Vermont Cabin Contemporary

January 10, 2022

Designer Marc Langlois turns a dark and dated Vermont home into a cozy and chic winter retreat.

Text by Robert Kiener    Photography by Michael J. Lee


When a Wellesley, Massachusetts, couple, both avid skiers, first saw what would become their new weekend ski cabin in Stowe, Vermont, they both had the same reaction. The mountain views: to die for. The ski-in, ski-out location: unbeatable. The decor: “Well,” remembers the wife, “not so great. In a word, it was dated.” She smiles and adds, “Very, very dated!”

Wisely, instead of making instant changes, the couple and their two children (also skiers) and dog used the three-story, 3,000-square-foot getaway for a winter season before they drew up a must-have/must-go list. “This helped them develop their vision enormously,” explains Boston-based designer Marc Langlois,
who they enlisted to produce what he terms “a total turnkey transformation” that included repainting and staining, choosing new furniture, and adding design details all the way down to pillows, towels, and even
the right color of toothbrush. “Everything was new,” says Langlois.

The couple explained to Langlois that they wanted a modern, rustic look, with a design that was minimal but cozy. And they asked him to lighten up the space, which sometimes felt claustrophobic. Langlois, who had worked with the family on their Wellesley kitchen remodel, drew up a color palette that was comprised of mostly neutral hues. The maple floors were sanded down to their natural tone and topped with a matte finish while much of the pine trim was painted black. Langlois also combed through local antique stores to find the perfect artifacts.

Langlois was careful to not compete with the cabin’s drop-dead views, especially in the great room, so he chose low-backed furniture and used drapery sparingly. He and local contractor Jason Hackwell covered the room’s towering fireplace with reclaimed barn board. “It gives the room a focal point,” says
Langlois. Hackwell’s team built matching reclaimed-wood cabinets that Langlois designed to look like old ice boxes. The dining table is also made from reclaimed wood.

Langlois remembers the wife telling him that she didn’t want the retreat to resemble the family’s Wellesley home in the slightest. She wanted an entirely different feel and look in Stowe. So how did he do? “Marc nailed it,” says the wife. “Every time we come up here and open the door we think, ‘This is our happy place!’ ”

Project Team

Interior design: Marc Langlois, Marc Langlois
Comprehensive Interior Design Services Renovation builder: Jason Hackwell, AFC Services

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