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Coming Home to the Ocean State

A native Rhode Islander found that absence had made the heart grow fonder when she moved back to the state with her family

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Native Rhode Islander Stacy Rastelli spent years basking in the California sun not far from the glitterati of Hollywood. But eventually, she realized that her home state had more of a hold on her than she’d thought. “Simply put… I missed my roots!” she says. “Rhode Island is historical, culturally diverse and picturesque. You can only appreciate those things by moving away and missing everything that makes our state so unique.”

Stacy, a real estate agent, and her husband John, also a real estate agent and restaurant manager who grew up on the East Coast, says that while it wasn’t an easy decision, they knew they wanted to make Rhode Island their home after considering what kind of future they wanted for their four children – and for themselves.

Having owned custom-built homes in Western Coventry, Northern Los Angeles County and Palm Beach County, Stacy was well-versed when it came to purchasing the family’s latest new construction home. “I feel like I came full circle because the very first home I owned I had custom-built over 25 years ago… just a few miles away from our current home,” she explains.

The couple turned to Steven Lima of Aly Builders, who teamed up with residential and landscape developers John Studley and Michael Saccoccia of S & S LLC – all local Coventry contractors.

“Collaboratively, they took the time to design and build an energy-efficient ‘smart’ home with craftsman-style architectural detail and landscape design on a wooded lot that exudes peace and tranquility,” recounts Stacy. “This is my fourth new construction and I have learned more with each project about exactly what building from the ground up entails.”

The initial plans called for a traditional colonial-style home, but the couple wanted an architectural design that included lots of stone, covered porches and doors/corbels that would reflect more of a craftsman exterior. “Our builder really takes pride in his craft and worked with us to capture every architectural and mechanical detail of what we wanted in a home, turning our vision into reality,” explains Stacy.

The kitchen features white cabinetry and a neutral backsplash so that Stacy can integrate various accent colors depending upon the change of the season or holiday. An avid cook and frequent hostess, Stacy chose commercial grade appliances throughout.

John, an admitted techie, enjoys the convenience of the lighting, thermostats and garage door being controlled by his smartphone via an app. “My husband often has fun changing light colors on me while he is at work,” laughs Stacy.

Outside, a farmer’s porch wraps around the home extending to the rear covered patio, while the finished walk-out basement/theatre room/play room is a hit with the children and their friends.

While the family loves the home, they equally love their tranquil surroundings in West Coventry.

“Needless to say, sitting on one of our rocking chairs or Adirondack chairs after a Jacuzzi dip feels like heaven to me,” says Stacy. “It brings so much peace to my soul to unwind at the end of the day while surrounded by such natural beauty.”

The Ocean State is exactly where the family wants to be. “I am delighted to return to the only place I have ever truly called home,” says Stacy. “They say that home is where the heart is, so I never really left my home state because Rhode Island has always been, and will forever be, in my heart.”