A Calming Family Home in the Boston Suburbs

A Calming Family Home in the Boston Suburbs

A Calming Family Home in the Boston Suburbs


Karen and Brian M.


For a couple buying their "forever home" on the outskirts of Boston in the Lynnfield area, Homepolish designer Shannon Tate renovated the first floor to be a relaxed and timeless oasis.

Photos by Joyelle West.

At Homepolish, we love celebrating the life milestones that our clients go through, whether they’re a newlywed couple moving in together or a family welcoming their first little one into the world. Karen and Brian, a Massachusetts-based couple with two small children, have experienced many of the big moments that require a change in surroundings, so they knew it might be a challenge to DIY the entire first floor of their “forever home.” They brought on Homepolish designer Shannon Tate to lend a helping hand as soon as they signed on the dotted line of their new Lynnfield home.

While the property itself had a lush landscape complete with a winding driveway and even a picturesque pond, the bones of the house were not as young and vibrant as Karen and Brian would have liked. The couple held complete faith in Shannon (their mantra was “In Shannon we trust”) and were excited when Shannon decided to start in the kitchen and move out from there.

Brian wanted to go all out in creating a dream kitchen for his wife, and he worked endlessly to find the perfect oven for her, going so far as to ensure that the knobs even matched the rest of the kitchen’s aesthetic. The oven was Brian’s domaine, but Shannon skillfully handled the rest of the space, which she wanted to be both beautiful and functional for Karen. The Moroccan-style backsplash tiles were a big ask considering they didn’t come cheap in any which way, but the couple fearlessly embraced the design and loved the end result… and who wouldn’t? Add in custom cabinets, leather barstools, and a cozy breakfast sunlit nook, and it becomes the perfect family hangout area.

Creatively approaching a space that is comfortable, timeless, and kid-friendly all at once might sound like a challenge to some designers, but Shannon’s personal touch made the project feel like second nature. The goal to make the living room modern yet earthy was a dream for Shannon, who loves to work with materials that others might consider “unworthy.” In this case, planks of reclaimed wood saved the day and brought an elegantly rustic vibe to the living room that worked perfectly in tandem with the neutral, grounded tones of the space.

The finishing touches of a home can be the most fun to find, and this project was no exception. Shannon has a knack for sourcing rugs. She happened upon the entryway runner at an antique shop that let this small treasure go for a mere $50. Shannon, who thinks adding accents from vintage and antique shops is like “sprinkling soulful pixie dust on a space,” found many of the fun accents at such institutions. It’s too bad the unique decorative objects in the living room cubbies are one-of-a-kind, because we want to snag some for ourselves.

In the end, the whole first floor came together to make a calming family oasis from the bustling city of Boston. From sofas you can sink right into to a rustic mangowood dining table, the furniture is made to grow with the family, and you can almost imagine the family moments that will be built around each area. A true forever home.


Shannon is a sweetheart and was so easy to work with. She understood our preferences better than we did and introduced us to so many things we didn’t even know would be our style.

- Karen M., Homepolish client



For related stories, check out:
Shannon’s work for her own parents in a Long Island kitchen
Get up close and personal with a one-on-one interview with Shannon
See a family home in Brooklyn by Homepolish’s Marissa Bero

In this tour: