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A Warm Hug

The project in Osterville was intended to be a weekend and summer retreat for the client and his family and friends. Understanding how the home would be a refuge to forge memories for years to come, Mahoney settled into creating a safe and playful home that could stand everything a young family could throw at it. “Performance fabric was the name of the game with everything I did,” Mahoney shared. “I always envision sticky fingers with peanut butter and jelly potentially touching anything at any point.” Sunbrella fabrics and comfortable barrel swivel chairs give an ease to the casual living room that often has several weekend guests who are able to take in the view or quickly pivot to face the homeowner as he prepares a variety of creative meals for his guests. “When in doubt, swivel it out,” Mahoney quips. “I make sure to only give my clients three options at a time, ensuring I don’t overwhelm them. And on this project, the homeowner immediately loved the swivel chairs so we repeated them, but in a more sophisticated upholstery option in the adult entertaining portion of the lower level.”

The lower level Mahoney references is the light-filled, finished walkout basement that enjoys floor to ceiling windows which capture the long expanse behind the house that leads to the water’s edge. A beautifully appointed built-in wall of cabinets, crowned with exquisite natural stone create a bar area for the homeowner to enjoy a special bottle of wine with friends. The far end of the space features a comfortable sectional, a large screen television and a play area for little ones. Surprise details include a hidden door behind shiplap paneling to reveal a full home gym space, and another hidden door which secures a wine room that showcases artisanal craftsmanship and a unique racking system. A comfortable full bath with natural stone from Bellew Tile and Stone in Yarmouth on the floor, vanity top and a sumptuous glass shower, complete the amenities on the lower level.

Paul Mazzola and his team at GCI Builders in Marstons Mills accomplished all of the various construction projects throughout the home. While the house was primarily completed in 2019 when the homeowner purchased it, he and Mahoney had a list of tweaks, improvements and finish work throughout, but the lower level was their blank canvas. “One of the first things was the regular straight, down to the basement, set of stairs,” Mahoney explains. “We wanted to make a change and open it up to include two landings, with quarter turns that arrive at a final square landing for that ‘Ta Da’ moment.” White shiplap paneling clads the stairwell as well as the walls of the entire lower level, thus allowing the two secret passageway doors to be completely camouflaged. 

The bright and comfortable lower level provides space for everyone to hunker down with a large sectional and an adult seating area pictured below.

Another area that received minor remodeling was the second-story guest suite that wraps a corner from the house to space above the garage. “We wanted to create a place where guests could really feel as though they had their own private quarters,” Mahoney explains. A sitting room with a very hospitable wet bar, comfortable seating and large screen television anchor the seating area that leads to the en suite bedroom. The second floor also accommodates a serene and sophisticated room bathed in blues ranging from lapis to sky, creating a relaxing atmosphere for any lucky guest. And a little girls room is a study in everything a fairy princess should expect from a Cape Cod getaway.

To heighten both functionality and create a sense of adventure, Mahoney sourced an oversized bunk bed in a driftwood tone and grounded the room with a soft barely-there polka-dot wool rug from the Rug Merchant in Rockland, a vendor she uses often and the source of most of the carpets throughout the home.

At every turn, the home reflects the closely-knit relationship the designer and client have forged, as well as all of the intuitive design sense Mahoney has coursing through her veins. This was carried forward, when the client asked her to tackle the design work on his newly purchased Boston home as well. 

It wasn’t a shrewd sense of marketing, or a sappy attempt to be cute, when Mahoney settled on the tagline for her business, “Let’s make your home feel like a hug.” Rather, it is just truly the way she enters peoples’ homes, as well as their lives. Anne Mahoney leaves behind a lingering essence, like that of a warm embrace. 

To see more of Anne Mahoney’s work visit her website

Builder: GCI Builders, Marstons Mills • Landscape: Classic Landscapeing & Masonry, Mashpee

Julie Craven Wagner is the editor at Cape Cod Life Publications.

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