Open House: Making a Chelmsford Home Look Light, Bright and Updated

When the Hardy family needed someone to remodel their Chelmsford home, they knew who to call.

After all, they had been working with designer Debbe Daley on other projects for a decade, and her eye for integrating old and new, and for invigorating classic looks with pops of color, was perfect for them. The Hardys wanted to transform the dated decor into a luxurious space that was BIG. Big dinners. Space for visitors. Room for their two young children to run and play and learn. Plus, they wanted it to subtly evoke their Greek heritage with splashes of Aegean blue.

Photo by Emily O’Brien.

“They wanted it to be light and bright and updated,” Daley says. “Lighting was a huge factor. They have 10-foot ceilings, and with the large island, we needed substantial light.”

To solve the lighting dilemma, Daley recommended mercury glass lights from Currey & Co. These feature individual panels of glass with antique-style etchings.
“The electrician had to insert each one separately,” Daley says of the glass for the twin wrought iron chandeliers. The bold lighting emphasizes the kitchen’s large and open ambiance. It feels inviting and easy to move around in, even when friends gather.

Speaking of size, the island’s cristallo countertop is made of the exotic stone quartzite. According to Daley, quartzite has a translucent quality and looks like marble. Unlike quartz, this man-made material is hard and temperature resistant. “It’s a polished stone,” she adds. “It’s very elegant.” The surface is patterned with an array of webs, veins and icy speckles.

These Bartlett pears are a great example of how smart design can be both decorative and practical. In a home with young children, it’s useful to have lots of healthy snacks near at hand. Photo by Emily O’Brien.

When it came to other accessories, Daley suggested that the homeowners fill glass canisters with things they use every day, such as snacks for the children. Open, uncluttered countertops mean healthy snacks and fresh produce double as decor. This brings a casual element, while retaining a sense of elegance.

The white cabinets were replaced with new ones featuring contrasting cherry with a creamy, off-white bisque finish. Although it is difficult to capture in pictures, this finish gives the wood a lightly textured feel and deepens the complexity of the color.

So, what about the blue?

Making the most of the open design concept means using cabinetry strategically. With the lack of clutter, elements such as urns, mirrors and flowers are more striking. Photo by Emily O’Brien.

“All of the accessories included pops of blue,” Daley says. A pillow, the ceramics, even the chairs add a touch of blue to the rooms.

The furniture in the dining area next to the kitchen is a two-tone whitewash with a cherry top and cherry finished seat from Hooker Furniture.

“The whole idea was to incorporate dark pieces with light pieces,” Daley says. “We wanted a traditional feel and a traditional style, but with added lightness.” The lighting fixture here is more formal than its neighbors in the kitchen. “It has some crystals on it,” Daley explains, “but it works very well with the kitchen because of the iron metalwork.”

This casual dining area serves as an extension to the kitchen. Note the subtle touches of blue in the glassware and art. The use of crystals in the lighting is more traditional than what is used in the kitchen, but the metalwork makes it feel modern. Photo by Emily O’Brien.

As for the family room, the built-in cabinet wall adds both refinement and functionality. Storage is important for families with young children.

The house reflects a contemporary and popular open concept design. The kitchen opens to the living room, which opens to the dining area. In this case, the results are as practical as they are beautiful.

style editor and set design
Lysa Pelletier, Anchor Artists

Emily O’Brien – Boston, Mass.

interior design
Debbe Daley Designs, LLC – Lowell, Mass.

floral, accessories
Les Fleurs – Andover, Mass.

accessories and furnishings
Acorn Design Center
Andover, Mass.
(978) 273-9717

Debbe Daley Designs, LLC
Lowell, Mass.
(978) 710-4563

Les Fleurs
Andover, Mass.
(978) 475-9669

Rose & Dove Specialty Gift Shop
North Andover, Mass.
(978) 689-4141


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