A Dream Home That Feels Like New England
The owners of this McLean beauty went for shingle-style architecture and whimsical furnishings.
The family room’s breezy color scheme corresponds with a gallery of paintings that collectively reproduce a 1934 Census map of Cambridge, where McCabe’s parents grew up. “They wanted it to be colorful, welcome, open and fresh, and they weren’t bound by anything,” Sroka says.
GTM president George Myers and principal architect Rolando Valdez didn’t have to guess what their clients wanted architecturally. Every picture McCabe had saved to her idea file featured a shingled home with double gables framing bay windows above a generous front porch.
The topographical contours of the site also shaped the design, prompting the architects to “bend” the house around so that it gently frames a pool in back while the three-car garage turns away from the street. “Shingle-style houses often have plans that have angles and turns to them,” Myers explains. “It was all part of trying to create that old feel.”
Nevertheless, a modern family lives here, so the design is equally mindful of the owners’ four boys, ranging in age from 10 to 14, plus two dogs. “The mudroom can’t be big enough,” says Myers, who also has four kids. “And I understand the notion of trying to make all the kids’ rooms a similar size—for me, it was like designing a house for myself.”
Sroka chose durable, stain-resistant fabrics for all of the upholstered furniture to make the entire house kid- and pet-friendly. Plus, McCabe says, “Every sofa has to be nap worthy! Nothing is stuffy.”
After the home’s completion in 2018, the family hosted numerous celebrations and holiday gatherings, making the most of its ample entertainment spaces.
But even more important are the intimate moments the design affords—from a cozy window seat outside Grandma’s guest room to the fireside seating area in the master bedroom, where the boys like to hang out with their parents.
“It was all about giving it a very special look,” Sroka says. “It is a forever-home concept.”