Open Spaces

A family trades the Bay State for a home by the Bay


Ken and Beth enjoyed living in downtown Boston with their two young sons. They had a nice home with plenty of interior space, but as their boys grew they began to crave a neighborhood setting and a big backyard. The pair began their search around Massachusetts with a wishlist that also included an easy commute and new construction. Nothing was fitting the bill – that is, until one afternoon Ken was fishing in Rhode Island and had an aha! moment: What about Rhode Island? He proposed the idea to Beth and a year later, the couple closed on a lot in East Greenwich and began the process of building a home.

Once a design plan was selected, Ken and Beth turned to Janelle Blakely Photopoulos of Blakely Interior Design in North Kingstown. Janelle recalls, “They reached out to us and we worked with them from day one. We helped – both inside and out – from exterior finishes to crown moulding details to furnishings and artwork. They knew that they wanted to move in day-one and start enjoying.”

Beth likes her home interior to take a cue from its surroundings so while the darker woods and red-and-brown colorway worked for Boston, she wanted something lighter and airier for the new home. “Given the realities that we’re just a few miles from the water but located in a spot surrounded by farms and woods, we tried to find the right balance. Thus, Coastal Farmhouse was what we called our style!”

Janelle and her team were key drivers in the decision process and well aware that the family wanted a comfortable home with rooms for playing, relaxing, and entertaining. “We like neutrals and softer colors but didn’t want a house just gray or beige,” Beth explains. “Blakely was able to provide us with options that were in our comfort zone but still add pops of color, which felt modern and fun.”

“For us, it’s about the airy, open feel. Rhode Island is a supercool, diverse state in terms of landscape, and you can drive 10 miles and be looking at an entirely different habitat. We’d like to think that we designed and decorated our home to have that same type of feel,” says Beth. “Our friends have commented that our décor style flows throughout the house, but that each room has a little something different to offer. That’s how we feel about Rhode Island!”


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