Sometimes, a little bit can go a long way. Such was the case for designer Debra Gottlieb of Finelines Interiors, who tackled a pool house for her 5 ½-acre property on Lake Garfield in Monterey, Mass., before delving into construction on the main residence. It was a smart decision. The 1,000-square foot structure, complete with steel-framed pergola, porcelain patio and gunite pool, became a sort of experimental lab for the team, which included Gottlieb herself, architectural designer Ritch Holben, builder Roman Montano and Bruce Bennett of Kent Greenhouse & Gardens. “We tested out materials and ideas here,” Holben says. “The result is an unpretentious, low-maintenance, modern farmhouse.”
The two-bedroom set the tone for the rest of the property. The interior is light and airy, with a dramatic, 22-foot sculptural wood ceiling that forms a star pattern. Gottlieb chose Farrow & Ball Strong White paint for the walls, a hue with light gray undertones, veering away from true white since, she says, “it’s not the Hamptons.” The soft taupe plays well with the gray radiant concrete floors and feels harmonious with the rustic setting outdoors. Furnishings and finishes are monochromatic, save for some warm wood accents such as a walnut countertop in the kitchen and recycled teak penny floor tile in a bathroom.
Function was as much a consideration as aesthetics. The kitchen island, faux leather lounge chairs and oversize ottoman are all on casters. “Everything is waterproof and modular,” says Gottlieb. “Wet bathing suits aren’t a problem, and if we want to have dancing, we just roll things away.”