Treasuring the Dunes

An Osterville interior decorator works with Bunny Mellon’s family to restore a famous Oyster Harbors cottage.

The Dune House has long been a cherished seaside retreat for family and friends on Paul and Bunny Mellon’s Osterville estate.Since the days when Jackie Kennedy Onassis would come to savor peace and quiet in the rambling cottage on the dunes, this has been a special place for relaxed summer days.

Treasuring the Dunes

Mrs. Mellon—who is a still active, vibrant 103-year-old—especially loved the Dune House on the family’s sprawling Cape estate during the decades when she and Paul came to Osterville for the summer. According to her grandson, Thomas Lloyd, whose family started restoring the family’s Putnam House and Dune House to their former glory recently, the latter cottage’s collection of small rooms that open out one to the other with simple, understated elegance was the place where his grandparents would retreat when the ebb and flow of the summer season became too much.

Treasuring the Dunes

“My grandparents would come here all by themselves and she would cook hot dogs for their dinner,” Thomas says on a recent visit to Oyster Harbors with his wife, Rickie Niceta Lloyd, and their two children. On a tour through Dune House, Thomas shares stories of the days when famous guests came to stay.

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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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