Haven: A tailor-remade home suits young couple

The dining room and most of the 3,800-square-foot remodeled house in Newtown Square feature neutral colors and maple floors. The look is sleek and comfortable.
The dining room and most of the 3,800-square-foot remodeled house in Newtown Square feature neutral colors and maple floors. The look is sleek and comfortable. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 05, 2014

Many homes featured in this space reflect a lifetime of living. They are filled with antiques, or mementos amassed during a lifetime of travel, or glorious finds retrieved in Dumpster dives. And often, the owners of these houses are of middle age or beyond.

Meet the pattern-breakers: Michael and Tina Beaumont, who live in a 3,800-square-foot, single-family home in Newtown Square.

At what some would consider the tender age of 28, Michael owns one business, a custom-tailoring firm, and is set to open a second, related one this year.

Michael, who was raised in northwestern England, operates the business out of the house he and Tina, 30, a management consultant, bought in 2012 in a distressed sale.

The home's appeal is its combined aesthetic of sleek and comfortable. Few tchotchkes are visible. Neutral tones rule, with high-gloss whites in some areas of the wide-open kitchen.

Abundant windows near the kitchen and the adjoining living room bring inside the wooded areas behind the house.

In the living room, the fireplace surround stretches to the ceiling with short, stacked pieces of stone, balancing the space's otherwise cool feeling. A plasma television fits nicely above the firebox.

If this house had hair, not a strand would be out of place.

"It typically looks like this," Michael says. "I am very organized. I like control."

His idea of disorganization is letting the mail sit on the marble-like white granite kitchen countertop for a week. (They had the granite honed to protect it from stains.)

So it comes as no surprise to learn that Michael designed the kitchen and living room - yes, with the help of a kitchen designer and an iPhone app - and that he ultimately chose the colors for the rest of the house and made the final decisions on the clean-lined furniture.

His wife's input?

"I am pretty useless," Tina says. "He is great at visualizing."

Michael, she says, has a brand-marketing background, while she is a "black-and-white processor."

For the kitchen, Tina wanted an open concept and got it. But because Michael understood that she had trouble visualizing, when the time came to discuss specific paint colors, he used Photoshop photo-editing software so she could see what the kitchen would look like.

"He would narrow the colors down to three from five, and I would narrow them down" further.

That wasn't necessarily to avoid arguments, Tina says, although it certainly did that, as well.

"He found a way to help me," she says, "and it worked."

The development in which the house sits isn't very old, but from a design standpoint, the homes are typical.

To demonstrate, Michael shows a visitor a picture of what the kitchen once looked like. All of its 10 recessed lights were clustered in one area.

They aren't now. The Beaumonts have installed the kind of expanded kitchen that could convert the most devoted lover of TV dinners.

The highlights: plenty of countertop space; various workstations, such as a coffee and tea bar; scattered lighting, including pendant lamp over the island; and surfaces designed for easy cleanup.

And for fun: two white chairs that hark back to The Jetsons.

The couple also tore out the myriad types of flooring in the house and installed maple hardwood. There are few rugs.

Considering that they bought the house fairly recently, the couple has gotten a lot accomplished. Michael credits his family, especially his mother, Julie Beaumont, for helping. She has visited a number of times from Manchester, England, to help with the painting.

He also credits Tina and his family in England with supporting him in his ventures.

When he was 20, he said, he got bored with his job in business in England and decided to come to America for four months. He traveled by himself, coast to coast.

When he returned home, he knew he didn't want to stay there and decided to move to Toronto, where he met Tina. His mother moved with him, just to help him get started in his new home.

"It was a massive gamble," he says. "She has given me a lot of confidence."

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