How Do You Showcase Contemporary Art in a Barn-Inspired Home?

One local designer's solution: Install a family-room fireplace that doubles as a gallery wall.

Builder: Coastal Construction Group. / Interior Architecture and Design: LDa Architecture & Interiors, Blue Hour Design / Photo by Greg Premru

The Problem

Set on a rare pastoral lot in suburban Boston, this newly built home was designed to offer maximum views of the landscape. With multiple walls of glass in the main open-plan living area, though, Blue Hour Design principal John Day faced the challenge of where to display the homeowner’s collection of art—and how to give the dining room its own contemporary identity that also resonated with the home’s New England agrarian-style architecture.

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The Solution

Opposite the dining room, a fireplace in the family room was created with a wide wall behind it that stretches to the ceiling. Not only does the wall define the two areas without closing them off from each other, but it also serves as a canvas for art on the dining room side. Additionally, “the wall acts as a natural place for a console to lean up against, as it would be weird to have it just sitting in the middle of the space,” says Day, who designed the Carrara marble, walnut, and Spinneybeck-leather piece. Two Flos “Skygarden” pendants hang from the lofted ceiling—where hefty cypress beams nod to agrarian style—above the Calacatta-and-chrome dining table, from which every seat has an ample view of the great outdoors.

First published in the print edition of the April 2024 issue with the headline, “If This Wall Could Talk.”

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