It feels like the house is giving you a big hug," says Jane Welch of her new home's amber, wheat and gold interior, made all the more inviting by sculpted textiles and warm, custom woodwork throughout. "I like old things, the history behind them, and I was trying to create that homey family feeling here."
The plan wouldn't work in just any house, but Jane and husband Scott spent several months designing a unique floor plan for their 3,800-square-foot, five bedroom, three bath home. Somehow, it needed to capture Jane's love for all things antique with two kids and a hopping social life.
"Good entertainment flow was a specific need and the other factors were our four-year-old and six-year-old, so every room I spend time in faces the backyard," says Jane of the spacious lot that features a 1,200-square-foot surfaced patio.
Resembling a castle on the outside, the house definitely has an Old World sensibility but with a twist. Inside, a soaring 20-foot ceiling draws guests into the great room, where arched windows stretch across the south and west walls, each accessorized with hand-crafted frames, a keyhole accent and working indoor shutters.
"I wanted an indoor/outdoor feel in here so it would have that cool sense of being in a courtyard," Jane explains.
A moulded fireplace reaches up the room's eastern wall, dressed up with a travertine face and hearth and intricate hand-carved wooden corbels and mantel, which reflect the rest of the home's detailed custom cabinetry.
Most every room of importance satellites from the main living space and since there are no hallways, the home seems at once very cozy and mysterious. Off the main entry is a library with dramatic, heavy Gothic furniture, uplighting hidden in a cove ceiling and a massive built-in cabinet.
Facing the library is the dining room, formal but unpredictable with an inlaid marble border around the reclaimed whiskey barrel floor. Jane's autumn-inspired colors drip from chandeliers and hang from curtain rods and a wet bar provides discreet passage into the kitchen end of the great room.
Separating the kitchen from the living area is an oversized white island, topped with golden granite to match the rest of the counters and set with leather-trimmed wooden bar stools. The wood picks up the antiqued alder cabinetry that dominates the kitchen even the refrigerator is faced with matching wooden panels and installed in an armoire-style cabinet.
"All the cabinets look like furniture, with trim pieces, crown moulding, baseboards and corbels," Jane points out. "I wanted something that really felt aged because new homes can look so stark." Wavy waterfall glass on each cabinet door affords views of Jane's collection of amber stemware.
A brick backsplash over the range calls attention to the massive, sensuously curved, hand-carved stove chase and also blends with a cottage-red accent wall that anchors the west end of the main room, enclosing an intimate eating nook.
The Welches' master suite is off the opposite end of the great room and features a more contemporary style, with sage green and amber gold furniture and linens. A double-sided Lenox fireplace was installed in the wall between the bedroom and bath, so Jane can soak in the jetted tub and gaze either outside through the window or into the warm flames.
Follow the gracious, hand-carved staircase from the great room up to a television room, kids' crafting area, guest room and two fabulous kid's rooms.
Daughter Sarah Jane gets the royal treatment in her "grown-up princess" palace, where candy cane pink walls and a rose-trimmed, white bedroom set are decorated with matching lavender and light blue harlequin diamonds, painted by Jane. A white chandelier with dangling pink and blue crystals hangs from an antique ceiling medallion. Even the tiny chairs are emblazoned with crowns and jewels and it's not hard to imagine a young princess beseeching her prince from Sarah Jane's private, wrought-iron, Juliet balcony.
Brother Joshua is available for play dates, day or night, thanks to a pass-through Jane built between the kids' rooms. In his space, it's all Buzz Lightyear, all the time, from Buzz-themed blades on the ceiling fan to an inflatable, space travel chair, to the neon green, red and blue palette favored by Josh's hero.
"It's very playful in here," says Jane of the indoor play structure that encompasses an upper bunk bed, hidden fort below and slide. "They both love to dress up and it was affordable to do--so why not?"
Why not, indeed. In this creative home, everybody's got their own space and personality, all encased in a warm, cozy atmosphere that embodies the Welches' love of family, history and entertaining.