Vaulted ceilings, Possini-inspired petaled pendant lighting, white brick, and swivel arm chairs. One step inside the Narragansett home of Ann Scavone and Glenn Tao, and you might expect to be handed a martini, shaken not stirred, while ‘60s cocktail jazz plays from the stereo. This cool vibe is the result of months of sweat equity and vision from a design-minded duo who worked to connect the home’s interior to its 1974 architecture: a mid-century ranch with Spanish influences.
Scavone and Tao met as art students at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and have enjoyed collaborating on projects through the years. Now retired with their daughters grown, they were looking for a single-level home to age in place when the property – atypical for the area – caught their eye. “Both of us love everything mid-century so this ranch really spoke to us,” says Scavone, who notes in addition to being attracted to the vaulted wood ceilings and ample natural light, the layout centers around an atrium which can be viewed from other parts of the house. “This unique feature really was a draw for us.”
In 2018 Scavone and Tao bought the house and then spent seven months putting their stamp on it before moving in. “Since we’re both retired, we had lots of time to devote to this renovation. We were able to lay hardwood flooring throughout the house, remove walls, gut and install two full bathrooms, and totally reconfigure and install a new kitchen,” Scavone says, beaming with pride. “The only work we did not do was the plumbing, electrical, and tiling.”
Scavone, who describes her style as “uncluttered but still inviting,” explains that when they took ownership, the home was very drab inside. “We knew that painting walls and woodwork white would help immensely, and it did,” she says, noting that she likes to stick to a limited palette. “I gravitate to a black-and-white color story because it can be classic and modern at the same time,” she explains.
“Other homes we have owned and lived in Rhode Island definitely had more of the cottage/beachy feel incorporated into the decorating. When renovating and decorating, we are very conscious of respecting the style,” says Scavone. “This home’s architecture was paramount in our renovation decisions – it was in need of TLC both inside and out – it was just the challenge we were seeking.”