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Interior Designer Catherine Skaletsky had fond memories of the house where she grew up in Swampscott. So when she and her husband were looking to buy a new home, they were delighted to discover a small tear-down on a large lot for sale across the street from it. They immediately purchased the property and made plans to create their dream home. Photo by Eric Roth   “Being in the business, I always wanted to build a house,” says Skaletsky. “The property was absolutely beautiful. I always loved the neighborhood. It was definitely coming full circle, which was a lot of fun.” To design the home, Skaletsky teamed up with her daughter, Danielle McClure, with whom she runs the firm Catherine & McClure Interiors. They worked with architect Chris Hall and RT Harris Custom Builders to design a four-bedroom, 4,500-square-foot Hamptons-style beauty with stunning water views.   Photo by Greg Premru   The main floor is a sweeping, open space, with a seating area around a fireplace at one end and a spacious kitchen at the other. In between, a dining area features a custom glass-topped table next to towering windows. The kitchen features Wolf and Subzero appliances and a butler’s pantry, along with a travertine floor and white marble countertops, for which Skaletsky drew inspiration from Europe. “For me, that’s very comforting, very warm, very inviting, very rich,” she notes.   Photo by Greg Premru   All of the cabinetry was hand-painted by a skilled decorative painter to create a distinctive “Old World/ New World” feeling. The other colors and materials in the kitchen and main living area, including a white tile backsplash, a wood floor shipped from Belgium, and walls and furniture in a palette of white, cream, and beige, are designed to bring a sense of peace and restfulness to the space.   Photo by Eric Roth   The beauty and tranquility of the design is part of its functionality.  The first floor features a guest suite with a bedroom and adjacent office area, a black marble bathroom, and a library with gray flannel and black leather furnishings, all inspired by the style of Ralph Lauren. The guest suite provides many options for extended family visits and future use. “Danielle and I strove to create a serene, timeless home,” Skaletsky reflects.  “My life is busy so it meant a lot to have it be just beautiful when you walk in.” Photo by Eric Roth   The second floor, accessible by stairs and elevator, has a master suite with a bath and walk-in dressing area accented with mirrored closets. It feels bright and airy yet cozy, with walls in a soft, creamy hue tinged with yellow and a fireplace with a simple white mantle. The upstairs master bathroom is a glossy duck egg blue—a color from Fine Paints of Europe, a London company whose paints are often used to make front doors—like those in Beacon Hill and Amsterdam—shine. Two guest bedrooms and a guest bath share the second level. Skaletsky found that designing for herself was much more difficult than her usual occupation of creating a home for someone else. And designing from the ground up instead of entering an existing property was also a new challenge.   Photo by Eric Roth   “You walk into somebody else’s home and you immediately have an idea in your mind,” she says. “You have an immediate understanding of what the house should be. But when you’re starting from scratch and you’re starting before the house is even built, you really are kind of all over the place for a little bit. You start at one end, and you go full circle, probably ending up right back where you started. It’s a process. It’s definitely a process.”   Photo by Greg Premru   That process, however, was firmly grounded in Skaletsky’s design philosophy, which she describes as “less is more.” She focuses on showcasing attention-grabbing pieces or elements by placing them on a restrained canvas. “If you walk into a room and everything is a piece, then you don’t even know where to look and it just gets muddy,” she says. “One thing I’ve found in the past several years is when I open magazines, I’m so confused by how much there is going on in a room. More and more and more color and texture. It’s too much for the senses, when what we really need in this world is to be calm.”   Photo by Eric Roth   Skaletsky’s favorite thing about the process of designing her own home was doing so in partnership with her daughter; they were so in sync on the process, hardly a single disagreement arose. And the end product is exactly what she had dreamed of. “Everything about it is spectacular,” Danielle says. “It really, really, really doesn’t disappoint. It’s the house that keeps on giving.”   Interior Design: Catherine & McClure Interiors, 617-227-0700 Architect: Christopher Hall Architect, 617-263-0175 Builder: RT Harris Custom Builders, Inc., 781-844-6073