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Inspiration For Our Dream New England Home

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Inspiration For Our Dream New England Home

We recently made the bittersweet decision to start looking for a bigger home. As we started house-hunting, I had a running list of all the things I was looking for, some of which I knew were unlikely, but hey — a girl can dream. To help bring my very practical, very non-design oriented husband along for the ride, I built out this visual inspiration (complete with a healthy rationale list that borders on ranting). Enjoy!


Y’all. I will never, ever, ever live without a mudroom again. Hear me out: we currently live in a raised ranch and it has the tiniest landing right when you open the door and we collide into each other nonstop and there are always shoes everywhere, and there is no place to put coats. I lose my mind on the regular. 

As a sidenote: I clearly have a color vibe in mind for our future mudroom. Can’t stop pulling mudroom inspo and it all seems to be in this color palette. 

Mudroom by Beata Heuman
Design: Beata Heuman, Photography: Simon Brown
Mudroom by Hendricks Churchill
Design: Hendricks Churchill
Beautiful mudroom
Design: Johnston Parke Interiors, Photography: Mike Garlick Design


I’ve lived in small spaces for a long time and I am pretty tired of using a cabinet for a pantry and having god knows what tumble out on my head every time I open the cabinet door. 

Pantry by James May
Design: James May


New England winters are no joke and I imagine it’s super nice to not have to scrape ice off your windshield and dig your tires out when you’re already running about 17 minutes late getting the kids out the door for school. I wouldn’t know. Hah. Equally nice: not carrying groceries through the pouring rain, not always having the scuzziest car in the parking lot, oh and dare I mention the STORAGE POSSIBILITIES. You’ll soon find that storage is a hot button issue for me.

A freestanding garage, similar to the picture below, would also totally be fine with me (I know you can’t see much of it…sorry).

Freestanding garage by Whitten Architects
Design: Whitten Architects, Photography: Jonathan Reece, Source: Maine Home & Design

Large Kitchen

My husband Bryan loves to cook and I aspire to love to cook and I think we would really enjoy spending a little more time in the kitchen together (I’m actually a pretty good sous chef despite being a pretty bad cook). Also with two kids, two dogs, and a babysitter, we run into each other a lot trying to navigate a tiny kitchen. Plus, we didn’t leave NYC to not know where to put pots and pans or tupperware.

Truth be told though, I struggled to pull inspiration for this. So many of the kitchens out there are just so…pristine. I want some heart and soul in ours. Oh yeah, and some storage.

Large beautiful kitchen in Notting Hill
Design: Olivia Williams Studio, Photography: Henry Bourne
Kitchen by Beata Heuman
Design: Beata Heuman, Photography: Simon Brown
White kitchen by Nicola Harding
Design: Nicola Harding

Office Space

I currently work from my bedroom which means I spend like 80% of my life in my bedroom. Or maybe more. It’s kinda depressing when I think about it like that so I try not to (and I actually happen to like my bedroom). But I would really love to vary it up a bit.

FYI: Beata Heuman can pretty much do no wrong in my book.

Beata Heuman's office
Design & Photography: Beata Heuman
Studio Ashby Office Design
Design: Studio Ashby, Photography: Philip Durrant


For most of the last 15+ years we’ve lived in tiny city apartments with very little storage. When we bought our country house aka the lake house, we planned to use it as a weekend home and rental. Meaning, we weren’t going to need a ton of storage and to be quite honest, coming from the city, the amount of storage seemed overwhelmingly more than sufficient at first glance. Again, I didn’t know at the time that we were going to move in full time and combine our Brooklyn apartment into our Connecticut lake house and get another dog. And, and, and… Needless to say, I could do with a little more storage.

I still don’t know where all my clothes are from the move because I don’t have anywhere to put them if I unpack. My kids share a room and one closet is really tight for two quickly growing kids. As mentioned, we don’t have a pantry. Or a coat closet. These are now non-negotiables. Especially with two young kids in the house. I’ll stop going on, but we really need storage.

Elegant home storage ideas
Design: Descience Laboratories and Sachs Lindores, Photography: Simon Watson, Source: Architectural Digest

Outdoor Living Space

We have a gigantic deck at the lake house and saying we absolutely love it would be an understatement. It has given us endless hours of joy.

Hendricks Churchill outdoor living
Design: Hendricks Churchill, Photography: Chris Mottalini


Ok, now I’m just getting greedy. But we saw one home that had a beautiful greenhouse and now I can’t get it out of my head. Have I mentioned I love gardening? 

Admittedly some of the inspo below doesn’t scream greenhouse, but hopefully you get the idea.

Greenhouse design inspiration
Design: Bath Conservation Architects, Photography: Paul Massey, Source: House & Garden
Garden house by Beata Heuman
Design: Beata Heuman, Photography: Simon Brown and Chris Horwood

In-Law Suite or Guest Cottage

We definitely weren’t sure we were going to be able to afford this, but it was silently a high priority. My dad will be retiring at some point in the future and he plans to spend more time here with the grandkids. My mom would love to have a bit more privacy and her own space when she visits. We want Bryan’s mom and sister and family to visit more. We want our friends from the city to come up and stay as long as they want!

New England Guest House
Design: Peter Dolkas and Michelle Ficker, Source: Coveteur


It’s like a bug that you catch when you move to the New England countryside. Suddenly you realize you really need/want a few acres. For strolling around in your Wellies and Barbour jacket. For ice skating and night sledding in the winter. For growing garlic and hydrangeas in the warmer months. For watching bears wander across your yard. For fields of native grasses. For a vegetable garden. The list goes on. Not only that…call me paranoid but New England seems like a pretty solid choice when it comes to potential impacts of climate change.

New England Property
Design: Hendricks Churchill


Ok, that list was epic. Anything you’d add? Thoughts to share? Let me know in the comments.

xoxox, A


Main image: Design by Studio Ashby, Photography by Philip Durrant

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Ashley Patterson