A Fresh Take on Tradition

Written by Rachel Arroyo | Photography by Jessica Delaney

Distinctive decor breathes new life into a Hingham home.

When Gretchen Amidon first came across a large colonial on a peaceful wooded lot abutting Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, she knew her house hunting days had come to an end. The location was ideal, but the home, built in 1988, needed updates. After purchasing the property in January of 2017, Amidon spent several months scouring the internet in search of home design inspiration. “I spent hours looking at things on Houzz,” says Amidon. “I knew the things I liked, but I was struggling with putting it all together.”

After hiring a general contractor, Amidon reached out to Hingham designer Christine van der Kieft for some interior design assistance. “At first I thought I would hire [van der Kieft] for a few hours to get some ideas,” says Amidon. But the Hingham-based designer ended up playing a much larger role in the remodel.

Employed at an asset management firm, Amidon knew that she would be traveling a lot for work and decided to hire van der Kieft to act as a project manager for her home’s remodel. “Christine is not only a fantastic designer, but she is also good at listening, easy to work with and extremely organized,” says Amidon.

The goal was to create a light-filled, pet-friendly interior that would make the most of the home’s traditional, New England architecture while incorporating more contemporary elements that reflected Amidon’s personal style. “I love creating beautiful, timeless spaces and helping clients think a little outside the box,” says van der Kieft.

The design for the kitchen was directly inspired by Amidon’s online research. “I saw this one kitchen with blue cabinets and brass hardware that I really loved,” she says. The kitchen island and cabinetry with Lexington doors were sourced from Hingham Lumber and painted Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, which paired perfectly with contemporary brass Lewis Dolin Square Bar Hardware. White Luccia quartzite, chosen for the countertops, provides a nice counterpoint to the blue cabinetry and its warm tones complement the brass fixtures. “It’s a natural, beautiful stone that is full of movement,” says van der Kieft.

The kitchen was enlarged by taking square footage from a small laundry room that stood between the kitchen and dining room (a new laundry room was created on the opposite end of the home). New windows were installed in lieu of upper cabinetry to bring in more natural light. “When you are standing in the kitchen, you feel like the woods surrounding the home are part of the space,” says van der Kieft. “It’s a very calming sensation.”

While the kitchen’s clean lines and bold use of color read more contemporary, the dining room is decidedly more traditional. “The dining room is one of my favorite rooms in the house,” says van der Kieft. “It feels very rich in color and texture and has a lot of modern updates but it’s also a bit formal.”

Coffered ceilings, wainscoting and a brass Mykonos chandelier add a bit of Old World refinement, as do the patterned window treatments with hints of silver and gold woven into the fabric. Textured Cowton & Tout grasscloth wallpaper adds a richness to the space. For a modern twist, a burlwood table with a warm caramel color anchors the room with the help of a geometric-patterned area rug.

The open layout of the family room, bar area and kitchen, made it crucial to maintain a cohesive design throughout. The bar area also boasts Luccia quartzite countertops and brass linear pulls to tie in with the kitchen and a modern, geometric mirror hung over the bar sink reflects an abstract painting by South Shore artist Wendy Callahan in the opposing family room. “I love the mirror’s angles and fun play on soft lines,” says van der Kieft.

The family room’s conventional arched fireplace was squared out and updated with natural stone and updated, minimalist moldings to reflect a more modern look. Built-ins with open upper shelving and cylindrical sconces with crackled glass and brass accents lend a freshness to the updated fireplace area.

For the master bedroom and en suite bath, the homeowner wanted a feminine space that would be soothing and ethereal. Sheer, ivory window treatments were chosen to contrast with the dark finish on a pair of Ethan Allen bedside tables and a king-size bed nestles nicely into an alcove carved out of former closet space. A walk-in closet was built by borrowing space from an adjacent guest bedroom. A durable, nylon area rug incorporating warm beiges and soft grays and a complementary gray headboard with a subtle sheen complete the look.

Clean lines and ivory tones make the transition between master bedroom and bath smooth and seamless. Adorning the floor and shower wall are 12 by 24-inch rectangular tiles, while the shower floor features a herringbone-patterned tile in a comparable color palette. A Medallion vanity from the Galleria collection in a “Smoke” finish adds a contrasting richness to the predominantly light-colored space. Stealing the spotlight, however, is the fittingly named “Sunstruck” freestanding Kohler bathtub that sits beneath a section of windows.

Lastly, durable oak flooring and nylon area rugs were selected to make certain rooms like the master bedroom a little more pet friendly. The final result is a home that feels bright, spacious and filled with personality—and it’s a place Amidon loves to come home to.

For more information on van der Kieft Designs, visit vanderkieftdesigns.com