diningP3Wasted space is a big peccadillo for Lydon. While his new place follows the rule that second dwellings have to be 20% smaller than the primary dwelling, it feels bigger due to good planning and clever design. At 2500 carefully considered square feet, the new home has plenty of living space. It's the kind of home that you walk into and immediately feel welcome.

Part of Lydon's patience aspires from his knack of knowing when to ask for help. He and Nance called in their friend Margot Montgomery, owner of Nantucket Interiors. She assisted him in kitchen design, selected a color scheme, window treatments and acted as a general advisor. The area of interior design can be a daunting task with so many choices. Having a decorator can save hours of second guessing. It's a big part toward staying patient as the home is being built.

Coming up the pine-tree lined driveway, you see the two story home gradually appear as you round the last bend. It blends in as if it has always been there. The front entry way is small but classical, with its two columns and slate-shingled roof with copper flashing. One can see how beautiful the future patina of the copper is going to be with the gray-green of the slate. The rest of the roof has wooden shingles. This is an area where Lydon decided to invest extra money. "The wooden shingles are more expensive but they keep the house cooler and they don't blow off in high winds," explains Lydon. Another aspect of Lydon's practical planning is knowing where to spend the money and where to save it. Longevity in outdoor materials and energy efficiency is clearly a place to invest.

Energy efficiency can save enormous sums of money if factored in over the long term. For heating, Lydon installed a furnace both in the attic and in the basement. The furnace forces hot air into the home and heats it economically. "The furnace in the attic warms the upstairs and the furnace in the basement heats the lower floor. Since there are two, neither of them has to work too hard to keep the house warm," says Lydon. He also has air conditioning that uses the same duct work as the heat, thus keeping costs down. His family has allergies so it's important to keep the home dry and as dust-free as possible, thus the reason for the A/C. It's also the reason for the lack of carpeting (a big dust collector) and the absence of fabric window treatments.Instead, the home has wooden blinds on all the windows. This saves money from the standpoint that no curtains have to be bought, and later, cleaned. The blinds will match however the decor evolves over the years.

Another energy and space saver is the full-size stackable washer-and-dryer combo that is housed in an upstairs closet in the master bath. The newer models, in this case a front-loading Whirlpool Duet, uses only 15.8 gallons of water per load. Considering the average top-loader uses almost 50 gallons, that's a tremendous difference.

To say practical luxury seems to be an oxymoron, but in Lydon's case, it's the perfect phrase. One such item that falls into this category is the fabulous tub enclosure in the master bath. Upon first glance, it looks like an ordinary tub with glass doors. Look more closely and you'll see the six chrome jet heads lining the back wall of the tub. It's a Bodyspa by Kohler and is designed to fit into a standard tub's alcove. That way extra money is not spent on retrofitting a space. "We had to wait twelve weeks for the tub, but it was worth it," says Lydon. You can close the shower door and all the heat stays in while you completely relax under 6 jets of rushing water from the back wall of the tub. You can close the drain and the water is pumped back into the system so there's little guilt about the time and water spent in there. The tub also doubles as a whirlpool bath with jets of water pulsating from lower in the tub.

Another practical luxury are the materials selected for countertops in the three full baths and the kitchen. In the baths, they chose a classic white and grey marble. The walls are painted a crisp white as is the vanity that contains ample storage space. It's a clean, traditional look that will never go out of fashion.

The kitchen is the epitome of practical design. It's a U-shaped layout which allows the chef easy mobility around the kitchen without eating up too much space in the house. The U- shaped layout is thought of as the most efficient layout as youcan go from stove to sink to refrigerator without wasted movement. All the appliances were purchased from Marine HomeCenter.

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