Tour a Vermont Vacation Home Created by an All-Star Design Team
November 8, 2023
Hutker Architects, Jennifer Palumbo Design, Sisler Builders, and Horiuchi Solien come together to realize one family’s dream vacation home in Vermont.
Text by Robert Kiener Photography by Michael J. Lee
In 2003, a couple purchased thirteen acres of land boasting expansive views of Stowe, Vermont’s trademark mountains—and then spent the next fifteen years imagining the home they would one day build. “We knew we wanted to maximize the picture-postcard views, but we also wanted to integrate the indoor and outdoor spaces,” says the wife. Also on their wish list: a sleek, elegant design that would fit in with the landscape and, as the wife explains, “was not too ‘in your face.’ ”
The owners and their architect, interior designer, builder, and landscape architect closely collaborated on the resulting four-bedroom, four-bath vacation home tucked away in the ski town’s rolling hills. “When it came to matters like design and materials, we all spoke the same language,” says Jim Cappuccino, a principal at Hutker
Architects and an inductee in the 2023 New England Design Hall of Fame. He pauses for a beat, smiles broadly, then adds, “And we were so in sync that
we even finished each other’s sentences!”
There’s a reason this team got along so well. Most of them had worked together with the homeowners on several other projects over the last decade. “We’ve all gotten to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” says the Florida-based owner. Then she adds, “And we share a similar aesthetic.”
That aesthetic is modern but also takes its cues from the New England barn-like vernacular, says Cappuccino. Think classic gabled structures connected by a flat-roof volume. “Also, detailing is simple,” Cappuccino points out. “It defers to the landscape. We used lots of large, often floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the magnificent views and help bring the outside in.” Indeed, almost every room in the 6,000-square-foot home features windows with mountain views.
Interior designer Jennifer Palumbo worked with the wife to select a neutral, organic palette that gives the home a “light, fresh, and unfussy” interior. “We chose tones like teal or evergreen to address and connect with the exterior views as the colors changed throughout the seasons,” says Palumbo. “And we chose discreet window treatments and low-backed furniture so as not to compete with the exterior views.” Rugs thoughtfully placed atop the European white-oak floors that run throughout the house help define the living spaces in the open-plan home.
The wife and Palumbo are fans of what the designer calls “cluster lighting,” and the home is rich with a glittering assortment of hanging lamps and striking chandeliers. “We both view lighting as the jewelry in a room,” says the designer. “And like jewelry, lighting can have its own personality and add a unique touch to every room.” Both are especially fond of the hanging light fixture in the dining room, which, when lit up, resembles a school of fish or a flock of birds in flight.
It is evident that years of planning, consultation, and collaboration went into this year-round vacation home. Says Steve Sisler, the Stowe-based contractor whose team built it, “This may be the best-thought-out house I have ever worked on. The entire team, with the owners, came together to produce a home that meets the owners’ every need and fits in perfectly with the land. That takes teamwork!”