A Cozy Cape Transforms with Open Floor Plan

A revised floor plan makes a Cape Cod style home feel twice its size


If you’ve ever baked anything, chances are good that you’ve used Rumford Baking Powder. Fun fact: It was manufactured in Rumford from 1869 to 1968. If you’re unfamiliar with Rumford, it’s a section of East Providence that’s very suburban – filled with well-tended lawns and charming homes – and it’s less than ten minutes from Wayland Square via the Henderson Bridge. It’s also where Christopher and Jennifer make their home and livelihoods. Both lifelong Rhode Islanders and small business owners, they decided on East Providence because, as Jennifer says, it’s close to where they work and “it’s always felt like home.”

Recently empty nesters, the couple purchased a 1952 Cape last summer and started by completely renovating the first floor. “We were looking for a home to retire in, but that could also accommodate large family gatherings,” begins Jennifer. “Our must-haves were a two-car garage and a fireplace – other than that we knew we could make it our home with some vision.” Christopher has been a general contractor for over 30 years and Jennifer owns and operates Cypress Design Co., so they were both well-equipped to execute any notions for the property.

“Being in the kitchen and bath industry for the last 15 years, I find so many people choose items based on what they think they should like rather than what they actually do like,” says Jennifer. This knowledge gave her the wisdom to follow her heart when making decorating decisions. “I chose the colors I liked.” Exhibit A: emerald green kitchen cabinets. “I know it’s a risk, so I only used the color on the wet bar rather than the entire room and incorporated green tile in the rest of the kitchen.”

Jennifer notes that it was the location that sold them on the house more than the floor plan, which was a bit basic, offering, “Because the home itself didn’t have a lot of character, I was able to mold it to my own style with finishes and furnishings.” Jennifer gravitates toward the clean lines of a mid-century modern aesthetic and avoids things that are too “matchy-matchy”. An elegant backdrop of neutrals provides a foil for those bolder splashes of color and pattern. Metallic accents are unexpected and add shine against surrounding wood features like walnut doors.

What is the thing in Jennifer’s house that makes her most happy? “The working fireplace and the open flow. I still feel like I’m living in someone else’s home.”


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