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Relaxed River Views in Westport

The Little Compton-based architect Gale Goff creates a space that is both relaxed and refined

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Little Compton architect Gale Goff is well known for designing coastal homes with a contemporary consciousness, so it’s no surprise that a city-based couple looked to Gale to design a second home for them in Westport that took advantage of the land’s stunning river views and bucolic surroundings. “They basically wanted an open floor plan with three bedrooms and what they called an ‘away’ space; a multi-functional room,” explains Gale. A first-floor master bedroom was also a priority for the couple, as were numerous strategically placed windows to allow natural light to pour in.

The architect says that for second homes, the design often evokes more of a relaxed vibe as the home becomes a place to unwind and unplug from the demands of everyday living. “People tend to be a little more informal with a second home,” explains Gale. In this case, informality is omnipresent but the house’s contemporary design adds a polished yet unpretentious impression. And with a blank slate, Gale was able to design with purpose. “They let me run with it,” she says, adding that much thoughtful conversation led to a design that was extraordinary yet functional at the same time.

Inside, a white color palate is predominant, setting a neutral base which allows natural textures to stand out. The kitchen features an island with seating and rectangular cabinetry sans fixtures alongside stainless steel appliances, providing a slick, clean feel. Just past the island is a wood farmhouse-style table for casual dining, allowing a seamless transition from one space to the next. A mudroom allows for ample storage while the office, anchored by floor-to-ceiling built-ins and surrounded by windows, has clearly been designed for business and pleasure. An expansive porch, also on the couple’s list of priorities, invites a natural flow (and blurs the line) between indoors and outdoors. But by far, the most unique space is the oversized multi-functional room. With cathedral ceilings and more than two dozen windows, the homeowners have used the room as a yoga studio, but it can also be used as a gallery, a gathering space and more. The space may define Gale’s design acumen, metaphorically speaking: the possibilities are endless.