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Northshore Home Spring 2017

Northshore Home magazine highlights the best in architectural design, new construction and renovations, interiors, and landscape design.

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Page 35 of 183

34 SPRING 2017 B ARBARA AND LAURENT VERNEREY ADORED MUCH OF their Boxford home—a gracious shingled exterior set amid lush greenery and gardens, including a wisteria vine that ushered in spring with lavish light-purple flowers. Not so much love bloomed, however, for the home's interior. "The previous house was dated," Barbara Vernerey says. "It had a '90s look to it and needed to be updated." Furthermore, she adds, there were big spaces that weren't usable, and some of the layout, such as the Removing a wall between the breakfast room and sunroom opened up the view. Right, In the kitchen, a new exhaust hood was added and gray- green subway tile extends to the ceilng. inspire first-floor sunroom, looked like a clunky add-on. When the Vernereys decided to update their home, they went to Steve Howell, co-owner with his wife, Susan Howell, of Howell Custom Building Group in Lawrence. There the couple found a trifecta of skills and talents for the renovation of their Nantucket-style house: expertise in engineering and planning, a reputation for quality, and strong relationships with craftsmen and other ex- perts, including interior designer Jenn Sanborn, ASID. Steve Howell helped put himself through college at Cornell—where he studied engineering—working on residential framing crews prior to working at Hewlett- Packard. Before he and his wife founded their business, he built a timber-frame house in Boxford, where they still live. "I was sort of a do-it-yourselfer," Howell says. The Howells operate their business from one of the his- toric mill buildings in Lawrence's Riverwalk complex on the Merrimack River. Sanborn, the principal of Sacris Design in Amesbury, collaborated with Steve Howell on the project. First, Howell says, "We worked together to mold the design so it met the owners' objectives and budget." Howell and Sanborn concentrated on the first floor's kitchen, breakfast room, sunroom, and family room. Throughout the first floor new decorative lighting and energy-saving LED recessed lighting, designed by San- born, casts a pleasant glow. Sanborn's expertise in designing interior architec- ture led her to suggest some key changes to the layout of the 1990s home, with a lovely wraparound porch in the front. "The biggest design goal for the Vernereys was to connect the living space to the backyard," Sanborn says. To accomplish that, Sanborn's design plan called fo removing a wall between the breakfast

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