How Do You Make Room for 11 Grandkids?

One Norwell grandpa's solution: Purchase the next-door lot and build them an indoor saltwater pool.

Architect: ERT Architects. General Contractor: Bilodeau Builders. Interior Designer: Justine Sterling Design / Photo by Jessica Delaney

The Problem

While this homeowner’s residence on the North River in Norwell was spacious, it wasn’t quite big enough to host all of his grown children and entertain his 11 grandchildren.

The Solution

Who needs an addition when you can build a second home next door? After purchasing the lot adjacent to his property, the homeowner set about building a full-size guesthouse and recreation space complete with an indoor saltwater swimming pool. “This house exists as a place where he can primarily spoil his kids and grandkids,” says interior designer Justine Sterling, who conceived the interior architecture for the structure—including the indoor pool area, a double-height space that includes a fireplace, seating area, and mini kitchen. To bring the room’s scale down, Sterling had the walls sheathed in 24-by-48-inch porcelain tiles arranged to create wide horizontal stripes in alternating shades of taupe and cream. Nonslip tile was selected for the deck around the pool in a coordinating color. The upper-level dining room, meanwhile, overlooks the pool via large windows. “It’s a win for everybody,” Sterling says. “While the kids swim, the adults can sit with a cocktail upstairs and watch.”

A version of this was first published in the print edition of the April 2023 issue with the headline “Grandpa’s Fun House.”

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