Saturated Color Makes a Statement in This Boston-Area Home

·5 min read

When Jessica Schwartz and Ryan Stanton got involved with a three-story new build in a city across Boston’s Charles River, it pushed the designers squarely out of their comfort zone. “The clients wanted to bring a worldliness into the home through the layering of texture, pattern, and color—not New England color,” explains Jessica, one half of Stanton Schwartz Design Group. “We went back to the drawing board to up the saturation.”

The designers delved in early on, collaborating with Chan Mock Architects to shape the rooms before moving onto finishes, fixtures, and furnishings. “We specified everything in the height of the gray and navy phase, and before marble was a thing,” Ryan adds.

The team initially considered the desert rose-toned marble for the kitchen, but ultimately decided to use the bold slabs as a focal point in the living room. The clients retained their existing sectional. “Once they find something comfortable they don’t want to let go of it,” Ryan says.
The team initially considered the desert rose-toned marble for the kitchen, but ultimately decided to use the bold slabs as a focal point in the living room. The clients retained their existing sectional. “Once they find something comfortable they don’t want to let go of it,” Ryan says.
Jared Kuzia Photography

On the ground floor, scored concrete floors juxtapose rich and lustrous finishes, and they establish the moody palette. Quickly bypassing the usual oak for the kitchen cabinetry, the team opted for rosewood, which Jessica notes is “warmer, richer, and deeper” than most clients are willing to go. “There’s an honesty in the materials they appreciate,” she says.

A random pattern of Moroccan-made tile creates a big impact in the tiny powder room off the entry. “The tile is flush to the drywall, not on top of it, which is a nice touch,” Ryan says. Black marble sconces stacked one atop the other allude to the black marble countertops on the third floor.
A random pattern of Moroccan-made tile creates a big impact in the tiny powder room off the entry. “The tile is flush to the drywall, not on top of it, which is a nice touch,” Ryan says. Black marble sconces stacked one atop the other allude to the black marble countertops on the third floor.
Jared Kuzia Photography

That is certainly true of the honed Greylac marble countertops with gray and deep purple veining. “Marble in a Paris saloon is battered and stained; that’s what makes it special,” Jessica says. “Nothing in this house is pristine; shiny and glossy are the opposite of their vibe.” That sensibility is at work in the powder room too, where they waited six months for the hand-glazed Moroccan tiles to arrive by ship.

Lighting made from organic materials punctuate rooms throughout the home. In the dining area, the diamond pattern of the coco bead chandelier mirrors the pattern of the embroidery on the Roman shades.
Lighting made from organic materials punctuate rooms throughout the home. In the dining area, the diamond pattern of the coco bead chandelier mirrors the pattern of the embroidery on the Roman shades.
Jared Kuzia Photography

Rosewood makes its way into the dining area, as well, with a coffee station that glows beside a marine blue banquette. In the adjacent living room, the duo paired rosewood cabinetry with a distinctive Greek marble fireplace surround. “We brought a rosewood sample to the stone yard,” Ryan recalls. “The desert rose colors looked gorgeous with it.” Drapes with nearly neon geometric embroidery bring in more color, and a contemporary chandelier with a midcentury-modern vibe pulls it back to seriousness.

The gallery-like stair space presented the perfect opportunity to display masks from all over the world.
The gallery-like stair space presented the perfect opportunity to display masks from all over the world.
Jared Kuzia Photography
“It was the client’s idea to do rainbow shelves in both kids’ rooms,” Jessica says. “It’s such a happy surprise.”
“It was the client’s idea to do rainbow shelves in both kids’ rooms,” Jessica says. “It’s such a happy surprise.”
Jared Kuzia Photography

One flight up the airy stair with glass panel rails and triple height windows, ocean-like jewel tones permeate the kids’ rooms. Spoiler alert: There’s a delightful rainbow twist. Because the glossy teal and emerald woodwork didn’t satisfy the clients’ thirst for color, built-in wardrobes boast shelves painted in colors with quirky names like Razzle Dazzle and White Cheddar. “At the millworker’s shop, there were a thousand white and taupe samples, then our pile,” Jessica says and then laughs.

Drapery embroidered with winged insects graces the nursery.
Drapery embroidered with winged insects graces the nursery.
Jared Kuzia Photography
There’s a wall of windows across from the couple’s bed that streams in beautiful light.
There’s a wall of windows across from the couple’s bed that streams in beautiful light.
Jared Kuzia Photography

For the primary bedroom, the couple requested mustard yellow. To make the most of the relatively modest space, the creatives designed a custom walnut headboard with midcentury-modern styling that almost reaches the ceiling. “We wanted to give them enough storage,” Ryan says. “The side panels swing open to fit their suitcases.”

A removable teak panel on the shower floor and a teak vanity play off the terra-cotta veining of the Portuguese marble in the primary bath.
A removable teak panel on the shower floor and a teak vanity play off the terra-cotta veining of the Portuguese marble in the primary bath.
Jared Kuzia Photography

Taking cues from an inspiration photo embraced by the clients (and the internet alike), the designers tracked down eight slabs of pink and terra-cotta-toned marble in Portugal. As Jessica says, “White marble was not an option!” Blush-tinged walls coax out its rosy hues, and Roman shades with geometric rust and purple embroidery and the herringbone mosaic tile floor layer pattern on pattern. “They really wanted to amp things up in here,” Jessica adds.

A clay bead chandelier handcrafted by women in South Africa works with the black marble with mustard veining that tops the base cabinets. “The stone yard had to literally dust off this slab,” Ryan says, noting the role that unique marble played in the overall design.
A clay bead chandelier handcrafted by women in South Africa works with the black marble with mustard veining that tops the base cabinets. “The stone yard had to literally dust off this slab,” Ryan says, noting the role that unique marble played in the overall design.
Jared Kuzia Photography

The third floor is entertaining central, with an open lounging space outfitted with cushy and low-slung sofas. The fireplace sports a curved and hot-rolled steel surround that was truly an exercise in trial and error, and it ties to the steel hood down in the kitchen. The marigold kitchenette services family TV time and friend-filled festivities on the roof deck, which is accessed year-round through a glass accordion door. A full bath off the lounge, wrapped in minty green penny tile, is pure fun. “This is truly a happy home where colors and materials tell their own stories,” Jessica says. Ryan adds, “Designing this was a magical reprieve.”

The cabinetmaker turned an 18th-century European dresser into a vanity for the third-floor bath, which is topped with red-veined Bordeaux marble. “We needed to bring this heavily tiled room back to earth,” Ryan says.
The cabinetmaker turned an 18th-century European dresser into a vanity for the third-floor bath, which is topped with red-veined Bordeaux marble. “We needed to bring this heavily tiled room back to earth,” Ryan says.
Jared Kuzia Photography

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest