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When Remodeling, Family Matters

The Santos' couldn't find a new home that fit their needs, so they remade the one they owned

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Tucked away on a quiet, bucolic expanse, everything about Ed and Paula Santos’s Saunderstown house seemed idyllic – until it didn’t. “As our family grew, we started looking for more space,” explains Ed. By the time they had three small children, the couple needed a home that could better accommodate their growing brood. The only problem was, nothing felt right. Ed and Paula took a hard look at their tight quarters and pastoral property and decided if they couldn’t find the right home, they would create it.

They turned to David Andreozzi, principal of Barrington’s Andreozzi Architects. Before David drew a line of plans, the trio talked about the home’s objectives. “David talks to you about how you plan to use every room. Then he lays it out so it’s practical. We use every feature,” explains Ed. The couple learned to think bigger – not only in terms of space, but lifestyle.

Making it happen took patience and an ample budget. “About 90% of the house was gutted. We moved to an apartment for a year and a half while they were building,” recalls Ed. Together, the couple and the architect, along with David’s associate, Dave Rizzolo and the building team at Gardner Woodwrights, found solutions to challenges. “One of the unique design quandaries was designing a home office for Ed where he could entertain clients, yet he also wanted direct access to the master bedroom suite,” David says. “Our solution was a second floor walkway that connected the rooms in an intuitively private way.”

One of the spaces Paula enjoys the most is the formal living room, a space they also call “the music room.” “I play the piano, so I go there when I want to be away from everything. It’s my relaxing space.” Though Ed’s office is a dream come true, the home theater, he says, was the space he had the most apprehension about. To his delight, it has reaped the most reward. “Merging technology into today’s construction is key to its success,” David explains. “When the discussion occurred of creating a place to draw children and friends, the concept of recreating a theater seemed like a natural solution.”

Ed and Paula turned to Kelly Hickey of Hickey Interiors to execute a design scheme for their aesthetic which they describe as “eclectic traditional.” Kelly, says David, worked with the Santos’ to achieve a seamless composition of interior decoration with the interior architecture. It’s a true example of a house growing with the family.