Legacy is something that Taryn thinks a lot about. Written on her front porch, scratched out of wet concrete, is a dedication to her parents. The origin of this inscription dates to almost ten years ago as Taryn found herself divorced with a six-week old baby. Struggling to set a course for her and her son’s future, Taryn’s parents stepped in to provide the funds for a new home.
As she set out to find the perfect landing spot for herself and her son (we’ll call him L), all the homes she looked at didn’t feel right. “I looked at plenty of places,” Taryn recalls, “When I found the home we are in now, I knew it was right. It was over my budget and smaller than other homes I’d looked at, but it was the perfect neighborhood and close to my grandma. And that’s what I needed more than anything, family.”
Taryn bought the home and began to build a future for her and L, often working more than two jobs to pay monthly utilities and provide for extra expenses. “When L was a baby, things were hard. But I always felt grateful. So, so grateful for my little home that I loved, and for my family. I knew I couldn’t do any of what I was doing without them.”
As the years passed, Taryn felt her gamble on a more expensive home was paying off. Her son walked home to his great-grandmother’s after school; she never had to hire a babysitter. He and his friends moved safely from house to house without Taryn worrying. While she wished they had more space to invite friends and family over, she was grateful be in a neighborhood that was more like a village, so to speak, helping her raise her son.
Two years ago, Taryn’s situation changed and she inherited a sum of money. “It was something that I took very seriously,” Taryn recalls, “I contemplated starting a business. I thought about retiring early.” Taryn concluded that with her inheritance she wanted to honor the most important people in her life—her friends and family. “I wanted to be able to invite friends and family over— entertain and spend time with the people I love.”
She began the construction process enlisting architect Tom DeMita and contractor Dan Bennett. “I feel like in many ways,” she chuckles, “I was fed to the wolves. I had no idea what I was doing!” She did know, however, that she wanted to stay true to the scale and tone of the Harvard/Yale aesthetic. The compromise was less square footage, but this also allowed her to focus on quality. Her material selection reflects this: Waterworks native-inspired tile in the kitchen, hand-constructed kiln-thrown tile around the fireplace, marble bathroom tile and sink, and high-grade windows. Every inch of the home is custom and impeccably done.
From start to finish the home remodel project took about two years. Taryn can now laugh about the year she and L spent living, “like in the novel ‘Room'” (her and L’s inside joke), holed up in the basement with all their belongings—no internet, no cable, and only a mini fridge for a kitchen. And she can even crack a smile about enduring severe skin problems for two years from all the drywall dust. “I would lie awake for hours every night thinking about everything that could or would go wrong,” she laments. “My advice for anyone looking to remodel is to commit yourself to being on site all the time. The minute I slacked off or wasn’t there, something went wrong.”
It’s hard to envision any of Taryn’s project going wrong; there is not a misstep to be seen. Her material and furniture choices reflect her commitment to quality, her easy-going personality and her travel-inspired style. Pieces collected from her and L’s travels adorn the walls and halls of her abode.
The most telling pieces in her home, however, are the photographs of her family. Whether its enlarged snapshots from global travels or vintage portraits—there is not a room in the house that doesn’t have a picture of her family in it (or in most cases, multiple pictures). In Taryn’s room, particularly, are several pictures of her mother taken over the years. When asked about these, Taryn in true form replies, “I love my mom so much. She was the best mother I could have asked for. Every day I love to look at her and feel grateful. Isn’t she beautiful?”
Thank you Taryn and L, for allowing us to celebrate the completion of your home remodel. We wish you many happy years ahead with more than enough family and friends coming through your door to enjoy your warm hospitality!
Architect: Tom DeMita
Contractor: Dan Bennett
Interior Design Contributors: Susan Taggart, Doran Taylor, Mike Taylor
Cabinetry: Ray Bird Design
Taryn’s favorite thing(s):
L’s bathroom tile, heated floors, master closet, pink bathroom, and remote control fireplaces
L’s favorite thing:
White family-room sectional