This Beverly Farms Carriage House has a Surprise Ending
January 16, 2020
Text by Tovah Martin Photography by Kindra Clineff
Meg Erickson had no intention of being seduced by her home. Initially, her relationship with the carriage house was strictly business. Purchased in 2016 with interior and architectural designer Marie McInnes as a fixer-upper project, the modest Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, carriage house came with plenty of issues—structural and otherwise. Nonetheless, the women were dedicated to solving those problems, renovating, and flipping the house.
Everyone else saw the infatuation developing before Erickson conceded that she was smitten by the place. Halfway through, she decided to squeeze her hopes and dreams into its 2,000 square feet.
“The scale was the attraction,” admits Erickson, who serves as the designer/stylist for Marimar, a renovation collaboration. Having previously grappled with a superfluity of space in an oversize house, she was dying to dial down into something more dimension-efficient. Plus, she was drawn to the connectivity of the close-knit village. She resisted the urge to make the carriage house her own initially, but when the time came to talk fixtures, lighting, appliances, and finishes, she was ready to buy in.
Thinking small for energy efficiency is one reason Erickson and McInnes are drawn to carriage houses. However, the nuts and bolts of transforming a livestock building into a home tested their talents. “Carriage houses were not built to house people,” says McInnes. The duo opted for an open floorplan with plenty of windows for the first floor—their “go-to” solution for keeping things airy. Sanded wood ceilings and open beams against white walls add a sense of depth.
Gracefully wedging three bedrooms into an upstairs that once housed the groom’s quarters proved a challenge, but creativity came to the rescue. Because Erickson is an ardent art collector, extra studs were added to the walls to support paintings. Brilliantly, some of those works of art feature a trompe l’oeil-like glimpse into further “rooms.”
To optimize space in the master bedroom, Erickson painted the slanted board-and-batten ceiling navy, letting it double as a headboard for the bed. A balcony extends the master bedroom above an outdoor room that has become a seasonal hangout for Erickson and her sons. The end result is an “all your wishes come true” scenario. Succinct never felt so roomy before.
Architectural and interior design: Meg Erickson and Marie McInnes, Marimar
Builder: North of Boston Studios
Landscape design: Marie McInnes