Interior designer Jen Dulac has a playful description of this 1930s Massachusetts property. “Candidly, I like to think of this home’s transformation like this,” she begins. “The home, a stately older gentleman, in recent years has met a younger partner. And, while this new partner is indeed classy, she’s also playful, vivacious, loves to entertain, and injects a breath of fresh air into a room whenever she enters it.”

The Center Entrance Colonial is in Marblehead—a beautiful coastal town north of Boston. “It’s situated on one of the town’s prettiest streets, where all the homes were built during the same time period on large, gracious lots, yet the architecture of each home is unique and not at all cookie cutter,” she explains. “It was very important to all of us involved—designer and homeowners—to honor the character, history, and architecture of the home, even as we brought modern sensibility to its layout and design.”

The homeowners are a busy family, including two working parents, two daughters, a live-in au pair, and a large bernedoodle. “It is a bustling household,” Jen explains. “The girls play lots of sports, the family loves to entertain, they love boating in the summer, going to the beach, and skiing in the winter. They bought this home, their forever home, about ten years ago and have been slowly working on making it just right for their lifestyle.” 

The renovation involved expanding the existing footprint of the home’s first floor, creating space for a generous mudroom, kitchen, and family room, reconfiguring an enclosed porch area as a butler’s pantry/desk area/dog area, remodeling an existing powder room, and creating a designated home bar in an odd alcove off the back entry to the patio. (The husband loves mixology and has an extensive collection of spirits.)

“When I was brought on board, the architect had drawn up the plans for the renovation,” Jen says. “My brief was to specify all the finishes and furnishings—paint colors, wallpaper, lighting, plumbing fixtures, countertops, tile, flooring—and to bring cohesion to all the elements.”

They kept original charm in place, including the stained wood trim in the dining room and living room and a gracious central staircase. “They didn’t want the new spaces in the home to feel out of sync with the original—like the home was having an identity crisis,” Jen explains. “At the same time, they wanted to breathe fresh life into the home, add a little zing to it, dust off any old stodginess, and make it feel fun to be in, both when it’s just the family of four or a party for forty.”

Though it took nearly nine months to complete, it was well worth it. “Every year they host a large Christmas Caroling party, and this was their first in their newly renovated home,” the designer explains. “The kitchen and family room were filled with people—some watching the game on tv, others gathered round the island, and others making their way to the bar for the husband’s famous cocktails. The space worked just how they’d dreamed it would.”

Take a tour in the slideshow.

Additional credits:
Kitchen perimeter cabinetry paint color: SW Winds Breath OC-24
Kitchen pendants: Hudson Valley Lighting Group
Lighting above sink and fixture in butler’s pantry: Old Brick Lighting
Wallpaper, butler’s pantry: Peacock by Rifle Paper Co. 
Wallpaper, powder room: Schumacher Shanghai Peacock
Lighting in powder room: Shades of Light  
Wallpaper in bar: York Wallcoverings
Bar cabinet paint color: Sherwin Williams Naval
Cabinet Hardware: Rejuvenation
Plumbing fixtures throughout: Kohler
Kitchen rug (runner): Landry & Arcari
Kitchen countertop: Caesarstone