Relaxed comfort. That’s the mood that clients asked David Kaufman of Chicago’s Kaufman Segal Design to emulate when he tackled their latest home, a weekend getaway on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Kaufman knew these clients well, having worked with them on residences in Chicago and New York, and he knew they had a formal aesthetic as well as some favorite pieces of furniture that have traveled with them wherever they moved.
The newly built house, designed by New Hampshire’s TMS Architects with a nod to the great Shingle Style vacation homes of the past, has built-in features and details that invite relaxation and lounging, such as multiple fireplaces, window seats, an expansive sun porch, and custom bookcases, and Kaufman built on these amenities to design interiors with the traditional feel his clients preferred, and a relaxed vibe that encourages the homeowners and their guests to take a break from everyday life.
Kaufman offset the formality of the existing furniture by using muted fabrics and area rugs. For instance, he chose a flatweave wool rug for the living room, upholstered formal Louis XVI occasional chairs with checks and stripes, and replaced peach silk upholstery with a more causal woven fabric on a pair of chairs repurposed from the couple’s New York bedroom.
“Most of the textiles we’ve used have no silk, no sheen to them, and therefore create a more casual vibe,” says Kaufman.
The kitchen and dining room are great examples of the balance Kaufman created between traditional and informal. An airy, window-filled dining room is furnished with a trestle table and Kravet-upholstered chairs. In the kitchen, a rough-textured backsplash, wrought-iron pendants with a bird motif, and a walnut wood island tone down the mood, even as House of Rohl fixtures imbue it with old-world elegance.
The lake-living feel of the house is at its best in the sunporch, which features glass-fronted built-ins on one wall, an enormous hearth on another, and large windows overlooking the serene view. Kaufman chose a glass dining table and informal wicker sofas for the room.
“Our task,” concludes Kaufman, “was to blend this desire for formality into a very casual setting, to create interiors where you are not afraid to come in from the lake and sit down.” In other words, relaxed comfort at its finest.
Dig deeper into this relaxing getaway home by Kaufman Segal Design in our partner publication, Design Chicago.