Boston Home

Jewel Box

A blank slate outside of Boston becomes a clean-lined home showcase, using finely honed elements of drama, surprise, and sparkle.

Photo by Michael J. Lee /  Styling by Sean William Donovan

The new house—under construction but nearing completion—located outside of Boston was the right size, with an airy, open layout, lots of light, and a wooded backyard. The homeowners, a blended family with four kids, thought it was perfect: an empty canvas that they could personalize to suit their contemporary taste and lifestyle.

“There were certain things that couldn’t be changed about the house, including the hardwood floors and kitchen millwork,” says interior designer Elizabeth Georgantas, a friend of the couple, whom they tapped to set the aesthetic. “But there was a lot we could do to really make this a special home.” For example, while the upper white kitchen cabinets had already been installed, Georgantas called for them to be painted a matte black, which dramatically shifted the tone of the room.

There were key elements of the design that were especially important to homeowner Katherine Jetter, a jewelry designer and owner of The Vault on Nantucket. Lighting was key: Jetter was drawn to statement-making fixtures, some of which were designed by fellow jewelry designers. Selecting unusual stone for key areas of the home was another priority. When she and Georgantas went to Cumar to scope out stone, Jetter says, “I fell in love with a slab that looked like a forest, somewhat like the view we see out of the kitchen windows.”

Delicate in appearance, the OA-London pendants above the kitchen island are made of crystal globes that, in fact, weigh 300 pounds. The bar stools are by Gabriel Scott. The stone in here and throughout the home was all sourced from Cumar. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

However, Georgantas suggested that rather than using the striking white soapstone on the island, which can’t be appreciated very well on a horizontal plane, it be used to create an artistic focal point on the wall behind the stove. “It makes such an impact; it’s like this mystical forest,” Georgantas says. Absolute-honed black granite tops the island’s waterfall counter. The same material was used on the fireplace on the other side of the open room where the living area is. “The monolithic block granite on the fireplace really grounds that side of the room, taking a very simple predesign and personalizing it with a wow moment,” she says.

The dining chairs have comfortable curved backs and a contemporary silhouette. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

Integrated between the kitchen and living space, the informal dining area is where the family dines together; it’s also where they entertain. A large table—with unconventional and sculptural qualities—was essential to accommodate gatherings of various sizes. Taking the opportunity to reference the wooded setting again, Georgantas tracked down an Italian maker who crafted a base made of two massive, handgilded tree trunks and a top to go with it. Above, one of Lindsey Adelman’s Globe Burst chandeliers fills the space in a physical and elemental way.

The low-slung Edra on the Rocks sofa accommodates multiple family members. When the room requires more seating, the Artemest black leather poof “balls” can be easily pulled in. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

Jetter envisioned her office off the foyer as a beautiful salon where she can meet with clients. Walls are sheathed with cream embossed snakeskin, and the heavy barn doors initially planned for the space were replaced with casement doors that can be closed while still allowing light in. “Everything in here is a nod to Katherine’s jewelry,” says Georgantas, noting the aged-copper chain work—which has the look of rose gold—on the Otero chandelier and the polished brass, wood, and glass-topped desk with crocodile-inspired legs.

The jewelry boxes in Katherine Jetter’s office were made by Erik Rueda Design Lab; the rugs here and in the living room are by the Rug Company. Georgantas scored the chandelier on 1stDibs. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

Across the hall, a set of casement mirrored doors lead into the home’s surprise. The plan initially called for the space to be a formal dining room that Jetter and her husband knew they’d never use. Instead, the couple decided to convert it into an adult lounge. “I went to boarding school and university in London, and I loved Annabel’s [a private member’s club]. I wanted to create a room with a similar vibe, a place where adults could have cocktails and chat,” Jetter says. Georgantas immediately grasped the glamorous club-like feel they were going for.

The wet bar is lacquered with Benjamin Moore’s “Salamander.” The brass faucet and hardware are by Waterworks. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

A glorious empire-blue silk de Gournay wallcovering, “Hippolyta’s Forest,” envelopes the room with romantic elegance. Built-in shelves and trim are painted with purple lacquer, and the ceiling is covered in gold leaf. Furnishings are awash in vibrant jewel tones, there are light fixtures made from antique decanters, and a leopard-print rug is underfoot. It’s a decadent atmosphere with playful notes, too, including a hanging chair trimmed with Swarovski crystals. A pantry connecting to the space was transformed into a formal bar with lacquer-painted cabinetry and a rich green marble top with purple veining that Jetter loves for its deep, moody appeal. “The jewel tones in these spaces have a romantic flow to them that doesn’t impact the rest of the house, which is very contemporary, sparse, and clean,” Georgantas notes.

Georgantas found the Nika Zupanc-designed gold cherry lamp and the vintage Italian bar cart in the primary bathroom on 1stDibs. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

The intent for the primary bedroom was to create a serene escape. Awash in tones of soft purple, mauve, and gray, the room has an Apparatus light fixture, and the walls are adorned with silk grasscloth. The bed is from Casa Design; the art deco-inspired bookshelf and nightstands are from Baker. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

The powder room’s peacock-feather wallcovering is from Koket. The stone sink—weighing almost 1,000 pounds—is from splash. / Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan

The bar is accessible from the kitchen as well, but sliding doors cordon the adults-only zone off when it’s time for family. Kids are allowed in the powder room, another delightful wonder with a peacock-feather wallcovering and a handblown-glass globe light that radiates like a precious gem, reflecting light onto the feathers in gradients of pink and green. “The peacock powder room is everyone’s favorite room, including my daughter and her friends,” Jetter laughs.

To create a home that is so clearly loved by its inhabitants is joyful for Georgantas. “It’s always the best part of my job when I get to work with good friends,” she says. “I love the idea that they can go forward and create new memories in a home I designed to help them meet their collective needs, their individual personalities, and their vision for their family’s day-to-day life for years to come.”

Photo by Michael J. Lee / Styling by Sean William Donovan


Georgantas devised a specialized light installation that appealed to Jetter’s passion for lighting. Strung from the ceiling above—and on the walls along—the open stairwell that extends from the top of the house all the way down to the basement level, a series of small Bocci lights create a pattern that Georgantas says looks like champagne bubbles. “Let’s pretend you had a great, fun party and sprayed champagne all over the place, and it’s dripping all over the walls; that’s the effect.” At night, the lights can be seen as one comes up the street and into the driveway: a welcoming signal to the family that they’re almost home.

First published in the print edition of Boston Home’s Winter 2024 issue, with the headline “Jewel Box.”