Seaside Splendor

Sophisticated interiors and a quintessential design define a magnificent New Hampshire oceanside home.
By Christina Poletto     Photography by Rob Karosis

This coastal house with a gambrel-style roof in Rye, New Hampshire, embodies the best of classic Northeastern architecture. Yet, as Chris Ragusa, President of CM Ragusa Builders, will attest, the home is thoroughly custom-built. Quality and aesthetics are just two critical elements in creating a custom dream home, says Ragusa, who worked with the clients and an architecture, design, and building team to bring the coastal compound to life both inside and out.

Ragusa is an expert home builder with 25 years of experience. He says that having grown up with a hammer in his hand, he knows exactly what to expect when building and renovating homes in the Northeast. He is proud of how his company takes a “boots on the ground” approach to this field of work.

From start to finish, the Rye project took two years to complete.

The land was purchased and ready for Ragusa and his team to start creating this custom dwelling. With everything in place, all we had to do was follow the client’s lead, says Ragusa. “The house is entirely the owner’s vision.”

Having a gambrel roof was important to the clients, says Ragusa. “The very traditional Shingle Style roof gives it the feel of a classic seaside cottage.”

Inside, about 7,500 square feet of living space spreads out in light-filled rooms outfitted with thoughtfully situated windows, elevated ceilings, and custom millwork. A palette of white walls mixed with natural-toned wood floors and neutral furnishings adds to the serene atmosphere.

The home features five spacious bedrooms and a majestic double-height great room for gathering around a statement stone fireplace and taking in the scenic views from expansive French doors and grand arched windows.

Curves abound in the house, throughout which numerous arched doorways and windows extend the curvilinear detailing that defines the home’s interior and brings a subtle organic feel to the living spaces. A regal winding staircase and its second-floor landing are stunning focal points that are sculptural in nature, with an array of turned spindles and an elegantly curved handrail with a spiral newel post.

The expansive cook’s kitchen features state-of-the-art Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, double islands, copious storage, and a continuation of the thematic arched detailing in the windows and over the range. A coffered ceiling brings a touch of texture and charm to the space, and ample prep and sink areas allow multiple people to cook together.

Outside, custom landscaping and stone-scaping create multiple dedicated gathering spaces. A round pergola offers visual interest and a slice of shade to one outdoor patio. Nearby, a similarly round space anchors the firepit for end-of-day relaxation.

The team at Ragusa, which includes a crew of project managers and talented carpenters, helps keep multiple builds moving forward simultaneously in areas that include Lake Winnipesaukee, the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, and Boston’s Metro West communities.

The team’s skills go beyond building and renovating, says Ragusa. They are also adept at helping usher clients through the whole-home construction process, even making introductions to potential architects, engineers, land use attorneys, and designers, and assisting in the pre-construction phase with essential steps like permitting.

Ragusa’s advice for clients is to call early in the planning process, not because of any scheduling challenges but rather because his team is skilled at facilitating customers to reach their vision expediently. “A lot of clients spend time determining how to obtain that vision,” says Ragusa. “We can decrease the amount of time it takes from thinking about the house to actually building it.”

Ragusa also adds that he has never created the same building twice, and his company specializes in doing what other people say they can’t do. “The sky’s the limit,” says Ragusa. “We can turn your vision into a reality.”

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