A French-style family home: Westmorland house a place to gather, grill and garden

By Kendall Fletcher

Contributing writer

In Beverly Roberts’ home, every square inch of the inside (and the outside) holds a family memory.

The sprawling ranch on Salisbury Drive is made for that—it sits on nearly two acres in the quiet Westmorland neighborhood with 4,500-square-feet of living space.

“This house can accommodate a variety of family situations,” she said, like when her daughter moved back in while obtaining master’s degree, and when her mother stayed with her when she was ill.

The large living room has been the host of many gatherings, with floor-length windows overlooking the koi pond and a cozy natural-stone fireplace.

The adjoining family room features wide plank barnwood paneling made from the original owner’s father’s farm.

“It takes a pretty old tree to make those,” Roberts said, who purchased the home in 2000 and kept the wood theme, including the original hardwood floors.

“There’s a lot of barnwood all throughout the home. I’ve enjoyed it and it seems to be having a resurgence,” she said.

The kitchen has the most intriguing wood of all: the cabinets and kitchen table. Original to house, the cabinets have unique latch-like handles, all creating a vintage look. The windows have matching wood trim. The kitchen table, though, was made from beams from an old building in France.

“I think this table makes this room come together,” Roberts said. “I love France, and it all just feels like something that would come out of (a French home).”

It also features some luxurious updates, like granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

“The nook (over the sink) was designed as an herb garden. I just decorate it seasonally and I put potted herbs there,” she said. “If I get to cook for a bunch of people, I’m a happy camper. It’s one of my joys.”

Down the hall, one of the bedrooms functions as an office space, while another is a guest favorite with its whimsical characteristics. Floral curtains and a canopy shade a bed tucked into a nook, and the window seat has a view of the pond and garden area.

“I recall when my kiddos were growing up … in a big house with big rooms. That’s one of my regrets. It’s important to encourage togetherness and not have them escaping to their bedrooms,” she said. “When I saw this house, I said, ‘I’ve got room for guests and gatherings.’”

The house’s sunroom leads out to a spacious patio area with lots of seating; the perfect spot for summer grilling.

“The patio accommodates a good number of people. We’ve done a lot of cookouts and gatherings here,” she said. “There are a lot of perennials in the yard. There are a lot of flowers and blooming trees that need no work.”

The variety of flora in Roberts’ lovely garden is vast: towering stargazer lilies, butterfly bushes, white and blue hydrangeas, burning bushes, boxwoods, holly trees, dogwoods and Japanese maple trees that shade the patio. She and her husband love to be in the yard and expand their gardens, and it’s one of the main reasons she bought the house.

“The sweet bay magnolia is very fragrant when it’s blooming,” she said. “We’ve enjoyed the little pond. The water lilies open in the daytime.”

The mature redbud trees provide lots of shade near the bottom of the garden—a spot where her granddaughter loves to play and pretend it’s her fortress.

The side patio is a welcoming space with a fire pit, and it walks out to the large yard.

“We’ve done tons of volleyball games out here,” Roberts said.

And just through the French doors is the bottom level of the house, a huge area filled with game tables. There’s a bedroom and bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, an exercise room, a kitchenette, and a sitting area with a big-screen TV with surround sound. The chair railing and the fireplace mantle is the matching barnwood—part of those little details Roberts loves about the house.

“We do a lot of karaoke at parties (down here),” she said. “You can see that my personality is more about having fun and getting people together and making memories. I think when there is a lot of love and laughter in a home, and opening my home up to hosting events for family and friends, that’s just been meaningful.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Kate Imhoff of Rector Hayden, Realtors. To view more photos of the home, visit the Homeseller gallery at