A Seamless Connection
A distinctive home in cummaquid is the foundation for a new cape cod design/build team.
Tucked away at the end of a small road off Route 6A in Cummaquid is a custom-built home that is a true reflection of the Cape Cod environment—in every sense of the word. A collaborative effort between homeowner Lynda Bedard and builder Jared West, the concept for this 5,000-square-foot house was Bedard’s, while the intricate details are a testament to West’s skills as a finish carpenter.
From the gray shingles on the exterior to the natural materials inside and the signature outline of the Cape Cod peninsula embedded in the gable above the front door, the home exemplifies the success that can be achieved when imagination meets talent. “The design was my vision,” Bedard says, “but Jared made it happen.” West agrees. “Lynda knew what she was looking for, and I knew what could be done in reality.”
The completed renovation is only one part of this success story. Since finishing the project nearly two years ago, Bedard and West have teamed up to create Cape Cod Custom Build, a full-service construction and design company based in Barnstable.
Bedard, who worked for 20 years as an equity trader and dabbled in interior design as a hobby before recently earning her contractor’s license, is now partnering with West, who brings 20 years of experience in the custom home building trade. The partners offer a full line of services, including fine custom home design and building, renovations, remodeling services, and interior decorating.
“She’s very organized and detail-oriented,” West says. “And we both have good design concepts and vision. We really work well together.” “Our clients are really getting two services for the price of one,” Bedard adds. “It’s really fun to work with all kinds of people and build fabulous things for all budget levels.”
A significant demonstration of how Bedard’s imagination merged with West’s ingenuity was the creative process the pair employed to cover steel beams installed in the center of the home, replacing a load-bearing wall.
“Lynda shopped around and found a 400-year-old log,” West says. She handed it off to him and he cut and hollowed it out to cover the steel beams. The rustic wood accents enhanced the nature-inspired ambiance of the living room. “It worked well with the concept that Lynda was looking for,” West says.
Although Bedard served as the principle designer on the job site, West was not shy about suggesting changes or adding certain elements he thought necessary. Bedard says that when the pair was working on the recreation room on the second floor, West proposed adding a sliding glass door with a Juliet balcony, to fully bring the vistas of the marsh and ocean inside. “He suggested using a glass railing rather than a standard wooden railing so that nothing would obstruct the views,” Bedard says.
One of the final touches on the project was cutting and piecing together an outline of Cape Cod that would be placed on the gable above the home’s front door, a design element West had crafted for another home. “I am trying to incorporate comparable designs in all of my projects,” West says.
Initially, Bedard intended to renovate the existing home on the two-acre property. But as work progressed and her vision changed, so did the scope of the project. “We hired a structural engineer, and Jared and I ended up collaborating on the design, making structural changes as we went along,” Bedard says. “By the time we were done, there were only about four pieces of plywood left from the original house in the new house.”
Bedard says one of her goals for this house was to ensure very little space was unused, or wasted. To that end, West and his team of subcontractors constructed a custom-made built-in bookcase in Bedard’s partner Maureen McCarthy’s office in the house. The unit contains a Murphy bed, thus creating a space that can double as a spare bedroom. A small bathroom tucked away in a corner just outside the recreation room epitomizes the philosophy of using every bit of space. Faced with a slanted doorway leading into the small half-bathroom, Bedard says West’s skills were pivotal when it came to cutting the door to fit the opening.
Bedard’s contribution to this project was not limited to structural design elements; she also contributed to the home’s elegant interior design. With a décor that is a creative mix of traditional and rustic, Bedard manages to intermingle these two styles, creating an ambiance that flows, without disruption, from one room to the next.
With views overlooking Cummaquid’s tidal marsh on Cape Cod Bay, Bedard was careful to select colors for both the exterior and interior of the home, opting for seaside hues such as sand-colored tans and beiges, greens mirroring the grass in the marshland, and grays and blues reflecting the ocean and the sky.
“When people pull up to the house,” Bedard says, “I want them to look right through the house and beyond it. The marsh and ocean really are like pieces of art.” To achieve just the right tones of taupe and tan inside the home, Bedard mixed her own paint colors, adding an antique white paint to a basic brown. “Each room really is a variation of the same color,” she says.
Natural materials also influenced Bedard’s choice of countertops, fireplace surrounds, and other hard surfaces. She selected a wine-colored bluestone, typically used for outdoor patios, for the countertop in the master bathroom as well as the tub. Again, West’s skills as a talented finish carpenter played an integral role in designing the shape of the tub.
“We tried to use the space as best we could, so we used a curved design on the tub,” West says. “I laid out all of the angles for the tub and the stone surround, and created a template made out of plywood.” Continuing with the theme of bringing the outdoors in, Bedard used natural rocks for the master bathroom’s cabinet doorknobs.
Bedard notes that one of the challenges building a house of this size-—with ceilings that vary in height from nine feet to 12 feet—was trying to include elements that give the house a warm and cozy ambiance.
“I chose a character-grade walnut—where all of the knots are left inside the wood—which contributes to a more rustic appearance for the floors,” Bedard explains. “I also brought in elements of darker wood in other areas to warm up the house.” The designer also notes that she chose a v-groove ceiling to evoke a cottage-like atmosphere in the home.
Bedard repeated the color of the dark wood floors on the ceiling by adding beams, a decision that tested West’s skills as a carpenter. In the hallway just outside the master bedroom, the ceiling features multiple angles; precision and planning were a crucial part of cutting and fitting the beams. “It was intricate and delicate work,” West says. “There were a lot of complex angles and definitely a lot of details to work out.”
While hiring a contractor for a project like this one can be a daunting task—and perhaps a bit of a risk—Bedard says it was really West who took the risk when he agreed to take on the project. She says one of the criteria she was looking for in a general contractor was a willingness to allow her to work alongside, so she could be tutored and mentored in the trade. “This was definitely a first for me,” says West. “She really just wanted to learn and that was absolutely fine with me.”
Bedard admits there were some days when she served as ‘the gopher’, but says throughout a majority of the project she worked alongside the entire team, including subcontractors. “Jared let me do everything from carrying beams, to working on the roof,” Bedard says. “I took part in every aspect of the project,” she adds, noting that she could not have asked for a better contractor or a better teacher.
“Jared was the perfect person for this project and for what I wanted to do,” she says. “We worked so well together; the project was seamless.” West was equally impressed with Bedard’s sense of design and style. “This is one of the most unique homes that I have done on the Cape,” he says.
Mary Stanley is sales and marketing coordinator for Cape Cod LIFE Publications.