Spacious yet understated, and designed for a growing family, Longtail House’s interior design combines classic, rustic and modern styles to create a relaxed and functional family home.
Successfully designing a beautiful and elegant “forever home” for a fun-loving and active family of six earned OBMI the win in the Residential Interior Design division this year. With four school-age boys and parents who entertain, considerations for both dominated the design of Longtail House.
“The client’s lifestyle completely influenced the design of this home,” explained interior designer Melissa Woods. “As a busy family, they needed space for the boys to grow. The bedroom wing allows for privacy, the open format of the main rooms provide for entertaining and a playroom in the basement for the boys to escape to.”
Entering Longtail House, the foyer featuring a Bermuda cedar beadboard ceiling repurposed from the original house on the property leads to an expansive open-plan kitchen/dining/living room flanked by two full-height fireplaces. A neutral colour palette balances the warm and cool tones in the space while pops of colour from the periwinkle kitchen island, navy blue hutch and décor add visual interest.
For the kitchen design, the clients wanted something simple and clean. “A lot of thought went into how the clients wanted to use this space,” explained Woods. “The kitchen cabinetry has the appearance of furniture with the varying styles and colours making this space eclectic but elegant.”
A standout feature in the kitchen is a large viewing window on the floor next to the island that looks into a wine cellar set in the basement below. “Clearly, it makes quite the impression on visitors, but it is also a nice way for the clients to interact with this space on a regular basis,” said the designer.
When it came to the furniture components in their main living area, the clients were drawn to several styles—with the two most relevant being Scandinavian and rustic/reclaimed. “A perfect example of this combination is in the dining room with the large 12ft rustic table and classic Scandinavian Wishbone Chairs,” said the designer.
For the flooring, a tumbled Salem Grey limestone from Bermuda Brickyard and a weathered European oak from Stafford flooring were used throughout the house. “These were chosen for their durability and practicality as well as the colour tone which offers both warm and cool tones in tandem,” said Woods.
To the east of the living area are the children’s bedrooms connected by two very special spaces. The first is a library/music area with a spectacular buttery ceiling enhanced with uplighting to accent the stepped detailing. “While the ceiling makes for a dramatic statement, visually the space still feels cosy and inviting and lures people to sit in the fantastic Bruno Mathsson Model 36 Lounge Chairs,” said the designer. The second is the adjacent atrium. “Similar to the library/music area this space is another main hub for the clients to transition through on a daily basis,” she said. “What makes this space special is its understated simplicity that allows the artwork to be the main focus. That said, my favourite element of this space is the staircase. It has such a simple elegance with the lighthouse inspired newels, tapered spindles and a handrail that fits perfectly in your hand as you go up and down.”
A large plate sculpture adorns the wall in the atrium and was a recent acquisition of the owners, bought just prior to construction. Specifically purchased with Longtail in mind, “it speaks to both the client’s heritage and the aesthetics of the home,” explained Woods.
The home in its entirety consists of a master suite, four bedrooms and a guest suite—all with ensuite bathrooms; two powder rooms and a pool bathroom; the previously mentioned great room, library and atrium; a den; a craft room; service kitchen and pantry; laundry room; study; and a games room, wine cellar and gym in the basement. Outside areas include an extended porch and pool with landscaped grounds overlooking an expansive south shore view.
“Each room was thoughtfully considered in order to incorporate all the elements the client desires or requires,” stated Woods. “Some of these elements become barely noticeable to most people and yet they were a great challenge for us to implement and design. When executed as you had envisioned, it is truly rewarding.”
While there were many carefully considered spaces throughout Longtail, there was one special room influenced by the client’s most prized possession—a beautiful makeup vanity that now has pride of place in the master bathroom. “It is a beautiful piece she acquired some time ago,” explained Woods. “What appears to be a simple furniture piece soon reveals a reflective, iridescent vine and leaf pattern which is made from mother of pearl. This element was so loved by the client she wanted to incorporate it in another way into the space. Having stumbled on New Ravenna’s Jaqueline Vine mosaic tile, it seemed to be the perfect match. We also played with the finish of this mosaic making the leaves and vine polished, and everything else tumbled. This further mimicked the vanity by creating that reflective element which enhanced the pattern.”
Such detailed considerations along with a general cohesiveness made the biggest impression on our judges. “The great room was fabulous and, in spite of the impressive scale, it still felt like a family home,” said one judge, while another commented on the successful combination of styles throughout the interior design. “The marrying of the rustic counters and tables with the modern furniture… and some mid-century modern pieces—it was kind of an eclectic mix which made it very interesting,” they said. “Plus, it had some great art in there.”
“For the structure of the home we were trying to keep the design clean, classic and understated,” concluded Woods. “The intention was for this home to stay beautiful and relevant for many years to come.
“Our clients are all about their family—they are a fun loving bunch that work hard and play hard. And with four boys ranging from seven to 13, there is never a dull moment in this house. For them, Longtail is their perfect forever home!”
Contractors & Suppliers
General Contractor: D&J Construction
Electrical Contractor: P&M Electrical
Plumbing Contractor: IEL
Energy Monitoring/Mgmnt: Be Solar
Wood Floor Supply & Install: Stafford Flooring
Tile Suppliers: BDA Brickyard, Eminence, Pembroke Tile & Stone, Waterworks, Country Floors
Tile Installer: Aptech Granite & Marble Ltd., Eminence
Stone Countertops & Fireplace Detailing: Aptech Granite & Marble Ltd.
Concrete Countertop & Fireplace Detailing: Concrete Works
Millwork: Convoy Custom Interiors, E&G Craftshop, Bermuda Stripping & Refinishing
Glass Shower Supplier & Installer: Alumiglas
Paint Supplier: Rowe Spurling Paint Company
Painter: Abbott Decorators
Specialty Painter: Woolfworks
Appliances: Joshua Bate Trading Bermuda
Windows & Exterior Doors: Tischler
Nanawall Supplier/Installer: D&J Construction
Shutters: Bermuda Stripping & Refinishing
Security Systems: BDA Security Group
Wine Cellar: Wine Cellar Innovations
Drywall Installer: Omega
Window Treatments, Upholstery/Throw Pillows: Sash & Trim