Indoors, Finn-Martens made more dramatic revisions. The original interiors had comprised a rabbit warren of small rooms, designed this way to conserve heating. Three fireplaces feed into one substantial chimney, which is the anchor stone of the original structure.
"Initially, I was happy with the interiors," says the owner. "However, after a design education in New York City, my tastes evolved. In pursuit of more generous, open living spaces, I removed two internal walls and shuffled rooms around, stripping most areas back to the studs."
The owner turned the existing living room into the dining area, and reinvented a den as the breakfast room. The old dining area, with walls removed, has been transformed into a spacious, clean-lined living room with open connections to the reconsidered, light-filled kitchen.
"In some areas, we retained the original mouldings; in others we stripped them out. The modern living spaces and master bedroom have detailing on the base boards only."
With various detail treatments in the home, it is the light tan color scheme and floor finishes that give the interiors cohesion. American walnut floors were laid through the public spaces. In the living room, breakfast room and kitchen the boards are set diagonally partly to lead the eye between the adjacent spaces. In the new dining room, by the entry, they are set out in a herringbone pattern.
"The intricate patterning offers a dramatic feature and works particularly well in this self-contained space," says the owner. Using this throughout would have been too busy visually."