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The Bright Side

One might think an 1890s home on Providence’s East Side and one built in the 1940s in Barrington might not have much similarity, but with an open mind, a creative eye and an adventurous sense of …

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One might think an 1890s home on Providence’s East Side and one built in the 1940s in Barrington might not have much similarity, but with an open mind, a creative eye and an adventurous sense of design, the two can find common ground. So when Sarah and John Mycroft made the transition from city to suburbs, it turned out they didn’t have to abandon all the things they loved.

“We took just about everything that wasn’t nailed down,” says Sarah. Oftentimes, custom creations like drapes, cornices and upholstered pieces are left behind, but Sarah, who holds two master’s degrees in historic preservation, saw an opportunity to reinvent some of her favorite pieces. “I’m all about recycling if you can reuse something,” Sarah says. “Sometimes it’s just about giving something a new life.”

When picking the house, Sarah and John walked under a gargantuan magnolia tree there that Sarah says felt like “magic,” and when they opened the front door, they could see all the way to the opposite end of the home. The Mycrofts talked about their two children, with one on the way, being able to “have free reign” with the open floor plan while they could keep a watchful eye. However, they needed some big changes. The couple turned to Calyx Homes in Lincoln.

Calyx took out the back wall to produce two additional bedrooms, an expanded kitchen, office, mudroom and additional bathroom. In them, Sarah let her creative flag fly. “She has no fear of making bold statements,” says Pernilla Frazier, who co-owns Kreatelier, a fabric and home décor shop in Providence.

Pernilla, who declares that Sarah has an “unbelievable” home, says the secret to her extraordinary design sense is Sarah’s ability to juxtapose old and new, classic and modern. “She has beautiful pieces, but they’re meant to be lived in.” It’s no wonder they’re friends: the two believe in utilizing what you already have, flirting with irreverence and being “a little crazy in the most delightful way.”

The experience inspired Sarah to open Dwellings, an interior design firm in Barrington, with architect Karen Pringle. Dwellings specializes in project management for renovated homes and new construction. Taking a cue from her own philosophy, Sarah helps customers work with what they have already and in some cases, reinventing things. Her advice is to embrace your likes, not to fight what you’re intrinsically drawn to, and blend unexpected pieces with what you treasure most. “It’s your home. Make it comfortable. Make it happy. Make it joyful.”