A perfect respite for a busy family: Right at home in eclectic mix of cottage, traditional styles

Peggy DeYoung

What is the perfect house for a busy family of four plus two energetic dogs?

This new home was inspired by the Arts-and-Craft style and built in a quiet neighborhood near the St. Lawrence River in Clayton. Nicole and Eric Listemann wanted to design a home that was an eclectic mix of cottage and traditional styles — something beautiful, yet comfortable. Once inside, the spacious great room is the center of the family’s activity.

The room is filled with natural light streaming through tall windows with transoms above. The windows are trimmed with extra wide moldings, a detail of the Arts-and-Craft style. You can see a special back yard with a new swimming pool through the windows. Landscaping is in progress this summer.

Nicole loves to decorate and redecorate, so she chose a neutral color palette for the basics: dark brown sofas, gray and taupe area rugs, off-white cabinetry and contrasting, hand-scraped walnut floors. The neutrality allows her to change the room easily and often by simply adding new accent pillows,
tablecloths and accessories.

Arts-and-Craft style living

ARCHITECT: Aubertine and Currier,

STONEWORK: Donnie Fulmer, Clayton.

INTERIOR DESIGN: Porch and Paddle Cottage Shop, Clayton, www.porchandpaddle.com.

The dining room is a eclectic blend of furnishings, materials and textures. The dining table is made of reclaimed wood salvaged from century-old buildings and sawn down to a smooth texture with lots of character. It is very durable for family dinners, games and homework. The seating is a combination of a bench made of the same reclaimed wood and cottage-style wicker chairs. The table is set with new, organic porcelain dinnerware and washable placemats from the Porch and Paddle.

The couple is now converting their home office into a family learning space. The need for paper files is gone, so they are giving up their professional desks and file cabinets in exchange for a large, zinc-topped work/play table for computers and family projects.

This is a great neighborhood to raise a family. The children can ride their bikes safely on a quiet street. Residents can enjoy the view of the St. Lawrence River, walk to the Clayton Yacht Club for a casual dinner and take in the sunsets or take a walk at Zenda Farm’s nature trail, recently installed by the Thousand Islands Land Trust. Downtown Clayton is also just a short walk or boat ride away.

Peggy DeYoung is a nationally certified interior designer who owns the Porch and Paddle Cottage Shop in Clayton. Contact her at deerrun@twcny.rr.com.