As they shopped for a new home, Debbie and Saeed Aminzadeh wanted to make sure wherever they landed would feel cozy. The couple, who would be moving with their high school-aged son from an older 1,800-square-foot house in Beverly, imagined spacious rooms that felt inviting. “A lot of the houses we saw seemed like we’d rattle around in them,” Saeed says. “We wanted a place that we could really live in.”
Last year, the Aminzadehs purchased a 4,650-square-foot home with a fairly open floor plan and lots of windows in Wenham. Although the house is two-and-a-half times the size of their former home, it didn’t feel too big. “Square footage can be deceiving; the layout of the rooms felt right,” says Debbie, a Realtor with J Barrett & Company in Beverly. Saeed notes that the way the sun filled the spaces also factored in. “It had the right kind of light, so even though it was big and empty, we thought that with the right furniture, it would be comfortable.
The couple knew who could conjure that effect: Nicole Keys and Morgan Mackintosh of Beige & Bleu Design Studio. The duo had made the family’s modestly-sized Beverly living room feel bright and airy. Plus, the designers were well acquainted with their tastes. “Saeed has a more eclectic style and likes deep reds and oranges, while Debbie is drawn to coastal décor with a neutral palette of beiges, grays, and blues,” Keys says. “The biggest aim was to marry their styles.”
To create the relaxed rooms that Debbie and Saeed desired in a style that suited them both, not to mention the North Shore locale, Keys and Mackintosh devised a neutral color palette punctuated with deeper tones. Then came the texture. “We used texture to add depth to the spaces instead of adding more color,” Mackintosh says. Overall, lines are clean, though a few exaggerated silhouettes add edge. The result is a cohesive scheme that flows and functions with ease.
Moments that are both welcoming and purposeful start right up front. Beside the stair in the entry, a table with two stools provides a spot to take a call, peruse the mail, or offer someone a seat. “They live on a cul-de-sac, so we thought neighbors might swing by,” Keys says. The vignette, which includes an abstract painting in sea-inspired hues by South Shore artist Wendy Callahan, a bleached wood table, and two ribbed stools with a global sensibility, foreshadows what’s to come.
French doors lead to the dusky blue dining room where moodiness mingles with nonchalance. The almost black mahogany sideboard with seagrass-covered doors is earthy and seductive, and woven leather chairs surround a plank-top table with a day-at-the-park vibe. Tailored Roman shades knock the formality down another notch. That’s just what the clients ordered. “We don’t think twice about eating in there,” Saeed says.
The family’s former dining table fits perfectly in the sunny breakfast nook. The designers temper its Americana leanings with chunky rattan side chairs and a rope-wrapped chandelier with a contemporary, geometric form. The natural materials infuse warmth into the gray and white kitchen without feeling particularly beachy.
The family room, with its coffered ceiling, plentiful built-ins, and stone fireplace, is the heart of the home. The Aminzadehs asked that there be plenty of seating—they host regular gatherings with family and friends—and again, that casual supersede stiff. For a layered but laidback look, Keys and Mackintosh began with a traditional rug that reflects Saeed’s Persian roots. “The rug, which provides pattern and color without being overpowering, is the grounding textile,” says Keys. “The other key pieces are neutral.”
Still, those other pieces are far from identical; the designer specified two different sofas in two different fabrics and colors. “Most clients want a sectional, but we proposed two couches so we could mix up the textiles,” Mackintosh says. Lightweight ottomans, a mainstay in Beige & Bleu projects due to their flexibility, and a pair of leather lounge chairs with black iron frames that reference the chandelier in the adjacent dining room, round out the arrangement. Finally, a custom oak coffee table ties it all together, and a carved side table from Saeed’s parents adds interest.
A Persian rug with a fanciful floral border and fringe is the centerpiece of the sunroom. Since the silk rug, a family heirloom that Saaed inherited from his parents, isn’t big enough to hold the expansive, vaulted ceilinged space, Keys and Mackintosh layered it atop a ribbed, camel-colored wool one. Here too, the couple requested that the designers maximize seating. Still, when they saw the furniture plan, they hesitated. “With two chairs on each side and a sofa it looked crowded on paper,” Debbie says. “But we trusted them; the way the seating frames the room makes it feel cozy.”
The couple is absolutely satisfied and enjoying every inch. They drink morning coffee and entertain in the sunroom, and watch television and gather with family in the living room. “The rooms are multiuse,” Saeed says. “And we really use all of them.”