The master bedroom needed quite a bit of work. Oliver added the fireplace mantle with its dramatic columns and a pediment, and included a pair of club chairs so the couple could cuddle up to the fire. Silk drapes add a sense of luxury. "This was imagined as a place to escape," Oliver laughs, "but the kids are in here all the time now."
Soon after they settled in, the Johnson family grew—by four. The couple asked their architect, Michelle Wilson, A.I.A., to build about 1,400 square feet, adding two stories to the west end, placing a library-study overlooking the pond on the lower level and several bedrooms upstairs, for a house of approximately 5,000 square feet.
Once they'd revamped the interior, Lane and the Johnsons agreed that the home's outside appearance was wanting in the style department. The home was an ill-defined Cape Cod, but the existing rooflines and ground-floor openings gave it definite strength. After doing extensive research, Wilson transformed it stylistically into a shingle-style cottage, a turn-of-the-century fashion popular in New York and Connecticut. Wilson added split-faced stone to the entire first level. For the addition she created a tall gable facing the front drive, which allowed her to place an inviting Palladian window there. Around the corner, a sweeping arch covering a balcony overlooks the pond. Then she layered everything on the second level in traditional cedar shingles and white trim. "We took it into a purer form," she says.