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A historic Sea Captain’s home in Barnstable gets a new, colorful life

Each room in the home has its own identity, thanks to distinct layers of soft and dynamic colors, patterns and textures, yet they are united in their pastoral-like aesthetic—one that plays to the historic nature of the home while still feeling fresh.   

When Rosenfeld came into the project, she was dealing with a completely blank slate that she describes as being “Plain Jane,” adding, “There was nothing. It was empty like a dorm room.” She kept only one piece of furniture from the original home—a black four-post bed, and from there, like a Dutch master, applied layers and depths of texture, pattern and light to create a vibrant and lively backdrop against which the family plays out their Cape adventures.

“The home itself had adorable bones,” Rosenfeld recalls as she describes the exterior of the charming colonial home. “In addition to its crushed shell driveway, it wasn’t hard to make cute.” One will notice that this is not a typical Cape Cod home, cloaked in blue and white throughout, and that is intentional. Rosenfeld wanted to do something slightly different with the interior while still meeting the client’s desire for a beach home. “Everybody loves blue, who can’t love blue? But I didn’t want it to be another blue Cape house,” she says. Rosenfeld’s favorite part of the project, and her hardest sell, were the canary yellow drapes in the living space off of the dining area. “When I suggested the yellow curtains, the homeowner was like, ‘Seriously?’ but I told her she had to trust me,” Rosenfeld recalls. “To me, the yellow was the deal-maker.” 

Rosenfeld says that as she approaches projects, she tends to work from the window treatments down, and that is exactly what she did here. To start, she chose colors found in the tropical patterns of the yellow curtains and highlighted them throughout the home, thus tying the rooms together, while also giving each its own distinct character. “You’ll notice that one room is almost entirely blue, and one is almost entirely red. That was sort of the compromise so that the client could get her blue, but I could also make it a bit different,” Rosenfeld explains. The window treatments, in classic New England hues, are complemented by colorful patterned throws and pillows, which further serve to enhance the understated, low-maintenance furniture. Rosenfeld notes, “Anyone can buy these couches,” referring to the popular catalogue finds, but it is the pops of color strewn like clues in a treasure map that connect elsewhere in the various rooms that make the home feel special. “This home now has an identity and a personality,” says Rosenfeld. “Before it wasn’t anything.” 

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