Design Diary: Boston Design Home at Turner Hill

It’s the last weekend to see the Boston Design Home 2015, located at Turner Hill in Ipswich. The Design Home benefits the Boston Children’s Hospital Children’s Fund, which supports the hospital’s areas of greatest needs that are not covered by insurance or grants, such as research, therapy, and community health, making it well worth the drive to this 300-acre bucolic setting on the North Shore.


The Turner Hill community centers around the property’s Elizabethan style mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1898, Charles Goodnough Rice and his wife Ann Proctor Rice commissioned prominent North Shore-born architect and Harvard graduate William Rantoul, who designed the Salem Athenaeum and the original Shreve, Crump, & Low building in Boston’s Back Bay, to design their home, inspired by European chateaus and manors.

Today the 50,000-square-foot brick mansion, which was renovated in 2008, is the private clubhouse of the Golf Club at Turner Hill.  Just 20 acres at Turner Hill are dedicated to real estate, planned by Somerville-based architecture firm KAO Design Group, Inc., Waltham-based landscape architecture and planning firm Ryan Associates, and Beverly-based Windover Construction.


The Design Home is a 2,500-square-foot clapboard villa in The Gardens section of Turner Hill.

Chelsi Christensen of Design East Interiors, who worked with Windover Construction to choose the interior details in all the newly built residences, was also the design coordinator of this year’s Design Home, working with Boston Magazine sponsors to outfit the townhouse.

The formal mahogany Craftsman style front entry door is by Pella Windows and Doors and the live edge bench crafted from ambrosia maple and steel is by local woodworker Ray Bachand of 60nobscot.


“This year’s look is a little more eclectic,” says Christensen. “The idea is that it’s home to an affluent couple who has traveled around the world.” Pieces, like the Asian-inspired chest in the entryway from 60nobscot transmit a collected vibe right from the start. The African mahogany piece features round Chinese surface hinges and a traditional brass faceplate that symbolizes  “Blessings for a Long Life.” The top is embellished with a colorful peacock feather—a symbol of immortality—painted by Terri MacKay. The colorful artwork is by contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s from Martin Lawrence Galleries.


The main floor has an open layout.  Circle Furniture decorated the living room in a neutral palette with accent upholstery fabrics that reflect the a taste for world travel. A sofa with nailhead trim anchors the space along with a soft blue patterned hand-woven Khotan rug from Landry & Arcari, which provided the rugs for the entire home. A mirrored bar cabinet with lattice detailing bridges the living room and dining room.


Darby Road Home decorated the dining space in rustic French country style.. A rectangular cerused oak dining table with fluted, urn-shaped legs is the centerpiece around which sit four mahogany and rattan chairs. A glass-front display cabinet with semi circular mullions echoes the kitchen cabinetry on the other side of the room. The polished nickel and crystal orb chandelier from Wolfers Lighting, which provided the lighting throughout, adds sparkle and a  silver and ecru “Armenian Dragon” rug provides subtle pattern.


Hand-blown Simon Pearce glassware graces the table along with hand-glazed porcelain dishes, all from the artisan’s Cavendish collection.


A natural stone-topped kitchen island illuminated by a trio of textured glass pendants runs parallel to the living and dining spaces. A chevron backsplash by The Tile Source comprised of skinny horizontal glass tiles in a variety of faux stone finishes mixed with metallic foil tiles is a dramatic backdrop for the white wood Omega cabinetry.


A deck off the back overlooks the golf course and pond. There’s also an adjacent screened porch for dining.


The clean, crisp master suite, located on the main floor was furnished by Circle Furniture. A platform bed with wood slat headboard has simple linens dressed up with gray and yellow solid and chevron print shams. Light bounces off the polished chrome bases of feminine sheepskin stools and the sleek polished steel bench.


An abstract painting from Martin Lawrence Galleries hangs over a contemporary eight-drawer wood dresser.


The fitness room upstairs has a LifeCycle and WaterRower.


Chelsi Christensen decorated the second floor guest room, which has an accent wall painted “New York State of Mind” by Benjamin Moore.


Darby Road made this small room into the perfect home office with an accent wall painted in Benjamin Moore “Black Raspberry.” A sleek, nickel-topped writing desk with cerused wood base that provides plenty of workspace. Artwork by René Lalonde.


Kerry Vaughn of Newburyport home furnishings showroom Red Bird Trading transformed the lower level, painted in Benjamin Moore “Black Jack”  into the ultimate hangout space. Ceramic floor tiles with a driftwood effect from The Tile Source run throughout.


The wine cellar’s mahogany shelving is stocked with fine French wines by Barton & Guestier.


An 11-foot custom wood shuffleboard table with metal legs and leather top is the centerpiece of the room. The Beni Ouraine hand-knotted wool Moroccan rug is from Landry & Arcari.


A leather sling chair on a wooden frame is positioned next to the game table.


Next to the game table, in front of a double-sided stacked slate fireplace wall, Vaughn created an  inviting sitting area outfitted with a tufted leather bench, velvet tufted ottoman, and an arresting black and white portrait by Andy Warhol from the Martin Lawrence Galleries.


An oversize wet bar has a one-of-a-kind glass backsplash reminiscent of Florentine endpapers c by local artist Connie Kolman of Kolman Artisan Glass.

On the opposite side of the stacked slate fireplace wall the space becomes bright and airy. High back swivel chairs are upholstered in gray cotton velvet. A mix of leopard, zebra, snakeskin, sheepskin, grasscloth, and tortoise accents add a sense of the wild.


The sofa, perfect for watching the flat screen TV, is slipcovered weathered linen. Sliders open to a brick patio with seating area, dining table, propane-powered fire pit, and a grill.


The terraced deck, furnished by Yankee Fireplace, overlooks Turner Hill’s original historic manicured parterres and ponds Just west of the mansion, the architectural style complements that of the mansion.


Michael J. Lee Photography

Turner Hill, 9 Stonebridge Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 4PM
$25. Full ticket proceeds benefit Boston Children’s Hospital.
Tickets may be purchased with cash or by credit card at the home on online here.

Author: StyleCarrot

Marni Elyse Katz is a design writer and editor who lives in Boston and Cape Cod with her husband, two sons, and a cat. She blogs about design at

2 thoughts on “Design Diary: Boston Design Home at Turner Hill”

  1. Most Designer Showcase Homes are just a cacaphony of styles. It almost seems like the designers collaborated here. Well integrated, clean design and altogether delightful. Great work, Boston designers!

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