When Ken and Lorrie DeAngelis married in 2009, one couldn’t help but think of The Brady Bunch. Ken, a father of five, and Lorrie, a mother of three, tied the knot and made their home in Austin, Texas. While the couple loves the Lone Star State, Ken, a Barrington native, was excited to introduce his newly merged family to the serenity of Little Compton in the summer months – a vast departure from the sweltering heat deep in the heart of Texas.
“At first I was worried about the kids’ reaction,” Lorrie concedes. “I said, ‘This is going to be very, very different to what you had before. Give it 24 hours before you say anything.’” Much to the couple’s delight, the children quickly embraced everything Little Compton is known for – unspoiled beaches, quiet country living and frequent runs to Gray’s Ice Cream in nearby Tiverton Four Corners.
When he was a teenager, Ken’s parents would bring his family to Little Compton and rent homes during the summertime. The memories were treasured ones, so it was no surprise he bought a home there in 1998 during his previous marriage. “When we got married, we decided we were going to make this our summer home,” says Lorrie. “The house really hadn’t been touched since he purchased it. It was time; it needed to be updated anyway, but it was more of a fresh start for our new family. He gave me
full reign to do whatever I wanted.” Lorrie turned to Stacy Carlson of Portsmouth-based Lou Lou’s Décor to help execute her vision of a warm, welcoming home where all who enter can relax and enjoy. “I had a ball working with Stacy. She made the job as seamless as it could be with me in Texas and her in Rhode Island,” says Lorrie. “Before, it was more of a traditional New England-style home, and I wanted something with more of a soft, contemporary look. A ‘beachy,’ casual place kids could put their feet on the furniture.”
Lorrie’s goal of an updated aesthetic came as no surprise to Stacy. “It was in an old, country French style, with yellows and blues, and they wanted to transform it into a more elegant style that was a little more chic and captured the coastal setting,” explains Stacy. “Just from them traveling and going to St. Barts a bit and different resort areas; that was a feeling they were comfortable with.”
With the children ranging in age from 15 to 29, Ken and Lorrie approached the redesign of the home, and added a new enclave, keeping family and new members of the family in mind. “We know, God willing, spouses and grandchildren will be coming along, and we knew we wanted to add on this tiny little sitting room off the master bedroom so Ken and I could retreat to that space when the house is full,” she explains. “That’s my favorite room in the house... the one place where I can be quiet. When Ken or I need a break – that was the function of adding on that room.”
Similar to their primary residence in Austin, Lorrie looked to soft colors to create a warm ambiance through- out the home, but says there are more shades of blue and green found in their Little Compton abode. “We drew upon the colors of the ocean and sky,” she explains, as well as adding some nautical accents as a nod to the home’s environs. “Stacy was able to pull in all shades of those colors. She did a magnificent job.”
“We started with a color palette that lightened and softened things up,” explains Stacy. “In the master bedroom, we incorporated a grasscloth called Starlight, a soft cream shade, with little metallic fibers that give a shimmery feel.” Lorrie and Stacy also collaborated on completely reinventing two bathrooms, outfitting each with custom vanities built by Joel Medeiros of Joel Medeiros Interiors based in Dartmouth. Stacy then replaced nearly all of the lighting in the house for a fresh, modern appeal.
In the kitchen, a space Ken and Lorrie particularly love, the couple made a decision that was both budget and eco-conscious. In lieu of demolishing the existing solid wood cabinetry, each piece was completely refaced, also by Joel Medeiros. “It’s a great way to update the kitchen without having to invest in all new cabinetry,” explains Stacy. With the savings, the couple “splurged,” as Stacy describes, on a new white marble honed countertop. A honed finish, as opposed to polished, is much more scratch resistant. Though it can still scratch, it’s much more noticeable on polished finishes, so in a busy, high-traffic household like the DeAngelis’, honed might be the wisest choice between to the two finishes.
Lorrie also looked to Stacy’s interior acumen when it came to the dining room. “There were some specifics regarding the dining room tables and chairs,” says Stacy. “Lorrie wanted them to be comfortable and work for their family. They wanted it to look great, but also be causal, comfortable and inviting, with enough seating for everyone.” Stacy found the perfect set to compliment Lorrie’s vision and commissioned a custom-made rug featuring blue and sand hues weaved into a wave pattern; a nod to the nearby sea. “We brought in a lot of different elements to make it interesting,” adds Stacy.
Though their treasured Little Compton days are still a few months away, the DeAngelis family looks forward to their annual summer escape. “Everything has come full circle. It was a re-haul, a fresh start, with a new family. It was ‘Let’s make this our own,’” says Lorrie. “[The kids] were so supportive of our marriage so I wasn’t surprised. We started over in Austin too. We brought nothing from our old lives into our new homes. If you can do that, it’s a real blessing. Little Compton is our wonderful summer retreat. It’s a very special place and I would have never known about it if I hadn’t met a Rhode Islander.”
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