Living Large: Back to the Future

Rachel Slade's off-kilter take on Hub dwellings.

weston home for sale

Photo by Bob O’Connor

On The Market

I don’t get out to Weston much — this urban gal’s ankle monitor usually goes berserk when she crosses Route 128 — but I had to see if my instincts were correct about an alleged gem from 1983. Designed by architect Leland Cott and landscaped by Zen Associates, the house has a respectable lineage, but I wondered: Had it stood the test of time? (The ’80s are not exactly synonymous with quality construction.)

weston home for sale

Photo by Bob O’Connor

Turns out, the place was built to last. The architects responsible for millennial bloat have much to learn from this home’s elegant layout, from its granite-floor entry hall to the beautiful custom kitchen, idyllic patio, and man-made pond. Cott’s design also features some high-class tricks, including an angled roof made of translucent panels that, by bringing in soft, filtered sunlight, creates a modern, museumlike ambiance.

Flush track lighting, a stepped plan, and strip windows also echo contemporary gallery design. Add in a grand marble fireplace and an ingenious sitting loft upstairs (all bedrooms open to the common space), and you’ve got a 5,930-square-foot family home that’s also great for entertaining. I guess the decade that birthed hair metal and Madonna does have a thing or two to teach us.

Address: 88 Cliff Rd., Weston; Listing price: $2,950,000; Listing agent: Terry Maitland, LandVest, 617-357-8949,; Stats: Five bedrooms, three full baths, two half baths, elevator, three-car garage

Avoid Amityville

If you knew there had been a murder or suicide in a house, would you still buy it? Surprisingly, most buyers steer clear upon learning about a home’s sordid past. But, as I recently learned, Bay State real estate agents aren’t obligated to tell you about such events — or any paranormal activity on the premises — unless you specifically ask. So if it matters to you, pipe up.

Straight and Narrow

The Duchess of Windsor once said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” Obviously, she wasn’t talking real estate. At just 10.4 feet at its widest point, Boston’s skinny House, built in the late 1800s at 44 Hull Street, is the antithesis of today’s McMansion: You can barely open your arms without brushing the walls. The square footage is spread over four floors, and it’s mostly stairs, a couple of windows, and a maddening headache for anyone trying to achieve good feng shui.

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including architects, builders, kitchen and bath experts, lighting designers, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.