architecture  research  design

Our Homes Tell Stories


We value residential design’s impact on shaping our homes and lifestyles. Our homes are both the backdrop for our life story and a significant participant within that narrative. All I have to do is recall some of my favorite childhood memories, from gathering around the large round oak table in the kitchen to fighting over the single bathroom!

With the opportunity to design your home, what types of stories would you create?  Dive into today’s blog post for ideas of how your home can participate in the narrative.

The blank page

In our Framingham Mid-Century Modern Campanelli house renovation, we designed flexible and interactive features throughout the home.   By changing these elements, the family can alter their backdrop and highlight different parts of their story.

At the entry, the pegs in the custom wood coat rack can be repositioned as their young daughter grows and their needs change. The full-height wet-erase magnetic board and bookcase at the heart of the kitchen display an ever-changing collection of artwork and notes. In the living room, an oversized barn door provides some needed privacy within an otherwise open-plan layout. The barn door itself is changeable, with its whiteboard paint coating providing a canvas for general artistic expression or a family game of Pictionary. Super-flexible and fun “blank-page” elements such as these invite creativity and an ever-changing backdrop within the home.

A memoir

As a child, one of the homeowners of our 1880 House | Modern Renovation project in Newton had a bright yellow bathroom in her home that was intrinsically linked to her life story.  She cherished these memories and was inspired to once again have a yellow bathroom.  And so it was! 

This new bathroom has a decidedly modern look, in keeping with the overall renovation’s style, and tells a story through color. Within the soft palette of whites, greys, and browns used elsewhere in the home, the bright yellow bathroom is memorable and brings a smile to your face when you happen upon it. Their children will one day be telling their own stories of the yellow bathroom of their childhood home!

An autobiography: past, present, future

The design of our Somerville Compact Modern project directly reflects the homeowners’ values, love of the house’s history, and vision for weaving a multitude of new tales into their renovated home.

The homeowners’ love of nature and environmental stewardship shaped the compact footprint of the home and the preservation of the mature trees in the backyard. The modest rear kitchen addition, with large floor-to-ceiling windows and a door out to a platform deck, visually and physically connects with the yard and its trees.

Compact modern house concept rendering

The original home also has its own story as a workman’s cottage. The new owners cherished this history and paid homage to it. The one-story rear addition is modest to keep the original cottage form legible. The small cottage and its pitched roof form are a nod to the past, and the rear kitchen addition looks towards the future as the new hub of the home and center of all communal activities. The existing site conditions, hand in hand with the homeowners’ desired lifestyle and functionality, shape the inspiration and future stories for this home.

What are your home’s stories?

Thinking about your home as a participant in your life stories is a slight twist on the typical approach of how we interact with our homes. This alternative perspective can open up new ideas for how the spaces of your home can support your lifestyle. We are excited about the ideas you may discover!

Are you interested in learning more about our Mid-Century Modern Campanelli project in Framingham?  See Marni Katz’s featured article in the Your Home: Smart Solutions edition of the Boston Globe Magazine.