News At Home with Liz Braun September 9, 2010 Henrietta Hakes *DG*: Tell me about the history of the house. *LB*: It was built in the 1880s, by the same architect who built Ashton House and the President's home. The college acquired it a few years ago. I think the Facilities Department has done a wonderful job modernizing it, but preserving the character. *DG*: Did you hire a decorator or design yourself? *LB*: A good friend from Mt. Holyoke, the Director of Communications, has a great eye and helped us pick out colors and suggest how we might use some of the furniture we already had. She was very helpful. *DG*: What is your design inspiration? *LB*: We wanted our home to be comfortable and inviting but also a little whimsical. There are lots of animal motifs: the frog candlesticks in the living room, the dinosaurs are from my son Dexterâ€™s birthday party. We also included items from our travels; in the dining room, there is a wooden turtle from St. Lucia which my husband and I purchased while celebrating our 10th anniversary. *DG*: What is your favorite piece of furniture? *LB*: In the family room there's a leather couch which was the first piece of real furniture we splurged on when we married. It wears well, and you can wipe anything off it -- which is excellent with children. *DG*: Do you place functionality or aesthetics first? *LB*: I would like them to work together. An example is the ottoman in the living room. We have already had several groups of students over for dinner, and when entertaining the ottoman can serve as extra seating or a table and it can be rolled to the side. *DG*: How is your son enjoying his new room? *LB*: He has the third floor to himself, aside from Randy and my offices, and a wonderful window seat. He loves it! Did you like this article? Consider joining the DG! Open staff meetings are every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in Kohlberg; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.