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Another requirement was a large kitchen. The husband, a former restaurateur and contract pilot, loves to cook and entertain. The family didn't use their living room much, and it was more important to have the family room, eating space and kitchen as the focal point of the main floor. "One thing that the husband insisted on was a counter-height fireplace in the kitchen for grilling," says Brooks. "He wanted commercial appliances, and a highly functional kitchen was essential for him."
Trapp and Brooks agree that the wife's involvement was a big part of the success of the design. A jeweler and busy fundraiser, she found the time to shop for accessories, research wall colors and go shopping with Trapp. She had always admired Trapp's work; "a real Renaissance man," according to Brooks. "I use my sensibilities to look through the client's eyes," says Trapp. He brought in furnishings and unique pieces that work well with the antiques that the husband had inherited, including a chandelier that had been in his mother's dining room, which is now in the master bath. Trapp also had carpets designed for the home, and two limestone mantels reproduced by an artisan in Europe who he works with often.
"You shouldn't be intimidated by your interiors," Trapp explains. "You should be comfortable putting your feet up, having friends and family over." The homeowners were looking for understated elegance, a sophisticated look that was still family-friendly. Trapp had to convince them on the idea of dark moldings against more neutral wall colors, which he feels "makes you look through the windows, not at them." In the end he won them over."
Trapp, an accomplished landscape designer, created the home's outdoor spaces, "sewing it into the landscape instead of floating in that huge space," he explains, by adding mature trees and native plantings. And Brooks adds, "He did a wonderful job of achieving a European charm with the stone courtyard."
I'M FLOORED (click photo for larger view)
The views of the water and the mountains make you feel that you're far away from urban life. That the team succeeded in their efforts to make the house feel natural in its environment was underscored when photographer Keith Scott Morton arrived at the shoot. "This can't be right," he told Brooks. "The house I'm at is over 100 years old, and you told me it was new!"