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Designer’s mission impossible: Make an antique-filled 1790 farmhouse family friendly

A couple nurture two children — and a chocolate business — from a Sudbury home that’s filled with antiques, but still works for the whole family.

The bird prints from Lussier Lajoie Framing are an ode to blue herons that visit the pond and nest in the trees on the property every year. “We love nature and wanted meaningful art, so when Linda suggested birds, I told her about the herons,” home owner Monica Rogan says. The built-ins are chock full of games and toys.jared kuzia

Origin stories mean everything to Monica and Tom Rogan. The couple moved back East from Los Angeles in 2015 to raise their children, now ages 10 and 8, and grow their artisanal chocolate business. They settled into a rambling 1790 farmhouse in Sudbury and retrofitted the garage adjacent to the antique barn. It’s where they make Goodnow Farms Chocolate craft chocolate bars. “We love history, appreciate craftsmanship, and are invested in understanding the stories behind how things are made,” Monica says. “This old farmhouse combines all of that.”

Retaining the home’s character was important to the Rogans, who furnished the rooms primarily with antiques and reproductions. Equally important: that the interiors be family-friendly and reflect their creative personalities. Designer Linda Weisberg helped them create the traditional, cozy rooms they had hoped for. “When I walked up to their door and saw the 1790 plaque, I was in heaven,” says Weisberg (who spends vacations touring historic homes).


First up was the primary bedroom. Weisberg started by finding wallpapers that matched the soft green millwork. The winner was a layered yet airy damask print by Sanderson. A custom-made tiger maple bed and coordinating nightstands from Leonards New England in Seekonk replaced the furniture from the owners’ prior Mediterranean-style home, which felt dark and clunky here.

Designer Linda Weisberg turned an unremarkable closet into a chic bar. The homeowners call the bar “Lincoln’s Closet” — the finishing touch is a photo of Abraham Lincoln from eBay.jared kuzia

Weisberg relocated their too-small Oriental rug to Monica’s office in favor of a large Mamluk-style carpet from Landry & Arcari. Its coloring inspired the love seat’s yellow velvet upholstery; the style of the piece is based on a British love seat that Monica saw online. For the other side of the fireplace, the designer reupholstered their vintage fan-back chair in pale green velvet. The couple initially envisioned the room as a private retreat, but to their delight, the kids join them before bedtime. “There are spots for everyone to snuggle in,” Monica says.


The living room got a redo ahead of schedule, after the pressure washing of the exterior resulted in cracked window panes. “We needed to replace the windows, paint the trim, and one thing led to another,” Monica says. To make the room feel rich and vibrant, yet still approachable, Weisberg pulled together a palette reminiscent of fall in New England. Persimmon paper with gold-leaf embossing by Twigs complements the blue, overstuffed sofas that face each other, with a sturdy vintage table from Berkshire Home & Antiques between them. “They wanted a rustic coffee table that they could bang around,” Weisberg says.

A pedestal table and chairs that Weisberg picked up at a local estate sale are tucked into a nook next to the fireplace. “We play games almost every night,” Monica says. “Poker, Parcheesi, Stratego, everything.” Her favorite spot, however, is the fanciful settee she found on Cape Cod. “It was in an awful yellow vinyl, but I told [my husband] Tom, ‘Just wait, it’s going to be amazing,’” she says with a laugh. “I sit there to drink my morning coffee and watch the sun rise over the pond.”

The adjacent dining room scored a hand-me-down rug from the living room. Weisberg also added a rejuvenated chandelier and sconces. “They needed upgraded lighting to be functional for doing projects with the kids,” the designer says. She also fashioned a closet-turned-bar into a gorgeous jewel box, lining it with Farrow & Ball paisley wallpaper and painting the ceiling gold. The finishing touch is a photo of Abraham Lincoln from eBay that Monica gave to her history buff husband for his birthday. “We call it Lincoln’s Closet,” she says.


Weisberg made a few other fixes, including painting the trim in the breakfast nook and hanging pretty café curtains in the TV room. New Morris & Co. wallpaper in Monica’s office makes the small-business owner feel like she’s in a garden, even in the dead of winter.

“This home, with its beautiful craftsmanship and furnishings from hundreds of years ago, is now an expression of who we are,” Monica says. “It’s like our chocolate: classic with a twist.”


Interior design: LW Interiors, lwinteriors.com

Wallpaper installation: Melanie Harvey Interiors, melanieharveyinteriors.com


An Afghan Tabriz rug from Landry & Arcari infuses the living room with vibrancy and warmth.jared kuzia
The couple’s bedroom includes a vintage chandelier from Autrefois and a campaign chest from David Neligan Antiques.jared kuzia

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.