into town from Chicago to see the progress that’s been made on her project.
We’re about halfway through the renovation and new construction of the family’s Newport historic district home, designed by Dudley Newton in 1877 . Our mission? To create a welcoming summer home that entertains large gatherings up to 75 all while honoring the historic character of the house so important to our clients – and to us.
After reviewing plans and materials at the office, we head to the house – a hive of activity with contractors inside and out, all working towards our completion deadline of June 30th. On a project like this when our clients live remotely from their home, we serve as their eyes and ears on the ground, providing design leadership and project management, alongside great contractors like Parker Construction. One of those most important relationships is with the GC’s project managers, like Mark DeFelice.
Great homes begin with good decision making. This visit gives our client the opportunity to see some of her choices being implemented, and to confidently confirm next steps and finishing details.
One of this home’s highly personal details will be a custom dining table that converts into a pool table. Kevin takes great pride sharing our idea for built-in cue storage in the fireplace overmantel we designed. Jutras Woodworking, our go-to millwork shop, did the fabrication of the overmantel and the restoration of the original fireplace surround.
Looking at the home’s exterior gives a true sense of the size and scope of the work we do. The entire third floor is a dedicated guest space, with three bedrooms that will overlook the new pool, stone terrace and Cabana.
Our specialty is balancing the demands of modern living with the beauty of classic architecture. This meant we preserved some original elements of the home – most notably the floors, windows, and newel posts. What couldn’t be saved, including the home’s original front door and interior trim – we had replicated to exactly match what was designed in 1877.
Here’s a favorite quote from Heather, our client. “All of my friends keep asking me how I’m managing the stress of this renovation. But I take great pleasure in telling them I don’t have any stress. You’re taking care of everything for me.”
We finish our visit in the kitchen – an important room for our clients, who have 20+ people joining them for dinner on a regular basis. A large island and a full bar – complete with custom bar table – create the hub of this house our client has been dreaming of. Everything’s starting to come together now. It’ll all be done by her next visit and the upcoming summer season.
To learn more about Taste, and how we provide design leadership and guidance, visit www.tastedesigninc.com