Home Tour: Wickford Highlands

A cohesive color story and custom cabinetry bring cohesion and organization to a 20th century colonial


When Susan and Dennis sold their four-bedroom colonial in Cowesett and downsized to a one-level condo in East Greenwich, they thought they were all set. But then, Dennis left his career in banking to take over Susan’s family’s home improvement company and the industrious pair now required space for a home office, not to mention parking a commercial vehicle. It was time to upsize.

A home in Wickford at the end of a cul-de-sac checked all the boxes: space on the main floor for an office and plenty of room to host holiday gatherings, plus a private yard and easy access to the highway. “Our home felt like ‘us’ right away. Classic and comfortable, not too precious or fussy,” says Susan.

“We felt really challenged about decorating this time around because we were upsizing and needed so much more than anticipated to finish this house. And of course, we wanted it all done ASAP!” Susan explains. They decided to go pro and hired Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, owner and creative director at Blakely Interior Design, a full-service residential interior design firm right in town.

“I remember Janelle asking to see my Pinterest board, and I didn’t even know what that was,” says Susan with a laugh. “When we were at the Blakely studio, I kept noticing these blue and green pillows that Janelle had in the waiting area. When I felt stuck about color, I finally said to her ‘I love the colors in those pillows!’ and we started to find our direction.” 

“Susan and Dennis were concerned about the lack of light,” Blakely Photopoulos begins. “We opened up the wall between the kitchen and Dennis’ office and added French doors to allow the southern light to come in while still keeping it private. In the family room, we added a wall of white built-ins, accented with brighter blues and pops of fun yellow. By touching nearly every aspect of the main floor, we could ensure the color palette harmonized from one room to another, while keeping in mind fixed elements that weren’t changing, like the countertops and dark hardwood floors.” 

“It’s funny how North Kingstown feels more coastal to us than East Greenwich,” says Susan. 

“We love being 20 minutes from everything and the combination of quaint Main Streets in so many towns with proximity to Boston and New York. Add in a great restaurant scene and beautiful beaches – it’s hard to beat Rhode Island.”


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