New England Retreat
Read more about New England Retreat
Originally, the New England Retreat was built to be both a primary home as well as a place where dance teachers and dance school owners could gather, relax and grow in a "home away from home" atmosphere. The original vision for the retreat center was a Cape Cod style cottage community but when a nearby property in Norton, Massachusetts went up for sale that original vision was transformed.
After falling in love with the rustic and natural feel of the logs in the existing structure, a new plan emerged to try to restore them. After much work and research, it was apparent that the building would have to be completely rebuilt. This led to working with Real Log Homes Independent Representative, C.M. Allaire & Sons. They were able to keep and restore the two original fireplaces, one that was built in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s. Rebuilding rather than restoring also meant more freedom in the design process.
Since the purpose of the center was focused on dance, at least one room had to be long and wide and the ceilings had to be cathedral, at least 15 feet, in order for dancers to be able to move freely and to perform lifts without the fear of hitting the ceiling. There was also the need for a more intimate space where demonstrations, training, and general gathering could occur. The scissor trusses make for an inspirational and beautiful space.
The center would double as the owner's primary home, so it was also necessary to have cozier spaces that gave separation and distinction between the retreat center and the areas where the owner could feel at home. The spaces needed to be large enough for retreat visitors, but also cozy and comfortable enough for being home alone. This comfortable yet open space was created through lower ceiling heights and an open kitchen and dining space, which features one of the restored fireplaces.
Another room that works well for both entertaining and as a more "homey" space is the living room. The wood is a stunning contrast to the stone of the second restored fireplace, which encompasses the entire wall. This property is truly a unique and special place.