Rhapsody in Blue

Rehabbed Marion antique is home away from home for a family of five.

By Deb Boucher Stetson |Photography by Dan Cutrona
Architecture and Interior Design: Evolve Residential

A vacation home in Marion, built in 1838, was remodeled by Evolve Residential for a vibrant family of five.

A historic Marion, Massachusetts, home in need of some TLC got it in spades when Evolve Residential swooped in to work its magic. Built in 1838, the large house was subsequently divided in two, and the new owners, repeat customers of Boston-based Evolve Residential wanted to redo the rear portion to use as a vacation home (their primary residence is in Cambridge). Evolve Residential business partners Thomas Henry Egan and Josh Linder began work on the project last year, and it was mostly complete in time for the family of five to host Thanksgiving. The real rollout, though, was a late-spring graduation party that took full advantage of the home’s spacious backyard—perfect for a festive tent. Now the family is enjoying summer weekends and respites from the city in a comfortable, welcoming, family-friendly space.


In good weather, a huge, new back deck with a fire pit and plenty of seating becomes another room of the 19th-century house.

The home’s center of activity is an open area on the main floor that comprises the living room, dining room and kitchen. Set along the back of the house and overlooking the yard, with woods and a scenic cranberry bog beyond, the space’s three sets of double glass doors open onto a deck nearly as large as the room itself, making it essentially another living area. On one side of the deck, shaded by an angled canopy, is a fire pit, and on the other a seating area with artsy basket-weave rope lounge chairs.

Inside, the room’s three sections are united by a subtle yet distinctive design element: a ceiling covered in a geometric-patterned tonal gray wallpaper. “We think it almost has the feel of an old-fashioned tin ceiling,” Egan observes.

The stunning kitchen area has quartzite countertops and backsplash, stainless steel appliances and a quartzite island with a waterfall edge. Walnut wood-finish Metropolitan cabinets add drama, as do two large glass pinecone pendant lamps above the island. In addition to the Sub-Zero refrigerator, there is a low beverage center—about the size of a wine fridge, but more versatile—handily located closer to the dining area with its oval wooden table surrounded by contrasting lime-green molded acrylic chairs.

The living room area with recessed lighting is adaptable enough for company, family night or daytime lounging. Its textured gray sectional sofas can be easily reconfigured, and the section facing away from the dining area forms a natural room divider. Sturdy knot stools in a bold navy blue can be rearranged for impromptu seating or used as footrests. A pair of Saarinen tables with round marble tops and tulip-shaped bases elevate the look and add textural variety to the room.

The soft gray, white-trimmed walls are set off by blue and aqua geometric-patterned valance shades topping white horizontal blinds. Bright abstract prints, multicolored accent pillows and a vibrant Missoni rug make for well-placed splashes of color in the room’s cool, coastal palette.


The homeowner loves turquoise, so designer Josh Linder mixed in other shades of blue for visual interest and for an overall calming effect.

The predominance of blue in the house has just enough variation in hue to make it interesting while also achieving an overall calming effect. “We wanted to keep the core turquoise that the client loves, but we also brought in other shades of blue,” Linder notes, adding that the client typically likes a lot of color. “We wanted the house to have a modern vibe.”

Down the hall, painted marine blue, is a bathroom with a trough sink, gorgeous blue and gray tile, and a large oval mirror framed with pieces of driftwood painted white. “We really love to do a dramatic mirror,” says Josh, calling it a “wow statement.”

Since the client wanted the home to have something of a masculine feeling, Linder and Egan used wood flooring throughout, barn board for the stairway wall and repeated marine blue in the upstairs hallway.


A kids’ bedroom upstairs has two bunk beds and deep-blue fish-patterned fabric window shades. In the master bedroom, a modern glossy-blue four-poster bedframe stands out against walls painted a dreamy wash of pale blue tinged with green. Completing the look are two jute armchairs, fabric window shades and a colorful rag rug made from recycled materials. Triple sliding glass doors lead to a balcony.

In the airy master bath, clear glass encloses an oversized square shower lined with hand-glazed porcelain tiles. “You can tell it’s hand-glazed because of the variation from tile to tile, and it gives you that shadow line around the perimeter,” points out Linder.

It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes this house a standout—and an irresistible getaway.

In the kids’ bedroom, pillows, window shade and rug carry out the home’s predominantly blue palette.

Beneath a distinctive, wall-papered ceiling, the main living space boasts countertops, backsplash and waterfall-edge in white quartzite that pops against the dark-wood floor and cabinetry.

Note Blend Alexander Oval Mosaic tile from Tile Showcase adds texture and intrigue to the subtle, coastal-inspired bath.



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