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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest