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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Kenney


Enjoying life is synonymous with enjoying art.  The inspiration for art and for living surrounds us.  I find it in the simple pleasures, the little moments we most often overlook. 

I fondly remember a hot, hazy, humid summer morning sitting on the porch at Firefly with homeowners Curt Peterson and Anne Chapin.  This lovely couple appreciates and values simplicity.  Simplicity does not lack quality, quite to the contrary.


The garden table was covered with a bright tablecloth and crowned with a basket of fresh fruit.  Anne had brought out a tray of refreshments.  A glass pitcher was filled with a home brewed punch spritzer (I recall lemonade and cranberry) and garnished with sliced blood oranges.  The tray was topped off with a plate of homemade cookies.  Perfect!

 We were in the final stages of finishing the Firefly remodeling project.  Curt and Anne had chosen to live in their cottage while we worked on its transformation.  My heart went out to them as we stood in what would be their kitchen following a day of demolition.  Thanksgiving was around the corner.  With all of that behind us, it was a treat to relax on the porch and plan the hanging of art and placement of accessories.

I always think of their home as a cottage hideaway.  It sits nestled among towering trees, surrounded by 20 acres of pasture neatly divided into paddocks for Anne’s horses.  The house had been added on to unsuccessfully 3 times and was an architectural hodge-podge.  My assignment was to create big, gracious living on a small and simple scale.  This couple is very active in the arts community and love to entertain, even host music recitals.  Let’s manage that in a house with 2,000 sq.ft.


I opted for an open-concept home with an abundance of French doors opening on to the surrounding wide, covered porch.  Anne loved the memory of her family’s country home in Illinois.  The house had a front door that no one used.  Everyone came into the house through the back door, walked through the mudroom into the kitchen.  So, we added on to the house a fourth time and created an enclosed back porch with a slate floor.  This 10’x10’ corner room became the entry point to the home which flows into the kitchen and dining space.

The open concept floor plan that draws you to the outside fulfilled Curt and Anne’s expectations for their home.  The simple home is filled with little touches and personal treasures.  It is a testimony to Curt and Anne and their life together.   I was delighted to be invited to the first music recital and dinner they hosted at Firefly


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