See how one architect takes a bunk room to a whole new level

Cape Cod Home  /  Early Summer 2019 / ,

Writer: Haley Cote / Photographer: Brian Vanden Brink 

Special Spaces: All Aboard

For the owners of one Lower Cape home, the name they bestowed upon their abode says it all: Summer Mooring. “We have two daughters. My husband travels a ton with work. And it always seems like during the year, between lacrosse and ski racing and now college, everyone’s constantly on the move, whereas in the summer, everybody’s there,” the homeowner says. “That’s how we came across the name, Summer Mooring—it’s like I can actually moor my family at one place for a season.”

What’s key in helping ground this family, along with their extended family and friends, to their exquisite waterfront house—the creation of Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders (PSD)—is the home’s enchanting bunk room. It’s “a getaway within the getaway,” says PSD design principal John DaSilva. “It’s set up to be a fantastical space—its own fantasy world,” he says. “We strive to make spaces within houses that one remembers fondly, that inspire daydreams, that beckon one back. I can imagine just about everyone who visits this room finds it unexpected and leaves with a big smile.”

Often in PSD’s design work, the architectural idea of associationism is at play—a kind of symbolism in which house forms hint at other types of forms, like ships. Here, PSD took associationism a step further, playing more literally to the idea of a tugboat. The 600-square-foot bunk room wing is divided into two floors, which altogether can sleep nine. Everything here is built-in, including the bunks themselves, designed to resemble the berths of a ship. The first floor consists of a center king bed and a set of bunks on one side of the room, with a double and twin bed. Wave patterns are seen in the wainscoting and headboard wall of the standalone king bed. At the center of a slatted “screen wall” above on the second floor, which includes two more sets of bunks, are fancifully engraved, flat images of waves and a tugboat hull, made of mahogany.

“It’s like an architectural billboard—a sign that represents waves and a boat on the ocean,” DaSilva explains of the screen wall. Standing on the second floor, looking out through the window to the view of the water beyond, it’s as if you’re standing in the wheelhouse of a tugboat—as if you’re setting sail at the helm of a ship.

“PSD really outdid themselves,” says the homeowner. “You can describe the bunk room to people, but then when they walk in they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh!’” For DaSilva, “It’s a playroom for kids,” he says, “but hopefully it makes adults feel like kids too.”

Haley Cote

Haley Cote is the assistant editor for Cape Cod Life Publications. A lifelong Cape Cod resident, Haley is an alumna of Barnstable High School and Cape Cod Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Suffolk University. When she’s not writing, this self-described “pop culture junkie” also loves discovering new music and catching up on the “Real Housewives.”