TImeless Elegance

A classic North Shore home gets an international upgrade.


“[The homeowner designed] the kitchen specifically because she loved to cook,” says Marcia Klode, owner of Mille Tesori Interior Design Studio. “She put everything in there that she would need to enhance her entertaining and cooking.”
The homeowners wanted warm colors throughout the home, so Klode infused warm reds and gold and a custom light fixture to create this impactful and welcoming dining room.

When renovating an older space, homeowners and designers often blend the house’s unique character with their own personal taste and touches.

Having decided to enlarge their 1930s home and update the interior, one North Shore couple turned to Marcia Klode, owner of Mille Tesori Interior Design Studio, who turned the space into an elegant haven that could equally accommodate growing children and the couple’s fondness for entertaining.

“The house itself has nice bones to it,” Klode explains. “We didn’t take away from any of the dignity [or] the integrity of the house; we just created more form and function to it. It met their needs, and it was done very well.”

A much-needed addition created a larger master bedroom and family room, while the rest of the home maintained the dwelling’s original footprint. Updated design work, including new fireplaces and an overhauled kitchen, kept the traditional elegance of the classic home intact throughout.

In choosing the overall feel of the house, the wife called upon her time spent in Italy, which resulted in an admiration for European construction, design and detail.

“They love architectural details and especially ceilings, as [is seen in] the design in the dining room ceiling,” Klode says. “They’re very much into the detail of ceilings because they feel that brings the whole picture together.”

Maintaining the integrity of the home’s traditional character, the built-ins on either side of the fireplace were simply updated to complement the rest of the space. 
The homeowner’s time abroad in Italy inspired a love for a rustic European feel, which is displayed here in the home’s basement. 

The dining room offers a host of intriguing details, from the ornate ceiling to the bright pops of color in the rug and coral curtains, to the glass-bead wallpaper that is both subtle and vital to the aesthetic of the room. “It’s a neutral color, but at night it reflects because of the glass,” Klode explains. “So the coral drapes with the lighting and the wallpaper, it’s very soft and very energetic when you’re in there.”

The home’s library features a coffered ceiling and patterned wallpaper, as does much of the home. The living room boasts restored built-in cabinetry on either side of
the fireplace.

Klode notes that the home’s light fixtures are all custom made, as was the copper range hood in the kitchen. Wood accent pieces in the kitchen and throughout the home itself keep the elegant space feeling warm and welcoming.

“Through the whole house, every piece that was put in there was individually selected from a process,” Klode notes. “From the doorknobs to [lighting], everything was selected with the intent of bringing together old and new,” she says.

In addition to the color scheme and overall feel, ample space to entertain was top of mind when the couple plotted the refreshed design of their home. The rustic finished basement, complete with barn doors and exposed beams, provides space for the kids to play and watch TV. For the grown-ups, a secluded wine cellar can be accessed from the home’s main dining area. A hidden panel opens to hardwood steps that lead visitors to the secluded area, which is decorated with wine barrels built into stone walls to be reminiscent of Napa Valley or Italy. A wine refrigerator and seated tasting area make this hidden gem the perfect gathering area for devout wine connoisseurs.

Klode calls the project a team effort and says the home couldn’t have come together so perfectly without the hard work of the architects and the homeowners’ input and open mindedness.

“The clients had a vision and understanding of how they wanted to live in their home and were open to ideas that I would achieve,” she says. “That, plus many of their wonderful attributes, made it a great project to work on.” MKE

Above: An addition to the home gave the homeowners room for a master bedroom and the spacious master bathroom shown here.  

Right: The color red carries throughout the home, commanding attention here via the master bedroom’s impressive fireplace.