Greg Premru Surfside at Nantucket:
Surfside is a beach-house community on Nantucket’s south shore coastal plane. The houses sit as objects on a largely exposed, treeless plane. This PSD project added two more structures to that stunning vista—a house and a guest house.

“Nantucket has an historic review process that is very stringent,” says John DaSilva, Design Principal at PSD. “The historic review board has a great degree of control over the appearance of everything that is built on the island and can even over-rule zoning regulations. The approval process for this project took a year and much consultation with the board to achieve a design that satisfied both them and our client.”

DaSilva explains that the client initially sought a large and fairly formal house with expansive glass to bring in the view. “The review board sought a small and informal house with traditional sized windows placed individually rather than in groups. The resulting design solves these seemingly irreconcilable differences,” he explains, noting that the island’s historic regulations prohibited a full two-story house.

The client settled on an “upside-down” house where the primary living spaces are on the second floor to better capture ocean views. “The organization is unexpected from the first floor exterior, which, with its wrap-around entry porch, looks like the primary living level,” says DaSilva. “The plans are cleverly arranged so that one enters a foyer leading to a sitting room with a fireplace. From here the plan expands to the east and south, into spaces which contain two bedrooms. The south bedroom has views on three sides, protected by a sheltering porch. Service spaces (garage, laundry, office) are to the north.”

The second floor is reached from the entry foyer, up a gracious staircase. At the top, one finds an expansive dining room that shares water views through the living room to the south. The kitchen is open to the dining room and has four windows that bring in light from three directions and offer more views. A master bedroom suite is in the north wing, projecting slightly to the east where it also enjoys water views. These second floor spaces have a cottage feel, with sloped ceilings and dormer windows. Natural materials, such as pine floors, lend warmth to these light-filled spaces.

“The kitchen for this house was a real challenge,” says Rebecca Brown. “Trying to fit everything in to tight spaces meant we had to get really creative—even the windows were placed below the level of the countertops. But the space actually meant that the resulting kitchen was uniquely cozy and inviting. It came out beautifully.”

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Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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