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Entrance to the front porch with an abstracted fan light.

Le Château de Famille

A prominent in-town site that used to contain a motel was vacant when this project began. Its iconic location, across from a popular inn and restaurant, called for an iconic house, and that is essentially what the owners requested—a house that made passersby see it as something special, that made them “turn their heads.” Fitting into the regulated historic district of the eclectic village was also critical. An early 20th Century farmhouse style home nearby was identified by the client as appealing and made it a good model for the more public, Main Street façade of their new home.

Le Château de Famille lion and family crest weathervane.
Scope of Work Architecture, Construction
Finished Space Above Grade 4,341
Photography Brian Vanden Brink
The front, main street elevation at Le Château de Famille.

A large, vertical projecting bay is balanced by a horizontal porch spanning much of the façade, and by large roof overhangs.

The porch is interrupted by a slightly projecting pedimented bay and abstracted fan light that announce entry. Unlike the historic model, the details here are bold and flat—based more on emphatically projecting image and character than on being primarily the result of a particular era’s construction methods.

Details at Le Château de Famille.
The front porch is the perfect place to watch the activity on Main Street.
The side of the house has a very different character, where the roof comes down to the first floor for less apparent mass than the front.

The site is on a highly visible corner that renders the side street approach almost as important as the front.

The character of the architecture on the side changes to a less formal Shingle Style. The side façade includes garage doors, a secondary entry, and a dining room bay window. A lion and family crest custom weathervane, requested by the client as desired symbols, sits above the side façade, and playfully beckons visitors. A portion of the yard is graded and covered with a rock garden to allow walk out for a lower level that helps accommodate the square footage needs of a large extended family on a restricted site. A pergola attached to the back of the house and projecting into the yard provides sun shading for socializing. A pickleball court is at the far end of the newly landscaped yard.

Outdoor living occurs at the back where terracing leads to the lower level.
A pergola provides sun shading and looks out to a yard and pickleball court.
Outlook to the yard and pickleball court from the pergola.
The front door opens to a large entry way with ceiling details.

The porch columns are friendly sentinels between public and private realms. The banisters are flat abstractions of traditional urn shapes.

With a regulatory restriction on footprint size, the front porch is just big enough to be functional, and plenty big to be symbolic. The kitchen and dining space is central to the plan. Cased openings and transom windows connect it to the family room beyond.

The kitchen and dining space is central to the plan.
Cased openings and transom windows connect the kitchen and dining space to the family room beyond.
The living room at Le Château de Famille.
A separate stairway to the primary suite.
A window that looks like a fish in the primary bedroom.
The front exterior of Le Château de Famille, glowing at dusk.

As Seen In...

PSD's "Le Chateau de Famille" project featured in the April-May 2020 issue of Fine Homebuilding magazine.
Fine Homebuilding

Houses by Design, by Kiley Jacques, April/May 2020.

PSD's "Le Chateau de Famille" featured in Southern New England Home magazine.
Southern New England Home

High Profile, by Jennifer Sperry, Annual 2018.