Where Summer Memories Begin
Expert architectural concepts and clever interior designing ideas combined with a homeowner’s special flair for details net an island paradise for a multi-generational family.
A sprawling home on Nantucket that offers stunning 360-degree views of the island from atop a roof walk combines just the right amount of island elegance with seaside comfort and charm. Here it is obvious that a large family’s cherished summer memories can be made. Situated on a one acre lot, the front of the home—with its wrap-around porch adorned with classic mission-style white rockers and a swing—is a throw back to the simpler summer days of long ago, while the back of the home—with its handsome built-in fireplace and sophisticated furniture—reflects today’s outdoor living preferences.
Every house is unique, says architect Lisa Botticelli of Nantucket’s Botticelli & Pohl, but what made this project really special, she says, was the client’s attention to the design—including an unusual flair for details. “You rarely get that from men,” she says. “We fed off of our client’s enthusiasm and that made the project as much fun for us as it was for him.”
From the exterior to the interior, the client had specific ideas for this summer getaway to make it a comfortable—and customized—place where he and all of the members of his family could enjoy summer living at its best. Just steps from the home’s patio and entertainment area is an enormous lawn that gives way to a 60-foot long swimming pool—amenities that accommodate the children’s passion for playing soccer and other activities and the homeowner’s enthusiasm for aquatic exercise. The home boasts plenty of windows that let in natural sunlight and allow the homeowners to watch their children playing on the lawn from various rooms within the house.
The oversized pool was intentionally located a good distance from the home. “The client wanted the pool to be a destination rather than a focal point of the exterior space,” Botticelli says. Located near the pool is the garage, which does double duty as a guest cottage. With barn style doors that slide open and a studio and bathroom on the second level, the structure is used more for accommodating guests than housing vehicles. “People don’t use garages on the island like they do on the mainland. The homeowner probably only uses it twice a season—once when he arrives and again when he leaves,” Botticelli says.
Another exterior architectural detail that adds to the charm of this house and gives it the authenticity of an island home is the widow’s walk. “Most homes on the island face either north or east to capture the best views. This home happens to face south, but the widow’s walk offers great views all around, with views of the water from three sides,” the architect says.
While the front of the two-story home is rather simple and unassuming—none of the windows have shutters—the back of the home, Botticelli says, is far more interesting. Balconies off the master bedroom and children’s rooms offer beautiful views of the property, while at the same time adding architectural interest. A fireplace built into the home’s chimney is the focal point for the “outdoor family room” that boasts plenty of seating, inviting family members to sit back and savor island nights—even when there is a slight chill in the air.
The home’s interior is equally distinctive with obvious attention and creative treatment paid to the most minor details. Botticelli says her client paid special attention to the millwork in the home, choosing lots of wood and v-groove for the walls, which not only moves the eye around the interior spaces, but also provides an added level of textural interest. Though the colors chosen seem almost monochromatic, the client selected tones that—though just a shade or two different—would create an impact. “He knew he wanted the v-groove in the entry way painted a deeper tone so that the white trim would pop,” Botticelli says.
Other features in the home demonstrate the homeowner’s commitment to making his summer retreat a place where family and friends would feel comfortable. Two sets of built-in bunk beds in the lowest level of the home not only accommodate extended members of the family—they encourage relaxed, carefree visits for all ages. “When the cousins come to stay, all of the kids like to stay together in that space,” says Botticelli.
Another specific design element that the homeowner wanted his summer retreat to have was a sitting area in the master bedroom that looks out over the property. “The client made sure that there was a space at the foot of the bed where he could put a sofa and coffee table. If he has to work while he is staying at his summer home, he prefers to do it there so that he can watch his family at play,” Botticelli says.
The interior furnishings reflect the family’s casual lifestyle, but are not necessarily a reflection of the island itself. “The client wanted the house to be extremely light, but not stereotypically nautical. While the color palette on the walls is light, the dark stained floors ground the design and give it an anchor,” says Interior Designer Dennis Duffy of Boston’s Duffy Design Group.
Choosing a blue palette throughout the home, Duffy was able to achieve a light and airy seaside ambiance without creating a cookie cutter nautical environment. The blues, aquas, and browns in the kitchen’s banquette seating nicely complement the wonderful translucent design of the table’s resin top. The chairs around the table— upholstered in polished Italian cream-colored leather—provide additional texture, creating a fresh contemporary look.
An oversized blue ottoman paired with a light sofa and dark Italian leather chair in the family room tie the pieces together and add to the light and airy atmosphere of the home. “The fabric is soft and the scale of the ottoman does not overwhelm,” Duffy says.
The designer continued the light color palette in the family room off of the kitchen, grounding the space with a few unexpected pieces, such as a beautiful painting above the fireplace and a soft wool carpet with an arabesque trellis design. “I brought in a red console table to provide a shot of color,” says Duffy. Cane side chairs and glass lamps provide a touch of resort comfort.
Furnishings chosen for the sunroom—which was designed to serve as a kind of meditation area—encourage relaxation. “The sunroom was a place where the client wanted to be able to hang out by himself. He personally chose a Buddha for a weathered side table, which embodies what he was looking for from this space. For the rest of the design, I tried to keep this room as simple as possible,” Duffy says.
The designer painted the floor a soft serene blue and brought in a wooden rocker. “I wanted something that felt kinetic,” he says. He added a customized sheepskin cushion to the rocker. “Sometimes, it’s all about the unexpected,” Duffy says. “Quirky touches make the room interesting, while keeping a sense of balance and harmony.”
For more information, visit botticelliandpohl.com and duffydesigngroup.com.