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Romancing with Stone
Unique Textures Result in a "Getaway" Home in Saugus
September, 2008 - Issue #47
The Talbot family
The Talbot family's fireplace is a work of (practical) art. The side columns fully "pull out" and house DVDs and CDs. Below the glass-tile-framed enclosure, highlighted with flickering shades of olive, gold and amber, is a display of Aquatic Glassel
Frances and Cary Talbot make up one lucky couple; the pair manages to book four to six romantic getaways a year. But that still leaves 46-plus weeks of what otherwise might be a hum-drum home life.

Except that these long-marrieds have prioritized their relationship, and it shows in how they've designed and decorated their 3,000-square-foot Saugus home.

Romantic shades of gold, cream and touches of chocolate swirl together to create a rich palate that could just as easily be found in a Mediterranean estate - or a fairytale.

The theme is set upon entry to the home. The atrium-like foyer serves multiple purposes; it's an informal greeting room as well as a miniature art gallery. The space features two sturdy, but not imposing, leather chairs, perfectly positioned to view a large piece of art that Frances purchased for her husband. An Italian screen boasting a delicate floral pattern adds a touch of elegance, while the pale faux-finished walls further soften the sloped architectural lines.

Adjacent to the bar is the "lounge," which features a deeply-shaded red wall - achieved by a local artist after seven careful applications of various paints. The decorative rugs found throughout the home were selected from Brent
Adjacent to the bar is the "lounge," which features a deeply-shaded red wall - achieved by a local artist after seven careful applications of various paints. The decorative rugs found throughout the home were selected from Brent's Carpet One.
The balance between the feminine and masculine is effortless, and can be seen throughout the two bedroom, three bathroom home, which also includes an indoor gym and office. Deeply-shaded woods add a sense of structure to cloud-light painted walls; filmy wisps of fabric adorn an otherwise earth-bound four-poster canopy bed. The pairings, like the couple themselves, are a lesson in compromise.

"I am girly, but my husband doesn't like 'foo-foo' stuff," says Frances. "We have made our home a place that works for both of us."

Sometimes the process of "finding balance" is a time consuming venture. The couple spent nine months deciding on the perfect stools for their custom bar area. Other home improvements required less negotiation. Frances proudly describes her unique fireplace, which features a bed of amber-shaded tempered-glass pieces. When the gas is lit, the result is similar to the appearance of fire on ice. Cary did the installation of the Aquatic Glassel by Moderustic himself.

While the majority of the home was either designed or built by the Talbots, there is a space that was created with substantial input from outsiders.

The couple's master bedroom was featured on the cable television program HGTV's "Designer Challenge." The goal was to create a "hotel-suite feel" in the space, in order to replicate their regular romantic out-of-town jaunts. The look of love was achieved with Venetian plaster walls with a crushed-marble feel. Sculpted carpet and from Brent's Carpet One closely models the same swirled pattern found in other parts of the home while adding a personal touch to the place. The canopied poster bed, with dramatic height, takes center stage.

The custom bar area was moved several feet to the right to create more cabinet space. "I was able to pull my wedding and Christmas china out of the garage once we finished it," says Talbot.
The custom bar area was moved several feet to the right to create more cabinet space. "I was able to pull my wedding and Christmas china out of the garage once we finished it," says Talbot.
"We wanted everything in the home to have a Mediterranean feel, without being 'in your face,'" reflects Frances. The same philosophy was applied when deciding on what was truly "romantic," and what was extraneous. In the end, simplicity took the crown.

Frances, who works from home, wouldn't have it any other way. "I need the home to be soothing," she says, which is why every morning she opens her French doors wide to reveal another Mediterranean - and romantic - touch: a large stone fountain. "We only have a few walls, so the sound carries throughout the house. I love to hear the water trickling," she shares.
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