New England Home is dedicated to showcasing the unique architecture, design, and building that defines the luxury home in New England. From urban lofts to mountain retreats, from oceanfront compounds to suburban estates, New England Home celebrates the very best of living in New England.
1. Pillow Talk
The silk Lovebird Leopard pillow in magnolia by Ngala Trading Co. was designed by Ardmore, a South African company originally known for its ornate ceramics. | Bodega, Nantucket, bodeganantucket.com 2. Gaslight
German artist Bernhard Dessecker was commissioned by BMW to create a dynamic lighting sculpture using only BMW headlamps. The original 85 Iconic Eyes light is on permanent display at the Bavarian National Museum. | JS Gallery, Wellfleet, jeffsoderbergh.com 3. Approach the Bench
The Colonial bench by Noir features on-trend caning along the back and a nailhead-studded seat. | Bespoke Abode, Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, bespokeabode.com 4. Water Feature
Herbeau’s Valence faucet in polished nickel adds a touch of French country with an eight-inch curved spout and upturned lever handles. | The Water Closet, Nantucket, nantucketwc.com 5. Material World
Galbraith & Paul’s summery fabrics are block-printed by hand in the company’s Philadelphia studio. | Margo’s, Osterville, margoshome.com 6. Bowled Over
The twenty-two-inch Silhouette bowl by Stephen Schlanser has a polished edge and a driftwood-shaped cast-bronze base. | The Artful Hand Gallery, Chatham, artfulhandgallery.com
1. Pull Up a Chair
The Witch Brook leather chair features black-finished framing, wrapped arms of bleached ash, and a sling-style seat crafted from top-grain buffalo leather. | Vineyard Decorators, Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, vineyarddecorators.com 2. Blanket Statement
At Island Weaves, artist Karin Ganga Sheppard crafts all of her creations on non-mechanized floor looms using heirloom-quality fabrics. | Island Weaves, Nantucket, islandweaves.com 3. Dive In
The dynamic Wall Diver sculpture by Global Views works as an art piece or even a towel holder. The sculpture is available in bronze (seen here) or gold or silver leaf. | Shor Home, Provincetown, shorhome.com 4. Round Table
The Sass side table by MPGMB for Souda derives its name from the master of postmodern design, Ettore Sottsass. Stacked wooden discs are finished in black, white, or clear, and topped with a honed Carrara marble surface. | Room 68, Provincetown, room68.com 5. Well Read
Bookshelves aren’t the only place for the classics. Each piece of Framed Book Spine Art is a forty-two-inch-tall, high-resolution image of an actual book spine. | Details Interiors, Harwich Port, detailsinteriorsinc.com 6. Floored
These six-inch terracotta hex tiles have been reclaimed from old buildings in France. | The Tile Room, Nantucket, tileroomnantucket.com
JUNE Sunday Estate Walks
June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21, August 4 and 18, September 8 and 22, October 6 and 20. Learn the story of the Beebe family, builders of Highfield Hall and its sister mansion, Tanglewood,
as you walk through the former’s 700-acre estate. | 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Tickets are free with admission. Highfield Hall, Falmouth, 508-495-1878, highfieldhallandgardens.org
Summer Garden Tours
June 5–August 28
The award-winning Shirley Cross Wildflower Garden at the Green Briar Nature Center will offer guided tours every Wednesday morning. See more than 300 plants from three zones: shaded hillside, freshwater wetland, and open meadow. | $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers. 10 a.m.–11 a.m. Thornton W. Burgess Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen with the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, East Sandwich, 508-888-6870, thorntonburgess.org
Plein Air Nantucket
The Artist Association of Nantucket’s outdoor painting festival returns with a paint-out (June 12), awards ceremony and artists’ reception (June16), and exhibits. | See website for complete schedule of events and locations. 508-228-0722, nantucketarts.org
Arts Alive Festival
Enjoy music, theater, dance and spoken word performances, art demonstrations, children’s activities, fitness classes, and more during this free, three-day festival. | June 21, 5 p.m.–9 p.m., June 22, 10 a.m.–9 p.m., June 23, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, artsfalmouth.org
Art in the Village 2019
Cape Cod’s art season kicks off with Cape Cod Art Center’s free 17th annual Art in the Village show featuring original works of art and handmade goods, family activities, live music, an auction, and more. | 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Barnstable Village, Courthouse Green, Barnstable, 508-362-2909, capecodartcenter.org
Keeping History Above Water: Nantucket
This two-day workshop brings together members of the island community, stakeholders from other coastal communities, and national experts to discuss the challenges facing historic coastal communities. | Registration is $120 for two days, $65 for one day. Nantucket Preservation Trust, Nantucket, 508-228-1386, nantucketpreservationsymposium.org
The Annual OIA Garden Tour
The Orleans Improvement Association will hold its 31st annual Secret Gardens tour, featuring six beautiful gardens. Attendees can see plein air painters at work in the garden and interact with master gardeners. | $25 in advance, $27 online, $30 the day of the tour. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tickets are available at local outlets in Orleans, or online at orleansimprovement.org
Evening of Discovery
The Martha’s Vineyard Museum celebrates its new Vineyard Haven location with its 21st annual Evening of Discovery. | $275. 5:30 p.m. Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Vineyard Haven, 508-627-4436, mvmuseum.org
JULY Falmouth Village Association Street Fair
Main Street will be closed to vehicles while shoppers delight in outdoor pop-up shops that run the length of the thoroughfare. | falmouthvillageassociation.com
Celebrate the iconic plant that makes Cape Cod so stunning from July through September. Enjoy a display garden from the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, participate in workshops, and tour heritage gardens. | Free with museum admission. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich, 508-888-3300, heritagemuseumsandgardens.org
Summer Art Auction & Gala
The Artist Association of Nantucket will honor artist Carol Keefe at this annual event. Visit the website for ticket prices and event times. | Great Harbor Yacht Club, Nantucket, 508-228-1386, nantucketpreservationsymposium.org
Provincetown Art Association and Museum’s Secret Garden Tour
Explore some of the most beautiful gardens in P-town. Tour tickets include museum admission. | $40. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, 508-487-1750, paam.org
Nantucket Garden Festival
The 11th annual festival will highlight the unique garden ecosystems of Nantucket and focus on the importance of sustainability, conservation, and gardening ethics. Enjoy workshops, garden tours, family activities, and an opening-night party. | Various locations around Nantucket, 508-228-0427, ackgardenfestival.org
The Nantucket Art & Artisan Show
Back for the 28th year, this show attracts more than 3,000 visitors and features more than 40 local and nationally recognized artisans who highlight both traditional and modern techniques in a variety of mediums. All proceeds benefit Small Friends on Nantucket. | Three-day show passes are $15. July 19 and 20, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., July 21, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Bartlett’s Farm, Nantucket, nantucketartandartisanshow.org
Woods Hole Jazz at Highfield Hall: Sullivan Fortner
Lauded as one of the top jazz pianists of his generation, Sullivan Fortner has graced the stages of Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, and Monterey Jazz Festival. | $30–$35. 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Highfield Hall, Falmouth, 508-495-1878, highfieldhallandgardens.org
AUGUST Nantucket by Design
Discover Nantucket’s unique influence on American design with lectures, an antique-show preview, panel discussions, and intimate and grand gatherings. The event ends with the Night at the Museum gala at the Whaling Museum on August 3. | Ticket prices vary. Various locations around Nantucket, 508-228-1894, nha.org
2019 Nantucket Summer Antiques Show Strawberries & Cream Preview Brunch
Be the first to preview the antiques show during a strawberries-and-cream brunch. | $40. Visit website for times and location. 413-436-7064, nantucketsummerantiquesshow.com
2019 Nantucket Summer Antiques Show
The show, presented by the nonprofit Antiques Council, will feature 32 antiques dealers from the U.S. and abroad. | Run of the Show tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. August 2, 12 p.m.–6 p.m., August 3, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., August 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., August 5, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Nantucket Boys and Girls Club, 413-436-7064, nantucketsummerantiquesshow.com
Eric Kandel and Emily Braun in Conversation
Spend an afternoon in conversation with Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel and Emily Braun, distinguished professor of 20th century European and American art at Hunter College. The two will discuss Kandel’s most recent book, Reductionism in Art and Brain Science. | Tickets are $25. 2 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 508-487-1750, paam.org
65th Annual House and Garden Tour
Explore historic and new homes and gardens during this Nantucket Garden Club fundraising event. (The garden club provides flower arrangements to complement the rooms in the homes.) | Visit website for times and ticket prices. Various locations around Nantucket, nantucketgardenclub.org
Annual August Fête
A festive night that benefits the Nantucket Preservation Trust and features tours of historic homes, a reception, and live music. | 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices. ’Sconset Casino, Siasconset, 508-228-1387, nantucketpreservation.org
Citizens Bank Pops by the Sea
Help raise funds for the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod during this outdoor concert featuring the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra led by conductor Keith Lockhart. | $25–$200. 1 p.m.–7 p.m. Hyannis Village Green, Hyannis, 508-362-0066, artsfoundation.org
Annual Osterville Historical Museum Antiques Show
Shop 40 dealers for nautical memorabilia, paintings, prints, rugs, furniture, books, silver, jewelry, glass, porcelain, Americana, and more. | $10. 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Osterville Historical Museum, Osterville, 508-428-5861, ostervillemuseum.org
SEPTEMBER You Can’t Spell Martha’s Vineyard Without A-R-T Party
Martha Vineyard artists will showcase their works during this cocktail reception. Artwork is available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. | $175. 5:30 p.m. Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Vineyard Haven, 508-627-4441, mvmuseum.org
Provincetown Art Association and Museum’s Consignment Auction
The museum’s annual consignment auction includes contemporary and vintage works of art. Expect an animated evening of live bidding with all proceeds benefiting the museum’s cultural and educational initiatives. | 7 p.m. Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, 508-487-1750, paam.org
OCTOBER Provincetown Art Association and Museum’s 14th Annual Gala
Relax at an elegant dinner honoring supporters of Provincetown arts. Renowned area artists will receive lifetime achievement awards. | Tickets start at $350. 5 p.m. Visit website for location information. Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, 508-487-1750, paam.org
A weekend packed with jazz, shopping, and dining. Don’t miss the Falmouth Village Association + Arts Falmouth Jazz Stroll on October 19 and the jazz brunch on October 20. The festival also kicks off the Falmouth Village of Scarecrows when member businesses show off their creativity with scarecrows along Main Street and Queens Buyway. | falmouthvillageassociation.com
12th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival
Four days and four nights of local culinary talent alongside farmers, fisherman, oyster producers, artisans, and winemakers from around the world. | Visit website for times and ticket prices. Various locations around Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, 508-939-0199, mvfoodandwine.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: Events are subject to change. Please confirm details with event organizer prior to your visit.
Photo courtesy of LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects
Landscape architects and designers are skilled when it comes to creating memorable schemes for homeowners, be it a driveway entrance, a pool, a courtyard, or an outdoor shower. As they see it, beauty and function go hand in hand, no matter how big or small the project.
The Long View
Thanks to landscape architect Keith LeBlanc’s streamlined redesign of this Provincetown property, the owners maximized their spectacular waterfront location and gained some privacy. A billboard fence (at a height that purposely doesn’t mar the neighbor’s vistas) marks the entrance to a new garden filled with roses and hydrangeas. The existing pool area, which sits along the home’s left flank, was completely transformed. Yesterday’s awkwardly placed garage became instead the perfect well-equipped cabana with a mahogany deck and an outdoor kitchen. A bluestone terrace was also added “so chaises can catch the afternoon sun,” LeBlanc explains. At the pool’s opposite end, alterations were even more dramatic. Despite a glass fence (to keep the pool code-compliant), a seldom-used free-standing arbor blocked the glorious Cape Cod views. LeBlanc removed the arbor and planted waves of native sea grass. The result? The owner’s property, which extends twenty-five feet toward the water, now appears to magically flow all the way to the horizon.
There’s little space between houses in this picturesque Hyannis Port neighborhood. “It’s quaint and cozy,” says landscape designer W. Gregory Bilowz, who, despite the tight program, devised an inviting and practical driveway for the handsomely renovated home. To open up the compact area, Bilowz carefully relocated several old hollies. Next, he reconfigured the existing haphazard hardscape, installing a curved drive of three-eighths-inch native stone (“a blend of stone colors complements the home’s shingles,” he explains) with a viburnum hedge and a retaining wall at the end. The wall helps form “a quasi-motor court,” Bilowz says. Now there’s plenty of room for cars to park and turn around. A bed alongside the house holds a bounty of lush flora, including rhododendrons, skimmia, and oakleaf hydrangeas. The colorful plantings further the driveway’s garden-like presence, seamlessly linking the entry to the rest of Bilowz’s lovely landscaping.
A winding path leads to a boardwalk that culminates in this intimate garden space created by landscape architect Kris Horiuchi. The light-capturing terrace on the east side of the house provides round-the-clock enjoyment. Built into a hillside, which shelters it from the wind and, says Horiuchi, offers ideal conditions for plantings, it’s a warm, quiet refuge all day. When night descends, a firepit carved into the fieldstone paving draws everyone out under the stars. The owners wanted their garden to seem part of the Martha’s Vineyard landscape, as if it had always been in place. To that end, Horiuchi incorporated aged lichen-covered fieldstone (similar stone was used for the home’s foundation and fireplace) in the traditional farm stack walls and packed the hill with native cedars, bayberry, scrub oak, and viburnums. “Summer-blooming shrubs and perennials are planted in naturalized beds that tumble down the slope,” she says. All-time favorite flowers like Shasta daisy, lavender, daylilies, Nepeta, Clethra, and Russian sage—to name just a few—lend color and fragrance.
Window wells are a long-standing means of channeling light and air into basement spaces. But Sudbury Design Group’s solution for this ground-level Osterville home gym has turned the generous, granite-paved well into a Zen-like spa with a stunning outdoor shower as its centerpiece. Protected by a long-lasting Azak wall that curves like a wave on the house side and an ivy-clad stucco wall on the other, the stellar shower is private and efficient. “In time,” explains Mike Coutu, the firm’s president, “the ivy will 100 percent cover the wall.” To boost what Coutu refers to as “the slight Asian flair,” the shower includes a composition of ferns and bamboo along with a hefty boulder. Additional boulders (rocks are integral to Japanese landscape designs for lending a natural feel) also appear in the nearby garden area where the landscape architect added hydrangeas to the plant roster along with a welcoming bench. “It’s a good spot for relaxing after a shower or if the owners just need to take a break during a workout,” Coutu says.
The Great Outdoors
Designers and architects often talk about “bringing the outside in,” creating a house with a strong connection between the interior and the outdoors. In the case of this Chappaquiddick home, that is a serious understatement. Architect Peter Rose let the woods, wetland, and coastline of the property play the starring role. The 6,300-square-foot main house follows the undulations of the land and is organized around a central axis that looks out to Cape Poge Bay in one direction and the Atlantic Ocean in the other. To one side of the axis, the public areas occupy a single level. On the other side, a two-story wing drops down into the landscape, making a surprisingly compact package for the seven bedrooms and four baths within. In the main living space, Douglas fir ceilings and walls of fir and beech echo the outdoors. The wood, particularly where the framing is exposed, “makes the house feel more elemental, almost as if it doesn’t really have windows, doors, electricity,” Rose says. Cementing the connection with nature are the ingeniously designed glass walls crafted by Parry Windows and Doors, a Martha’s Vineyard company. The mahogany-framed glass slides completely out of view, immersing the home in the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea.
West Side Story
Like most modernist houses, says architect Jim Cappuccino, this Falmouth home is designed to respond to and blend with the landscape. And what a landscape it is, with its western panorama across Buzzards Bay. As if the view by day isn’t lovely enough, the play of light and shadow on the water come sunset is nothing short of breathtaking. The view reveals itself only slowly, though, thanks to Cappuccino’s clever design. The driveway curves through welcoming gardens created by landscape architect Kris Horiuchi, ending at the front facade with its statement-making two-story circulation core enclosed in frosted glass. The core’s downstairs hallway follows a concrete walkway between floors of walnut to the rear of the house and a glass wall that frames the view. Upstairs, a glass floor ushers light deep into the house (and elicits wows from those who see it for the first time). Out back, a sort of magic happens. “The curve reflects the coastline,” Cappuccino explains, describing the graceful arc of the red cedar overhang that sweeps along the rear of the house, sheltering the glass walls of the first-floor rooms. Horiuchi designed the terrace and infinity-edge pool to promote the sense that the house, backyard, and bay are all of a glorious piece.
The three generations of the Schiller family wanted a home where they could gather—as a clan or in their own smaller units—and have just the right amount of togetherness or privacy at any given moment of the day. As a new graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, second-generation family member Aaron Schiller joined forces with Alan Organschi and Lisa Gray of Gray Organschi Architecture. The beautiful old stone walls that crisscrossed the Chilmark property inspired the team to design something that would honor the area’s agrarian past, Gray explains. The result is a house that recalls barns of old, but is unmistakably contemporary. The exterior wears Yakisugi siding, a charred wood that imparts an instant feeling of age. The long, gabled building puts the grandparents’ bedroom and most of the public areas on the top floor. “When Mom and Dad are here alone, being upstairs is just like being in a one-bedroom house,” Gray says. The bottom floor holds three bedrooms for the next generation and a bunk room for the grandkids. Upstairs, walls, floors, and ceilings of bleached ash and simple, contemporary furniture and fixtures give the space a serene feeling. In the living room, that peacefulness is enhanced, thanks to expansive walls of glass that make the space feel like a very grown-up treehouse.
They were called mooncussers—rogues who plundered shipwrecks and cursed the light of the full moon for guiding ships out of harm’s way. The cargo of marooned and splintered vessels was their bounty.
Provincetown sculptor Mike Wright calls herself a mooncusser. With both a chuckle and a note of pride, she says, “I think of myself in the tradition of the scavengers who would scour the beach for lost treasure. My treasure just happens to be wood.”
In a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, the flotsam and jetsam Wright has collected and fashioned into abstract, three-dimensional art for the past twenty-five years has to meet her stringent criteria. It has to be painted wood, not raw. Also, “It absolutely has to be from Provincetown,” she says. “I feel like it’s got an energy that’s this place.”
Creative sorts—Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, Hans Hofmann in the past; Norman Mailer, Anthony Bourdain, and Michael Cunningham more recently—have long sought out the Outermost Land for its acceptance of human diversity, its nurturing of the soul, and its pristine natural beauty. “Friends and I would pile into a van every weekend and drive to Provincetown,” says Wright, recalling road trips she took for diversion from her jobs as an elementary school art teacher and graphic designer in Baltimore. Finally, in 1983, she bought a B&B on the corner of Pearl and Bradford streets and put down permanent roots.
“I have reinvented myself many times, as most people on the Cape have,” says Wright, who grew up in a Maryland neighborhood full of boys with whom she loved building forts and sharpening sticks into swords (a precursor, she says, to her sculpture career). But her path didn’t come full circle until, after dabbling in oil painting, printmaking, and watercolor, she enrolled in a class with sculptor Paul Bowen at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. With Bowen, she says, “All the processes were perfect for me. I got to take long walks on the beach with my dogs; I could drag a big chunk of a boat or a plank from a floor back to the studio; and then I could hammer on it.” The physicality appeals to her.
Cobalt, saffron, turquoise, and occasionally orange and burgundy, the hues of Wright’s wood are surprisingly vibrant, given its age and provenance. Big, bold primary colors recall the buoys she collected when she still owned the B&B. “Paint means that the wood has cultural history. It’s been something, and I make it into something new, but there are still elements of what it was,” she says. “That’s what I’m always after; keeping some hint of what it was so the viewer can feel it.”
Unlike, say, rope or bits of metal that also come in with the tide, wood speaks to Wright. “No one can duplicate the patina that comes from being scrubbed by the sea, the sand, and the salt waves.” The wood appeals to other senses as well. “If I cut a piece that’s cedar, it’s very fragrant. Sometimes it has sounds. If it’s been in the sea, or drying, for a long time, all of a sudden you’ll hear groans and pops; it’s alive.”
Wright often takes inspiration from modernist painters of Provincetown from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, like Blanche Lazzell and Kenneth Stubbs. “I like to think two-dimensionally at first and then push it to three,” she explains.
In recent years, more people are scavenging the beaches, and with far fewer wooden boats, the material Wright prizes is harder to find at water’s edge. “I migrated to driving the streets and eventually Dumpster diving,” she says. Five years ago, photographer Marnie Crawford Samuelson filmed Inside Motherwell’s Dumpster, a nine-minute documentary that shows Wright, crowbar in hand, cherry-picking pieces of wood in a Dumpster outside the former home of artist Robert Motherwell. Then we see the sculptor in her studio, immersed in her creation process.
This summer, Wright is one of twenty-six artists invited to repurpose items from author and pen-and-ink artist Edward Gorey’s house, now a Cape Cod museum, into works of art that will be sold at a fundraising auction. Of course, she notes, “Gorey didn’t have much stuff with color on it.” It will be, perhaps, the first black-and-white sculpture she’s ever created.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mike Wright is represented by Alden Gallery in Provincetown, aldengallery.com. You can also view her work at sculptormikewright.com.
Around town, people called it Casa Bacardi. Once a single-family house, it had become a Provincetown rental. Young “brand ambassadors” for Bacardi rum were regular summertime tenants. One of their duties? Riding the float for the annual Carnival parade. If you toured the property, you could pinch some of the liquor company’s promotional material from the basement.
By the time Ben and Pat Stone came across the house, it had been for sale for a few months: eons in Provincetown’s hot real estate market. The two-story structure, built around 1850 with a single-story addition tacked on in the 1970s, had a backyard and was well-located in a quiet block near the beach. Unfortunately, aluminum siding, plastic shutters, orange-yellow linoleum, and wall-to-wall carpeting dated the place.
The Stones knew they’d stumbled on an opportunity. As an interior designer, Pat wasn’t deterred by a fixer-upper. She could see the potential. “Ben is not a designer, but he has really good creative sensibilities, and he saw what I saw in it,” she says.
Their vision: an open, beachy, contemporary home, consistent with Cape vernacular, comfortable for entertaining, and with finishes sturdy enough for their three dogs. Getting there would involve two big structural changes: adding a second story over the addition and removing interior walls and ceilings. The couple turned to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based architect Scott Grady, a friend with whom they’d collaborated before.
Now, on approach, the house presents as a classic Cape with a simple primary gable, two dormers on a cross gable, black shutters, double-hung windows with black mullions, and a black asphalt roof. The front is clad in white clapboard, while the rest of the house wears cedar shingles, an aesthetic preference that historically began, Grady notes, as economic necessity. In earlier times, people used the more expensive clapboard only for the public-facing side of their homes. (Ironically, he observes, shingling is the pricier option today.)
The second-floor addition accommodates a spacious, high-ceilinged master bedroom suite and gives the home the massing it needed for overall balance. Windows are now arranged symmetrically around the front door. In the neighborhood, houses are tightly clustered and virtually flush to the street, but the Stones managed to add a gravel driveway and plant hydrangeas in front. Out back, they tiled half the yard in stone to create a patio, added a vegetable garden, and installed a synthetic grass lawn—a precaution given their dogs’ fondness for digging.
Inside, walls were removed downstairs to create an open plan with a kitchen and dining area to the left of a small front entry hall and a living room to the right. Upstairs, the addition allowed the existing rooms to be reconfigured to include a new bathroom for the two bedrooms. Though the guest rooms are small, removing the low ceilings has given them an airy feel.
Everything was brightened with new French doors at the back of the house, corner windows for the dining area, triple windows above the kitchen sink, and a window in the tip of the central gable. “I love light,” says Pat. “Who doesn’t?”
As often happens during a renovation, the job turned out to be much bigger than anticipated. Once builder Clifford Colby, who is now retired, began, it became clear how much of the house wasn’t up to code. “It was a typical P-town house,” says Pat of the wooden pegs still used for nails and other curiosities they found in the old part of the house. “It was like someone went down to the beach and nailed together scraps of wood.”
The house essentially needed to be rebuilt, wall by wall, with Armstrong Home Improvement coming on for the latter part of the project. From a financial point of view, it might have made more sense to tear down and start from scratch, but by renovating, the Stones were able to keep the historic stairwell and expose the living room ceiling beams as well as the corner posts and beams in the two guest rooms.
The interior design impulse was for something warm, minimal, and modern with a neutral palette of driftwood hues and pale grays. This meant combining traditional cottage finishes—like the horizontal shiplap on the ground-floor walls and the beadboard between the ceiling beams in the living room—with contemporary detailing. In the kitchen those modern touches include the marble-topped island, a backsplash of glass subway tile, and multi-sided glass pendant lamps. Pat found Nathan Yoder, an Indiana carpenter and supplier of reclaimed barn wood, on Etsy. He provided the wood and built or collaborated on the kitchen island and floating kitchen shelves as well as the master bath vanity. Elsewhere in the house, Pat outfitted the rooms in a mix of contemporary furniture from nationally known companies and pieces she found in favorite local boutiques and antique shops.
Brighter color enters the house through art, as with Chris Wyllie’s aqua grid of small seascape paintings in a guest room. The Stones’ art collection includes photographs by their daughter Caitlin and pieces procured from local galleries, such as the large landscapes by local artist Michael del Visco. Another bedroom holds a playful photo-realist painting by Hank Hudson that depicts James Bond emerging from the ocean, a work that would be called pointillist if the dots in pointillist paintings were each several inches wide. The couple came home from a trip to the Italian coastal towns of Cinque Terre with a collection of handmade blue ceramic fish, which now swim happily on the wall behind the master bed. A stairwell shows off a second school of decorative fish placed so they seem to be poking their gold heads through the wall.
Though Pat and Ben, who publishes a trade wine and spirits magazine, commute to Boston via plane or ferry, they spend as much time as possible in Provincetown. “The skies are not like anywhere in the world. The sunsets are not like anywhere in the world,” says Ben, noting that the unusual light has always attracted artists.
And a final reason the beach house pulls the couple back? “When we walk in, we are just so happy,” says Pat.
They say that in a perfect world (when stars align, and circumstances allow) your home is a mirror of yourself. It’s a place of self-expression, a potent statement of who you are.
All existential “deeper meaning of home” stuff aside, Boston interior designer Heather Wells will tell you in a heartbeat that this iconic Shingle-style residence on Martha’s Vineyard is every bit a reflection of the empty-nesters who live there. “It’s exactly who they are,” she says—from its overall relaxed vibe and discrete living spaces to the way it was designed to suit the couple’s love of entertaining. Also, the way it sparkles.
“For starters, they’re gorgeous,” says the designer of her clients. “They’re impeccably dressed and beautiful inside and out. They have a formality to them, but they’re incredibly friendly, always smiling, welcoming. The wife is super design-oriented, and really grounded. She’s a high-low gal.”
Although the couple met in New York, they both come from families with deep roots on the island and had, while growing up, spent plenty of time there. They searched until they located a waterfront lot they loved, then decided in 2017 to build their Vineyard dream house.
With its twin gables, a gloriously sprawling wraparound porch, dormers, and a rounded turret, the house is quintessential Martha’s Vineyard. A three-bay garage houses the husband’s cherished classic cars. The project also included a new guest house, pool house, and the renovation of an old beach shack that sat on the property.
Architects Jennifer Smith and Scott Hutton sited the nearly 12,000-square-foot main house to take advantage of views, of course. Their firm, Smith & Hutton, is based in the Philadelphia area, but they do most of their work on the Cape and islands. “We went with a traditional Shingle-style and used materials found in New England,” says Smith—from white cedar shingles and mahogany decking to the landscape design’s brick, boxwoods, and white hydrangeas.
On siting and materials selection, the two worked closely with Edgartown builder Gerret Conover and landscape architect Elisabeth O’Rourke of Nantucket’s Jardins International.
Designer Wells came on board early enough in the construction process that she was able to make some changes to the interior architecture and choose all the interior finishes. The main house features four bedrooms, six full baths, and three half baths. The floor plan was completely informed by the couple’s penchant for entertaining. “They’re very social and wanted different levels of entertaining,” says Wells. “There was lot of discussion around how the house was going to flow.”
There’s no formal dining room, by design. “They wanted the porch to work really well, so it serves as the dining room,” says Wells. An expansive, flat backyard is perfect for a large tent that can hold several hundred guests. Indoors, a flexible sitting area with four comfy barrel chairs is easily transformed into a dining space. Other indoor entertaining spaces abound—from a living room with a walk-in bar to a family room that connects with a wide-open kitchen to a no-holds-barred lower level that houses a bowling alley and media room. A shout-out to that living room bar: while it was always intended to be a separate space, it was Wells who suggested the black doors, taupe cabinetry, and silver leaf backsplash that add easy elegance.
Nothing was gratuitous, and every space is used all the time, says Wells. “They have dinner parties every weekend—whether it’s for two, twelve, or twenty-five.”
On any given summer weekend, the couple will have “three or four things going on,” she says. The house had to be up to it. “The first-floor living areas were required to transition easily from a crowd to as few as two people,” says Hutton.
If the house feels open and inclusive on the first floor, upstairs is a different story. “The spaces on the floors above needed to transition comfortably to smaller private areas that would feel cozy,” says Hutton, “in order to balance out the open flow of the first floor.”
The master suite includes a sitting room, his and hers baths and dressing rooms, and a private porch. The wife has a gorgeous sanctuary in the turret, with an antique desk and modern chaise set up to take advantage of the stunning views. The husband’s retreat comprises most of the top floor. They both have spiral staircases inside their dressing rooms; hers leads to an extension of her closet, and his takes him up to his getaway.
There are two more en suite bedrooms on the second floor, as well as a first-floor guest suite. Both first and second floors feel relaxed and sophisticated with their color scheme of serene grays, black-and-white, oatmeal, and a little dusty purple. The lower level, where a wine cellar and lounging/TV-watching area join the bowling alley and pool table, is the polar opposite: rich and bold in shades of red (inspired by a favorite lipstick and nail polish) and black.
Comfort rules this house, and yet there’s glam at every turn. “The wife understands that certain things raise the level of the space in the same way that diamonds elevate jeans and a white shirt,” Wells says. “She is a vibrant person, and her interiors reflect that. She specifically requested a lightness, sparkle, and reflectivity throughout the house.”
Crystal fixtures that catch the light just so, custom fabrics with a hint of shimmer, and furniture and decorative accents with a metallic glow are the extras that provide the sparkle.
There are lovely vignettes throughout the home—like a hallway’s little console table with a bold painting above it and two petite poufs underneath—and Wells credits the client for them.
Some clients run out of steam, but not this one. “She saw the project through to the end,” the designer says. “Everything is purposely placed and not just there to fill space. She was able to get to nuance—and we didn’t have to twist her arm to get there.
“She touched every corner in a beautiful way. That’s who she is.”
Project Team Architecture: Jennifer Smith and Scott Hutton, Smith & Hutton Interior architecture and design:Heather Wells Builder: Gerret C. Conover, Conover Restorations Landscape design: Elisabeth O’Rourke, Jardins International
1. What’s it like to be a part of a family business?
Your family name is “on the door,” and that makes you raise the bar higher. There’s more at stake, and you take that much more pride in what you’re doing because you’re working on behalf of your family. A lot of the manufacturers and weavers we have overseas are family businesses, too; now their children are coming into the trade. My father has worked with their parents for many years, and I am starting to work with the next generation. And it’s true with our clients, too: the children of many of the clients my father started out with are buying or building houses, and now I’m working with them. Because what we do is so intimate, because we go into people’s homes, the business becomes much more than just a transaction. Some of our clients have become our most trusted friends—and that is one of my most favorite things about the business.
2. What are the benefits of having your own manufacturing facilities in Pakistan, India, and Nepal?
We have been going to those countries for years. It’s where a lot of our work happens—where we do our product specifications and buying for the year. We are able to sit down with the actual weavers and go over new colors, new designs, and new weaving techniques. We’re able to give our weavers direct feedback from our customers, letting them know what’s working, what isn’t, what colors we want to emphasize, that sort of thing. Because we work directly with our manufacturers, we can keep costs competitive, too.
3. What is the allure of a hand-knotted rug?
Quality. Durability. Beauty. We recognize that a hand-knotted rug is a big purchase. But I have always said that in the rug business you really get what you pay for. We have hand-knotted rugs available at all levels, from entry point to midpoint to high end. At any level, you are getting a product that is going to last. Every single knot is individually hand tied. No machines touch the rugs. There are very few things out there—even in the luxury market—that are completely and individually made by hand. When I go to our manufacturing facilities, I marvel at the labor that goes into them. These are heirlooms. The beauty of our business, what I enjoy about it, is that I am selling artwork, but it is practical artwork that you can walk on.
4. Talk about the rug or carpet as the beginning point of a design plan?
If you look at interior design from a literal standpoint, you want to start from the ground up. Beginning with the rug is so important because it sets the foundation for the room. Some people say that once they choose the rug, it helps them set the color palette. And because our rugs are individually handmade, not mass produced, you will always have a unique base upon which you can build your design. There’s a timelessness to handmade rugs, too. That said, we do see certain trends, especially in colors. Red is still classic, but lately, contemporary colors—blues, grays, neutrals—are more popular.
5. How do you plan to keep the company strong for the next generation?
We started in 1989 as a strictly hand-knotted rug business. Over the years we’ve added loomed rugs, hand-tufted rugs, broadloom carpeting. Now we’ve taken Dover Rug and turned it into Dover Rug & Home, expanding to offer flooring and window treatments. We have become a one-stop shop. We encourage people to come into the store to start the journey, but then we take it a step further. We will bring as many rugs to a customer’s house as they want so they can see them in place. The benefits are major. If you go out to buy anything from paint to furniture, what you see under the showroom lights may be very different from how it looks in your home during the day and at night. It is the convenience factor; being there for our customers is of the utmost importance to us.
Dover Rug & Home, Boston, Natick, and Burlington, Mass., doverrug.com
When Ariana Fischer moved from midcoast Maine to Portland in 2009, she brought her three children and her interior design practice with her, but closed G.F. MacGregor, her stylish home decor boutique in Rockland. Now, the shop is back, with a different name—22 Milk Street—but a similarly central location, in Portland’s historic Old Port (and just across the street from Fischer’s interior design studio, making it easy for her to move back and forth between businesses.)
In a corner space, 22 Milk Street offers the unique goods that Fischer has been identifying—and, in the case of furniture like an upholstered bed frame, a contemporary turned-leg sofa, and a leather easy chair, designing—for clients for years. In 1,600 square feet divided among two rooms, shelves and tables display international items, work by local craftspeople, distinct vintage pieces, and contemporary wares. Here, you might discover African baskets, Parisian silver cocktail stirrers, Italian towels, and Belgian linens, as well as finds from closer to home: blankets from Brahms Mount and Evangeline and fine architectural hardware from Lowe Hardware, all in Maine. Fischer features stock from well-established designers and companies—think Visual Comfort for lights, Manuel Canovas for throw pillows, and Philippe Starck for transparent chairs—as well as plenty of surprises like acrylic cubes encapsulating tiny botanicals and indoor/outdoor torches that do not extinguish in the wind. Other items have a humorous edge. A tiny snow globe with a Buddha inside, anyone? Fischer says she’s “easily bored,”
so she constantly rotates what’s available, making repeat visits worthwhile. There’s always something new to see.
Imagine living on the island of Great Britain and building a house on Nantucket island thousands of watery miles—a whole big Atlantic Ocean—away. There are myriad means of communicating with your design team, of course, but in the end, you just have to trust you’ve commissioned the right people for the task.
Fortunately, these homeowners recruited a trio of Nantucket-based professionals who knew each other well, having collaborated successfully on previous projects. Architect Mark Cutone, interior designer Audrey Sterk, and Joe Gamberoni of Cross Rip Builders couldn’t have been a better choice. But, according to Gamberoni, it was also having enthusiastic, decisive clients that brought the dream house to happy fruition. “When all four corners of the square come together—architect, designer, builder, and owners—it makes for a seamless outcome,” he says.
The couple had often rented on Nantucket, but now the time seemed right for something more permanent. They fantasized about dreamy summers, like those the husband enjoyed on the island as a boy, for their three daughters. Since Dad’s favorite memories included strolling into town, they purchased a site within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Cutone’s challenge was to devise a neighborhood-appropriate retreat that would fit the under-an-acre property and still provide enough room for the family and their friends. “In addition to accommodating the client’s program, we wanted them to have green space, the right amount of sun, and also some privacy,” the architect says.
It sounds like a tall order, but Cutone’s stellar design meets all the criteria. The two-story shingled house has four bedrooms and a fully finished basement that includes a fun bunk room and a media room. The first floor’s open plan merging kitchen, dining room, and living room lends itself to large gatherings, while a cozy study serves as a haven for quiet time. A freestanding guest studio welcomes weekend overflow. And, no doubt, crowds are not unusual.
Decks spill out to the southwest, providing bonus entertaining space. There’s an outdoor fireplace, too, tucked between the guest studio and the main house, where people congregate for stargazing.
The understated exterior may be a paean to Nantucket’s Quaker influences, but visitors sense the interior’s contemporary vibe the moment they cross the threshold and spy the sculptural staircase to the second floor. With its oak risers, glass guards, and steel railings, it’s as artful as it is utilitarian. “We like to keep our home designs clean and simple,” says Cutone, “but then give them moments of architectural interest.”
Sterk smartly linked the open floor plan together with a neutral palette that resonates with the island’s blue and silvery tones. But, here and there, she also splashed a jolt of vibrant, let-the-sun-in color. A bright orange door separates the entry from the mudroom. And bits of orange are cleverly threaded throughout from top to bottom. “We love the home’s midcentury modern flavor, the warm woods contrasting with the cool blues, and then the punch of invigorating orange,” she says. “Every project has its story; this story is modern.”
Stroll from the entry past the staircase, and you’re in the heart of the house, the main living area. Always cognizant that family nests must function as beautifully as they look, Sterk zeroed in on details. She chose a flat-weave rug in the dining room, for example, because, as she points out, the chairs need to glide smoothly back and forth. A Scrim chandelier from Jayson Home sails above the stunning bentwood table handcrafted by the Brooklyn firm Ot/tra.
As effortlessly as the tide, the dining room flows into the kitchen, which, with its fog-colored glass tiles and Caesarstone counters, flows in turn into the living room. To downplay the kitchen’s role as a workplace, Cutone designed a large pantry and loaded it with all the necessities any cook could want, from a bounty of storage to an extra dishwasher and sink. Thanks to this well-equipped auxiliary space, the kitchen, with its Ligne Roset pendants and waterfall island, maintains a sleek demeanor no matter how big the occasion nor how numerous the company. “Messy dishes and such are whisked out of sight,” Cutone says.
On less-than-balmy summer evenings, the owners sometimes light a fire in the relaxing living room. Streamlined but cozy sofas welcome guests, flanking a coffee table that becomes a landing pad for drinks, as do the custom-glazed side tables. A handcrafted rug lends an additional warming note, while sheer curtains provide just enough coverage to keep the darkness at bay.
Eventually, when the fire and the candles have dwindled, everybody wanders off to a stylish bedroom. In the second-floor room shared by two of the girls, parallel built-in beds (all the beds were designed by Cutone) are tucked beneath the eaves. To up the feminine ambience, Sterk covered the boat-like berths with tassel-festooned linens. A rug with a lively pattern and sophisticated colors “will remain appealing even for teenagers,” the designer says.
The older daughter’s haven features an orb light that casts a beguiling pattern and a sitting area with a lounge chair that’s perfect for curling up with a rainy-day book.
Each bedroom has a hint of orange, and in the master suite the sunny hue shows up in artwork that really captures summer. Above the charcoal-stained bed, two pieces by Richard Kemble, the beloved part-time Nantucket artist who died in 2007, are like a spirit-raising sunrise. Sterk followed the artwork’s lead with muted bedding by Coyuchi that mimics the color of Kemble’s landscape and a rug with a subdued watery pattern.
Had the owners been on hand every day while the house was being built, it’s difficult to see how the outcome could have been any more triumphant. Like a ribbon tying up a package, there’s even a parade of hydrangeas—a Nantucket classic—along the front porch. The billowy flowers, the prim shutters, and the cobblestone-capped driveway are only further proof that Gamberoni is right. When the team is congenial and adept, distance is no deterrent to good design.