Having grown up in Swampscott, interior designer Catherine Skaletsky of Catherine & McClure Interiors missed being close to the water. She and her husband, Mark, had lived in Newton for years and decided it was time for a change of scenery. But when she was visiting her old stomping grounds, she found just the scenery for which she was looking—a brand-new condo community was being built on the water with unobstructed views of the skyline and sailboats and trawlers drifting by, and she was hooked.
“I called my husband to let him know I had found the place.” They purchased a second-floor 2,300-square-foot unit the next day. Skaletsky’s daughter and business partner, Dani McClure, also lives in Swampscott, which affords the mother-daughter team proximity for work purposes and also allows Skaletsky more visits with her grandchildren.
What started out as a hobby for Skaletsky evolved into a 20-year career. “Friends would ask me to help them decorate their houses, and this snowballed into my design business today,” she says. For Skaletsky, design runs in her blood. “I grew up visiting Zimman’s with my mother—the love of all things interiors runs in the family.” And although many of her clients are in Newton and Weston, she could not pass up the opportunity to return to her North Shore roots.
Since the couple purchased the condo during the construction phase, they were able dictate the design of the space and how the rooms would flow. They chose an open-floor concept where the living, dining, and kitchen areas are essentially one large space. Although the floor plan is open, Skaletsky devised vignettes in the space to create individual spaces. To make additional living space, Skaletsky took a closet just off the main room and turned it into her home office. The space closes off with a set of glass French doors, which separates the room, making it more private while still affording ocean views.
When it came to designing the interiors, Skaletsky wanted to start fresh. “My home in Newtown was more formal, with antiques and a rich color palette,” she explains. “I wanted the ocean to dictate the prominent colors in this house—to complement the sea and sky,” she says. She also desired a soothing, inviting, and cohesive space. To accomplish a seamless look, she chose a dark burnished smoked wood flooring. She also has an extensive art collection, which she displays throughout.
Once she decided on the flooring, she chose the showpiece for the room. Skaletsky’s mother had given her a painting by 20th-century Vietnamese artist Le Pho. (Elongated female figures standing among flowers were a popular subject for his canvas.) The colorful painting hangs above a marble console in the living space. Two chaise lounges set in front of a picture window create the perfect spot for the couple to unwind with the view.
For a pop of color, Skaletsky introduced a vibrant green seating area in front of the fireplace—a solid fabric for the couch and two club chairs upholstered in checked green and cream by John Lester, a premiere furniture designer from North Carolina. Bronze and clay sculptures dec- orate the space. Drapes are kept simple so as to not detract from the view. Just outside her office, a large modern oil painting by the artist Saliha Staib hangs next to a work by artist Katharina Chapuis.
She continues the green theme in the sophisticated kitchen design with upholstered benches in a soft floral fabric. The transitional custom cabinetry is painted a high-gloss white, while an opalescent pearl tile backsplash makes a shimmering backdrop to the kitchen. An unusual yet stunning choice for the kitchen, a crystal chandelier takes center stage over the marble-topped island.
Skaletsky carried the calm vibe found throughout the public spaces of the home into the private spaces. The master bedroom is also sophisticated and soothing, with a violet upholstered head-and footboard in a Charles Spada fabric. She introduces white silk sourced at Zimman’s for the drapery. The furnishings are by John Lester. “We are so happy in the condo,” says Skaletsky. “Every morning we wake up to the beautiful ocean and Boston skyline. It’s heaven.” catherineandmcclure.com