Every room was artfully built and decorated under Mrs. Mellon’s artistic eye to make the most of the stunning beauty outside; natural light pours through windows that open out to the ocean on one side and beautifully planted and maintained courtyard gardens and a wildflower meadow on the other. Mrs. Mellon’s gardening skills are legendary; Jackie Kennedy consulted her when the Rose Garden was being redesigned early in JFK’s presidency and she once designed a garden for a famous European castle.
Everywhere you look there is something lovely to see; even from the bathroom windows, which are fitted with special screens that slide into the wall, allowing for sunlight and sea breezes to stream in at all hours of the day. The guest bedroom and bathroom have recently been restored to their former beauty—along with other rooms in both Dune and Putnam House—by Osterville interior decorator, Hope Van der Wolk. Rickie Lloyd chose Van der Wolk after reading a cover story in Cape Cod HOME (“Reclaiming an Osterville Mansion’s Glamour,” Spring, 2011) about the designer’s transformation of an aging Osterville mansion.
Hope, who once worked for American interior design icon Sister Parish in Manhattan, and who is well-known on the Cape for her discerning eye and artistic sensibilities, is working on the interiors of both houses with an eye to recreating Mrs. Mellon’s understated, coastal-hued sophistication. “In both houses, my intent is to freshen up the interiors without really changing things,” says Hope. The interior decorator’s studio is in shared space with Van der Wolks, a Main Street, Osterville shop owned by her brother, Peter Van der Wolk. Ironically, Hope’s office and design studio are actually located in a spacious room at the back of Van der Wolks that used to be Paul Mellon’s summer boardroom.