For Boston designer Kelly McGuill, her career is a dream realized. “From as far back as I can remember, I have been a lover of design. Everything about it. Interiors, exteriors, surfaces, space… everything. It stokes, me, it makes me happy, it really jazzes me.” After launching her eponymous firm in 1998, she hit her (first) big break. “I was crazy fortunate to have a magazine ask for one of my projects to be photographed by the amazing interior photographer, Eric Roth. I had spent a considerable amount of time getting the house ready and adding some great finishing touches. When the shoot was complete , Eric asked me if I would consider styling for him on some of his jobs. Styling then became a really big part of my career. I traveled extensively, shot for many other photographers and was then asked to work with several companies as the creative director, all the while still working on my interior design business.”
With this passion, motivation, and attention to detail, it should come as no surprise that the designer lives quite beautifully. Her home, located about 25 miles outside of Boston in the town of Walpole, is flooded with natural light and thoughtful design. Much of the inspiration comes from the location itself — which, even with its close proximity to a major city, Kelly says feels like the countryside. “Looking out my back windows on any given day there are deer, rabbits, feathered friends of all types and the occasional coyote. We found this land and knew immediately that this was our forever home…or at least the home that we wanted to raise our family in.”
Kelly and her husband bought the land 23 years ago, and built from the ground up. “We wanted a house that from the outside looked like it had been built 100 years ago, but the inside was bright and open.” She continues, “When we built, we had two small boys, we wanted nothing to be sacred or off limits. Hardwood flooring was a must; a bright kitchen was a must.”
In the kitchen, gray carrera marble and simple, shaker style cabinetry opens things up, as well as hides many of the appliances. (A detail we love.) It’s a bright and airy space, perfect for morning coffee and evening dinner parties, with a relaxing sun room just steps away.
This same calming aesthetic flows throughout the home, as Kelly describes it, like a thread. “I like to tell my clients to think of a thread running through your home, you want it all to feel as if it flows together, that nothing breaks that thread.” Furnishings from Oly Studio and Restoration Hardware sit alongside vintage flea market finds, highlighting the contrast of modern and storied that Kelly loves. Though the living room looks pristine, it was designed with comfort and livability in mind. “I have two sons, now grown. However, on any given day while they were growing up there would be on average ten or more boys here. I wanted pieces that I didn’t have to police… thus the leather.”
In the master bedroom, a room that is quite long and narrow, a statement window lets soft light pour in. “I tend to love this room with the less is more approach,” Kelly says. And in the master bath? The black and white tile brings the ever-present thread of contrast front and center.
There’s a home office, which also gets a healthy dose of afternoon light. “It’s one of my favorite places,” Kelly says with a smile. “I get to look out onto the trees and see birds of all types.” In this space, two dining tables from West Elm are pulled together to create a large desk with ample surface for plans and papers, a reminder that Kelly’s passion isn’t slowing down anytime soon. “My firm has grown since the days in my small office in my home, I now employ several people an amazing office in the center of my town, with amazing natural light, gorgeous wood floors, true divided floor to ceiling windows,” she says. “Life is good….I keep pinching myself.”
For a closer look, click through the slideshow!