“Keep it simple, keep it casual,” were Lane’s mantras in the process of choosing fabric, new furnishings, and a smattering of New England antiques for the house. A number of the furnishings, including the side tables and three lounge chairs in the living room, came with the house, and Lane incorporated these items by either painting them white or re-covering the upholstered pieces.
“Most of the artwork was done by local artists, and I purchased all of the antiques from dealers who live nearby,” says Lane, who grew up in the Cape Ann area (where Leslie and Bill’s house is located).
What looks like an antique farm table in the kitchen dining area is actually new but built out of old floorboards. The Essex, Massachusetts, craftsman who created the piece also made the coffee table and a round pedestal table in the living room. Designer Lane can take full credit for the eye-catching fireplace in the sitting room/library. At once a work of art and a labor of love for her clients, the fireplace is fronted with stones of various shapes, sizes, and colors—each one of which Lane plucked from beaches along the New England coast. She worked with a mason to put every stone in its proper place.
Because bare feet are more common than not at the beach, especially when children are present, the Sennott-Johnston family wanted floors and floor coverings that would resist harm from sand and other trackings. “All floors on the main level are fir, and upstairs they’re pine,” Lane explains. “Most rooms have neutral-colored sisal area rugs. We chose them because they’re hard-wearing and also because they’re simple and casual—in keeping with the mood of the house.”
Leslie and Bill love the ambience that Lane and the architects created. “The house has such a wonderful, comfortable, summery feeling,” says Leslie. “We wanted a place where we could wake up and know that we were at the beach without ever having to look outside.”