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Boston Design Guide by Sandy Giardi - 2d ago

"All hail the view!” was the credo of the design and construction team of a traditional new summer home that sits atop a dune overlooking the tidal flats of Orleans. Any new construction worth its salt considers the assets of its site, but this bayside cottage, designed by architect Peter McDonald and built by Cape Dreams Building & Design, fully basks in it. The unique vantage, with its dramatically changing currents and sands that stretch for miles, touched every aspect of this traditional Cape Cod home—from the architecture and design to the landscape and materials. 

The setting was so spectacular, it convinced Peter McDonald to design an “upside down” home to fully indulge the panoramic vistas. Typically, he talks client out of beginning their central living area on the second story of their homes and working upward, as he isn’t keen on the idea of having to climb stairs to enter the main rooms (at any age). But for this home, and this outlook, he happily made an exception. 

The landscape, too, reveres the view and was designed to enhance rather than veil the vantage. Al Sorbello, president of Sorbello Landscaping, explains that the shrubs and plantings selected for the shoreline side of home “were zero impact,” meaning that the schipka laurel, handling grasses, hydrangea and roses thrive below the six-foot sightline from the third-story walkout deck. A patio underneath follows a similar dynamic. Yet when you turn 180 degrees, and look from the edge of the bay, “all you see is a wall of greenery,” says Sorbello. 

Though this classic summer cottage, created in the Shingle Style tradition, doesn't read as an updside down home, inside is another matter. It is equipped with an oil-rubber elevator, and heavy in detail, gentle curves and finish carpentry-grade work, maintains owner Paul van Steensel of Cape Dreams Building & Design. The layout extends as wide as the lot allows to ensure that as many rooms as possible have water views out sweeping banks of picture windows and gliding doors.

The transitional kitchen was no exception, says Design Manager Rebecca Brown of Classic Kitchens & Interiors. In fact, the island was positioned to allow the owners to gaze out to sea during meal prep. They can then take their refreshments to any number of lookouts and simply enjoy. 

A custom compass accurately represents the longitude and latitude of the home, orienting all who enter. The elevator is essential in an upside down home for bringing up luggage, groceries and cocktail-hour refreshments—owner Mark Capobianco of Above & Beyond Elevator shares that his company is installing more of them than ever. This elevator was designed to be discreet. “You wouldn’t know from the outside that there is anything behind that door but a closet,” says McDonald.  

Architecture: Peter McDonald Architect 
Construction: Cape Dreams Building & Design 
Landscape Construction: Sorbello Landscaping 
Kitchen Design: Classic Kitchen & Interiors 
Windows, Doors, Siding, Framing, Trim and Roofing Materials: Shepley Wood Products 
Elevator Installation: Above & Beyond Elevator, Inc. 
Interiors: R.F. Interiors, Ronnie Sidman 
Photography: Keitaro Yoshioka 

 

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For nearly 40 years, residential builder Andrew Flake, founder of Andrew A. Flake, Inc., has watched the level of sophistication of homes on Martha’s Vineyard climb. “It seems that with every new house the bar gets raised,” says Andrew. This home, tucked within the agrarian landscape of a historic Vineyard farm, is no exception. Designed by modernist Charles Rose, this vision in glass and cedar demanded precision from the foundation to the finish work. 

Andrew learned early in his career “that simple really meant complicated.” So it is for this home. The horizontal siding that wraps the exterior has to align, as do the sliding corner windows. “There  is no place to hide,” says Andrew. He welcomes its intricacies and the complexity of the engineering solutions such homes require. In fact, his company only builds a few houses a year to ensure they  are unique. “One of the most important things one will ever do as a family is build a house,” he  emphasizes. As a builder, Andrew respects the clients’ point of view and the hand-holding the process requires.

The home faces south to capture the view and soak up the passive energy of the sun.  A contemporary pergola was engineered in steel and wrapped in wood. The thick glass doors are substantial and required great skill in handling and installation.

The minimalist interiors  also require dexterity. “When you have dissimilar materials that are touching or almost touching each other on a plane, that has to be absolutely perfect,” says Andrew. 

The home’s expansive green roof, which features Photovoltaic panels, as well as the farm’s windmill, supports the homeowners’ culture of sustainability. It also “takes the edge off the contemporary  design,” says Andrew; “it’s soothing.” The flat roof is a complicated venture; a water consultant was brought in to ensure it drains properly during  extreme weather conditions. 

Architecture: Charles Rose Architects
Landscape Architecture: Stephen Stimson Associates
Photography: John E. Linden

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Great design that makes you say “Ta-Da!” That's the thought behind TA.DA, Melinda Headrick's newest Chatham-based interior design venture at 402 Main St. TA.DA is the retail division of Chatham Interiors, Inc., the interior design company she founded in 2007, and the Chatham Design Center that she opened in 2015 at 400 Main St. to help homeowners design their own projects. "I am a three-legged stool with TA.DA as retail, Chatham Interiors as full-service interior design, and the Design Center as its own separate company," explains Headrick. 

Think of TA.DA as the younger and sexier design sister, a light, bright and welcoming spot that complements Chatham's other posh-to-playful shops and easteries. "It's my hope that when you enter TA.DA, we make you feel like you're on vacation," says Headrick." and you'll want to take home something special that you find here, for yourself or as a gift for a friend."

TA.DA's location on Main St. was Headrick's inspiration as the perfect opportunity to introduce "things that I think are beautiful and that inspire me." She adds, "With retail I'm not bound by anyone else's style and can make selections I think are treasures that can offer a unique element to someone's home."

As a 4th generation Cape Codder, Headrick is well versed in elegant, signature-Cape interior design that tends to showcase a more traditional, regional coastal color palette. Her interior design expertise runs the gamut from consultation to turnkey design delivery. TA.DA seeks to engage a younger market that is often more interested in vibrant colors, unique items and "something that is really spectacular, with one-of-a-kind custom design," she adds.

To share her perspective and experience with others, Headrick offers Mimosa's With Melinda on Main, an on-going mini-lecture series at TA.DA, 9-10 a.m., Fridays until Aug. 9. While you sip and savor the decor, you can learn about topics such as Paint Colors & Color Therapy. "At this stage of my career I love to educate homeowners who are interested in interior design topics and want to learn how to follow their own authenticity," she says. "While they're at TA.DA they might see something they want to order in a different fabric and they can do that at the Chatham Design Center. I want to empower them to design their own home with confidence."


Last but not least, the store's name honors Headrick's mother, Ann Loftus. "Ta-da is her favorite expression for all things, big or small, that are worth celebrating," explains Headrick. "I grew up with these tangerine and watermelon colors, her favorites, that I feature at the store."

Her mom believed in the power of color and in combining different design elements to achieve great design. So a stroll through TA.DA features a mix of mid-century vintage decor that Headrick refinished and reupholstered to mix with all-new modern pieces. "TA.DA reflects her beautiful personality and view on life," adds Headrick.

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The moment homeowner/part-time designer Jill Morelli bought a salvaged soapstone sink from a Boston restoration store, she had a call to make. She phoned her husband to say, “I think we’re doing the barn, because I just bought the sink.”

The two had been debating about whether to restore the barn on their Cape Cod property and turn it into a cool, multipurpose pool house/garage to accompany a new pool terrace and stow their dune-riding Jeep. Having just finished renovating their main home, they hadn’t quite decided to take the plunge. The soapstone sink sealed thedeal, and they’re glad it did. The family’s pool barn and outdoor oasis has been a game changer for summers on Cape Cod. 

The sink would sit in storage for a year or two before architect Peter McDonald of Peter McDonald Architect would write it into his design plan and Cape Associates would build it into the kitchen of a new pool house/ garage. But first, they’d assess if the existing barn could be used, says McDonald, which is always the preference. Once it was determined to be beyond hope, Cape Associates saved the “special and unique beams of the old barn,” says President and CEO Matt Cole, to be laterrepurposed for outdoor furniture. Meanwhile, McDonald, a contextualist, looked to the shape and details of the old barn (i.e. the roof edge and faces) to inform a new design that would “resurrect an old form yet treat it in a modernway,” he shares.

Together with the homeowner, who, by all accounts brought out the best in this project and operated as an extension of the design team, a clear vision was hatched for a rustic but modern poolside barn that would “frame the property nicely, connecting the backyard to the home, and create an entertaining space for those enjoying the pool or sipping a cocktail in thebarn,” says Cole. The no-fuss aesthetic would mingle cedar and horizontal shiplap, exposed rafters and wall studs, oversized hardware, less- is-more lighting, non-slip concrete floors and no fewer than four vertical grain cedar barn doors—all with a slightly different design and copper screens.

The barn doors were a given from the start, as the homeowners wanted a structure that opens wide to the pool and landscape in the summer and closes for the winter. The barn doors, built in Cape Associates’ millwork shop, were custom— some double, French-door style, others sliding— but all with generous openings. “You can drive a tractor into this barn and put hay in the loft,”laughs McDonald.

Or, you can have a full view of the kids swimming at all times and feel connected to the grounds and pool. The voice of landscape architect Kimberly Mercurio of Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture was key in planning the overarching design scheme. “It was really important that the pool house open in two directions,” she says, “so that you could get that view of the pool from inside.”

The pool terrace intersects with the pool house, and boasts a similarly clean-lined aesthetic comprised largely of grass, wood and bluestone and a sparkling, highly-detailed pool with extrathick coping and silk-smooth water, thanks to its UV light and ozone cleaning system. The bluestone terrace is inlaid with thyme, which emits a lovely scent when underfoot, while privet hedges line a custom white cedar pool enclosure fence. Liriope, a low grass with purple flowers in August, Himalayan birch and a few hydrangeas round out the softscape. The effect is striking and altogether seamless. Says Mercurio, “The barn does not exist without the pool or the terrace. They are all interconnected.”

The design trifecta is also functional, as all elements facilitate stress-free entertainment. “It has made it really easy to enjoy the Cape without ever leaving our house,” says Morelli. Now, insteadof anticipating the needs of a full house for a day at the beach and constantly packing and repacking food and sweatshirts, the family simply sends out a group text. “People either show up or they don’t,and everyone just rolls outside.”

Architecture: Peter McDonald Architect
Construction: Cape Associates Builders
Landscape Architecture: Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture
Interior Design: Jill Morelli
Pool: Custom Quality Pools
Photography: Michael Conway, Means-of-Production.com

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We pledge allegiance to this built-in eating nook by Brookes + Hill Custom Builders, pictured above. The sturdy scarlet table anchors the white semicircular seating, cushioned by royal blue seating and star throw pillows.

Carter & Company Interior Design; photo by Michael J. Lee Photography

Carter & Company’s crisp white kitchen (above) is as bright as a firework and equally swoon-worthy. Its sky-high cabinetry and custom hood is a spectacular backdrop for its red-hot lanterns and cobalt cookware.

Architecture by Patrick Ahearn Architect; construction by Whitla Brothers Builders; photo by Greg Premru

The entry and mudroom for a beach home by Patrick Ahearn Architect is natty and nautical. We love its redbrick flooring, white built-ins and stars-and-stripes-forever soft goods.

Construction by Rick Roy Construction; photo by Dan Cutrona

There is no question that this waterside bedroom (above) by Rick Roy Construction is in the navy now. The hue strikes a regal pose when paired with smart white millwork, a broad-striped valance, plush red pillows and high-flying flags as art.

Construction by Groom Construction

This cream-colored kitchen by Groom Construction (above) brings an air of patriotism into the fold, with red, white and blue accents. With its vibrant red accent walls and picnic-pattern upholstery, it is unquestionably ready for Fourth of July festivities.

Main image: Brookes + Hill Custom Builders

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Summer is in full swing, so it's time to make the most of every fair weather day we get. These outdoor kitchens do exactly that: They inspire summertime entertaining at its blue-ribbon best. Together, they showcase key elements to consider in designing your own exceptional outdoor kitchen experience.

Refreshments with a View

Architecture by Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects

Although it's not always possible, placing your outdoor kitchen and dining adjacent to your indoor kitchen is ideal for ease of use and storage. "But if you have to give up a view, that's a decision the client has to make," says John DaSilva, design principal at Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, who co-designed this house in Orleans with his wife Sharon DaSilva. Thankfully, no choice was necessary for this project. The house's orientation provided an ideal outdoor kitchen location, adjacent to the interior kitchen and able to integrate functional outdoor kitchen design with casual bar seating and a dining area that showcased the panoramic pond views. "We designed the landscape along with the architecture; don't allow the outdoor kitchen to be an afterthought," adds DaSilva. As an integrated architecture and construction firm, DaSilva pointed out one of the attention-to-design details that his firm is known for: "When closed, the TV cabinet doors form an image of an anchor that is repeated on the house's front shutters."

Patio Perfection

Landscape architecture by The MacDowell Company

"This Wellesley client had a small, shady backyard that we cleared back to the tree line, as far as we could go," explains Bruce MacDowell, owner of The MacDowell Company. "They have small children and wanted the largest pool they could get—19 feet by 36 feet—and as much usable outdoor living space as possible." Other client must-haves for this project included a short walk from the kitchen to the grilling and dining area and an elevated fire pit to watch over the pool. "The grill area is relatively basic with a trash receptacle and small fridge flanking the grill," says MacDowell, "but what you don't see is a power outlet tucked under the honed granite countertop, with a switch for the pool cover." He notes that outdoor kitchen countertops often require a higher height to accommodate utilities and paving. Also, granite countertops at an inch and a quarter that look good indoors won't look right on an outdoor kitchen: "You need a minimum of two inches and three inches looks even better."

Seamless Stone

Landscape design and construction by a Blade of Grass

Heather Lashbrook Jones of a Blade of Grass thinks this tiered outdoor entertaining space that the landscape design and construction firm created for a Metro West client is a great example of how changes in level are aesthetically pleasing. "There was an existing outdoor kitchen that had the grill in the center, blocking the entertainment flow," Jones explains. "It was moved closer to the house, with the dining area." A Blade of Grass loves creating beautiful stone walls and used the same stone for a new retaining wall and for the outdoor kitchen. Jones recommends this integrated use of stone surfaces, selecting only two different stone elements to create a more seamless look.

Culinary Canopy

Landscape architecture by Sudbury Design Group; photo by Jim Westphalen Photography

If you're serious about cooking outdoors, this kitchen has everything you'll need, including a pergola with a retractable awning. "Not shown in the picture is the outdoor dining area and bar seating for six with a water view," says Mike Coutu, owner and president of Sudbury Design Group. "The Chatham homeowner wanted plenty of space for lots of outdoor entertaining." Coutu says that the pergola with a motorized retractable awning were carefully considered to ensure maximum use and comfort in the kitchen area. "The awning provides shade, protection from debris falling into food and from light rain, but you're not worried about smoke getting contained from cooking (as you would be if there were a fixed roof overhang)," adds Coutu. "It's a nice feature that can be motorized or not." Additional design elements are honed granite counters with a leathered finish and coated stainless steel cabinetry that won't show fingerprints and comes in a variety of color choices.

Pro Appliance Tip: Wolf barbecue grills, burner modules and warmer drawers, and Sub-Zero outdoor refrigerators, available at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove Showroom, offer the same premium quality and precision in cooking convenience outdoors that homeowners enjoy indoors. Units can be built in to your outdoor space designs, visit clarkeliving.com to learn more. 

Main image: courtesy of Clarke 

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When we first caught wind that Sand Dollar Customs was building a “boat bar” for the first level of a Snug Harbor home, we envisioned a small replication of a handsome wooden hull or maybe a poignant reference to a ship’s wheel or anchor. However, we soon learned that the Cape Cod builder and remodeler took the concept to a whole new—and intriguing—level.

This handsome custom bar, christened “Therapy,” was created from a clean, seaworthy, 42x14-foot boat and repurposed. The craft was brought in from the water, cut down, narrowed, and reimagined as a real-life, functional bar for a nautical enthusiast. It’s the type of project that excites Sand Dollar Customs and encompasses the characteristics they look for in their projects. The company thrives on custom work with unique elements, and enjoys it. “We like to do projects that are more challenging,” shares Steve Bobola, co-owner of the company. “Things that are spur of the moment, and kind of on the whim.”

This short, 60-day project was certainly a spur-of-the-moment idea courtesy of a creative homeowner who wanted to design something fun, distinctive and eye-catching. After turning to Sand Dollar Customs to help bring his atypical ideas to fruition, a plan was devised to cut down the boat and reduce it to a width that would fit the homeowners’ basement space. To keep the essence of the boat, Sand Dollar Customs utilized every piece of the vessel possible. Upon completion, a fully functional bar emerged in glossy navy with a lacquer finished teak top, bright white captain chairs, a small double sink, operating kegs, a mini fridge, ice maker and dishwasher.

This statement-making bar is the centerpiece of the first-level game room and the pinnacle of what Sand Dollar Customs wants for its clients: a vision realized—a tangible and singular expression of ingenuity and craft that can be enjoyed. Bottoms up!

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Headway is being made on the renovation of BDG publisher Melanie Perillo’s 1790s charming antique home in Sudbury. We’ve been following this process for awhile now, and it’s exciting to see the project take shape.

An essential phase just reaching completion is the insulation. We recently caught up with Anderson Insulation’s Patrick Ford, the Sales Manager on site, to see just how Melanie’s historic home is meeting up-to-date, modern insulation. Patrick walked us through what his installers have been up to in Melanie’s house, though he calls them technicians for the way the Anderson team sprays the right patterns, dials in the equipment and calculates the mixture ratios. 

The point at which the antique home meets the new addition.

Her suburban addition utilizes closed cell foam insulation. Closed cell is a type of spray foam that is better than the open cell spray foam or traditional fiberglass anywhere you might run into possible moisture issues. Together with the gas fireplace in her new kitchen, this insulation will effectively heat the new rooms; Melanie won’t have the drastic temperature changes between the summer and winter months. 

This insulation is hearty and also forms a bit of a sound barrier up against the family room.

After touring Anderson Insulation’s progress, Melanie remarked that her home hasn’t been this clean in months. The family-oriented company epitomizes professionalism and cleanliness, as well as the outstanding quality of their work. Patrick beams, and says that the company takes “pride in what they do. It’s one of those things that helps set us apart." Clearly it’s a winning formula; Anderson Insulation is celebrating their 70 year anniversary in business. 

Stay tuned for more updates!

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“Mark Sikes is one of the biggest names in the design world right now,” says Katie Marshall, store manager for Surroundings Home, and she is thrilled to carry some of his products at their Mattapoisett showroom. His collection for Blue Pheasant elevates outdoor entertaining. “Everything in this collection has a classic, crisp, clean feel with lots of blue and white and natural wicker,” says Marshall. Or, the ultimate summer vibe.

“Blue striped bowls are the perfect vessel for New England clam chowder,” suggests Marshall, and “coordinating patterned plates are ideal for a summer salad.”

The wicker and glass hurricanes come in two different sizes and add a stylish, atmospheric touch to any setting. While striking any time of year, “this collection feels like it was meant for New England summers,” says Marshall. Considering today marks the first official day of summer, we suggest stopping into Surroundings on the way to the bridge and getting all you need to get the good times underway.

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The Preservation Society of Newport County presents the Newport Flower Show June 21-23. Each day, guests are offered wonderful opportunities to enjoy the most elegant horticultural and floral designs, special garden showcases, free lectures and presentations, activities for children, and shopping at the Oceanside Boutiques and Gardeners’ Marketplace. This Flower Show came to be when American ornithologist and painter John James Audubon (1785-1851) declared that he only came alive when "in the field" of this wild new land. His enthusiasm for the outdoors crafted a pictorial journal not only of eye-catching birds but also of their habitats. You are invited to join the Preservation Society as they take a page out of Audubon's journal to make your own Artistic Adventure. Tickets are also available for special luncheons, lectures and workshops, as well as full weekend packages. All proceeds from this show benefit the preservation and restoration of the historic landscapes in Newport County.

Highlights include...

Horticulture Exhibits
Garden Displays
Unique Shopping Opportunities
Afternoon Tea
Moonlight Movie
Champagne & Jazz Brunch
Lectures and demonstrations
Children's Activities

 June 21: 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
June 22-23: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Click here for more information and to get your tickets for one or all three days. Free parking and shuttle bus service provided from the Newport Grand parking lot on Admiral Kalbfus Boulevard.

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