They were having a sale so I went down there and talked to them," says Lydon. "The stove was a floor model so thatwas a little extra off and since I was getting a whole set of appliances, there was a little extra off for that."
The kitchen countertops are granite against a reddish-blonde finish on the cabinetry that is made of pine but looks like cherry. The finish on the cabinetry is one of the few places where Lydon turned to off-Island help. "His name is Ed Thayer and he does nothing but finish cabinets and bookshelves and things like that," says Lydon. He explains the process as an airbrushing technique that applies the finish very smoothly and uniformly, making it look like a much more expensive wood than it actually is. Thayer also finished the bookshelves in the den and the basement office that Lydon occupies.
When being conservative with space, as Lydon is in his 2500 square foot new dwelling, then one has to be clever with storage space. He's accomplished this in many areas of the house including the bookshelves in the den that flank one of the three fireplaces in the home. The bookshelves in the den have floor-to-ceiling open shelves as well as shelving behind cabinet doors. The overall look is one of form and fashion. The den has a patio door that opens outward rather than inward. "That saves about 3 feet of space," says Lydon. Another unique feature is the screen door. It wraps inward on the door frame so you don't see it unless it is pulled out for use.
The den shares a wall with the family room, which is a large open room in which visitors find themselves upon entering through the front door. The family room is a simple, large, well-lit room that leads to the kitchen which is big enough to house both an eating counter and a long dining room table.
All the rooms on the main floor share the same neutral color scheme, warm and creamy, reminiscent of caf au lait. It plays nicely off the warm blonde of the yellow-pine floors used throughout the house. "I chose a less expensive flooring that looks just as good as if I'd spent more money," says Lydon. The yellow pine was about $7 a square foot. The floors are adorned by a few bargains Lydon found last fall on Nantucket. "Claire Murray was having a once-in-a-lifetime 50% off sale because they had to empty the store to remodel it. Some rugs on the floor were 60% off," he pauses and then smiles. "So I bought four."
Great to have the rugs, but now what? He and Nance once again called in help from their friend Margo Montgomery. She selected the warm, inviting colors that accent the rugs utilized in various rooms in the house.
Bargain-hunting netted Lydon another find for his new home. When Espresso Caf closed its doors downtown, Lydon was able to purchase four outdoor tables and sixteen matching chairs for about a third of what they would have cost new. Down one floor is the basement, part of which houses Lydon's office. The office has similar bookshelves as in the den and a beautiful fireplace that sports a mantle. The mantle was salvaged by Lydon from a historical property on Milk Street that was undergoing renovation. Along with a huge writing desk and a masculine leather sofa, the office also contains one of Lydon's favorite possessions: A signed first-edition of From Here to Eternity. It's one of Lydon's favorite books and he acquired it on a recent college-scouting expedition with his son Christopher.
The door to Lydon's office that goes to the outside patio is an 8-foot sliding glass door that emits plenty of natural light. From this view you can see the cement walls that Lydon has installed to prevent a mudslide from the excavation of the house. They are ten feet away from the slider, providing an atrium-type patio. He has planted Boston ivy along the top of the wall so that it will eventually hang down and allow the cement wall to be covered in greenery. "That was much cheaper than putting up a stone wall there," he laughed. Where he did put stone is on the two patios that are outside his home. The patio leading to his basement office is blue stone and it continues inside as the flooring in his office. He often comes home with muddy boots so he likes the stone floor in his office. No muss, no fuss. He did apply six coats of clear finish to the indoor stones. It's a natural look that goes well with the leather and the bookshelves. You could just as easily be in the basement of a 12th century Abby.