Check out this gorgeous home on the bay in Chatham

Cape Cod Home  /  Early Summer 2019 /

Writer: Lilly Lowe / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

Check out this gorgeous home on the bay in Chatham


Cape Cod Home  /  Early Summer 2019 /

Writer: Lilly Lowe / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

Crowning Achievement

A Chatham home celebrates its majestic bayside setting

Nestled in the secluded mouth of Chatham’s Ryder’s Cove, a commercial fishing port, hustling and bustling during the summer months, lies one New York-based couple’s new second home. The alluring and all-encompassing view serves as the inspiration and focal point of the gambrel-style house. The connection to the inviting surroundings flows through each room, seamlessly stretching all the way to the foamy seashore. 

The couple had been eyeing the property—and its show-stopping view—while living in their previous summer home just a street over. When it went up for sale in 2016, they purchased the older, out-of-style ranch with the intent to replace it with their dream home, all within a tight schedule of 10 months, in order to be ready for the summer season. With new waterfront access, the couple was excited to moor their boat right in their backyard and fully enjoy the waterfront location. 

“We wanted the house to be a real sanctuary for our family,” the homeowner says. “It was all about being comfortable, enjoying the views, and bringing those beautiful surroundings into the home as much as possible.”

The couple enlisted project manager April Ducott of Cape Associates, interior designer Susan Tuttle of Surroundings Custom Interiors, and architect Erik Tolley of ERT Architects to bring their concept to life. Because the home is within a conservation district and on a sensitive site, Nick Crawford, principal of Mashpee’s Crawford Land Management was also brought on the project as a conservation specialist, and Coy’s Brook Landscaping and Cheney Landscape Design completed the landscape work. 

Collaboration between all parties was key to meet the tight deadline and to achieve the polished finish that the homeowners envisioned. Tolley crafted a design program that acknowledged the homeowners’ goals of maximizing the unforgettable views from all of the bedrooms. The homeowner also wanted private space for her two adult sons to be able to come and go with little interruption or distraction. Two master suites allowed for one with sound seclusion and spectacular views upstairs, and a second master on the ground floor accommodates guests, but also allows for flexibility for any change in life’s circumstances.

“We all worked really closely throughout the whole project,” Ducott says. “We worked through options together and everyone contributed different ideas. It was a work in progress, and the finer details involved a lot of on-site collaboration with samples, pictures and mock-ups for visualization.”

The overall design of the home is a balancing act of inviting the ocean into every room, while maintaining a simple yet sophisticated look and feel that doesn’t steer attention away from the view. Clean lines keep the space light and uncluttered, and neutral, creamy colors encourage warmth and complement the incoming rays of sunshine. These earth tones enhance the connection to the vistas outside, while intricate details in stones and tiles add pop and intrigue throughout the home. 

Theses kind of details were the results of deliberate, well-thought-out and collaborative material selections—from the tiles, to the fabrics, to the woods, and more. “When you’re in the space, you can sense how all of the details really work well together,” Tuttle says. “This was our goal, and I’m very pleased with the results.” 

An open-concept layout greets you as you enter the main floor of the home, where a sleek kitchen, complete with custom cabinetry, expands into a dining area and living room. Cozy upholstered stools flank a center island stretching the full length of the kitchen. Contemporary pendant light fixtures perch above the smooth-surfaced island, arranged in an artful display, each hanging at different lengths from the beautiful beadboard ceiling. Gazing straight ahead, the eye is drawn to the blue-green hue of the sea visible through a curtain-less bank of windows. 

“If you’re standing in the kitchen and you look to the beach outside, it all looks as one,” Tuttle says. “The idea with the design was to have it sit well with the ocean. You see the furniture, the fabrics and the details, and it’s pleasing to the eye, but it doesn’t make your eye stop there. It doesn’t take away from the view.”

As you make your way to the adjacent living area, the elongated fireplace steals your attention. “The fireplace was a focal point of the house and a lot of effort was put into making sure it aesthetically belonged in the two-story space without overwhelming it,” Ducott says. “As you enter the house, your eye immediately looks out to the water and then the warm tones and texture of the fireplace draw you back in.” Mastering the fireplace was not a simple feat. Multiple pallets of stones were delivered, and the team went through one by one on a quest for a specific tone, shape and size. They culled out light stones in warm shades and opted for a limestone mantle. The oatmeal complexion of the fireplace and the driftwood logs arranged within are evocative of the sandy beach of Ryder’s Cove. A wet bar connects the fireplace to the glass sliding doors, which open to a spacious, sunny deck. The deck encourages relaxation, with a gas fire pit and lots of seating options, and the homeowners enjoy as many meals as they can out there in the warmer months.   

An open staircase with unique turns, reminiscent of a rectangular spiral staircase, leads the first floor to the loft area up above. “The stairway is truly a piece of art,” Tuttle says. “We worked really hard researching and then picking all the stair parts—the hand rails, the posts and the balusters—to make it work and really show off the architectural design of it as best we could.”

Winding up the stairs, you arrive in the loft area. To the left is the guest bedroom wing and to the right is the homeowners’ bedroom. An impressive double door adds a sense of privacy to the simple, sophisticated design of the master bedroom. The underlying theme found throughout the home is apparent as a line of windows next to the bed invites the view in. A glass door leads out to a balcony deck, another favorite cozy getaway for the homeowners.  

The first-floor guest bathroom features an inlaid teardrop mosaic waterfall tile in the shower. On either side of the shower, his and hers custom vanities and mirrors with White Rhino marble tops add subtle sophistication to the space.

Amidst a sea of neutrals, some of the most noticeable pops of color come to life in the en suite bathrooms of each bedroom. The master bath is a spacious his and hers, with one luxurious shower in the middle connecting each secluded side. A stripe of abalone shell mosaic tile—extending from the floor to the ceiling—adds a subtle element of visual interest. Meanwhile, in the first-floor bathroom, a teardrop design runs a vertical line on the porcelain-tiled walls, reminiscent of a cascading waterfall.

The intimate link to the outdoors extends to the basement, too, where a family room, a fourth bedroom, and the “sand room” round out the home’s living spaces. The “sand room” is the beach house version of a mudroom, complete with laundry and a slew of storage space. It’s the exit to the beach and the entrance back into the home—a practical space to grab towels, hang life jackets, discard bathing suits, etc. 

The home was completed in June 2018, and the couple took full advantage of their new sanctuary—enjoying their favorite summer activities on the cove and basking in the sunsets from their new favorite nooks. Everyone contributed his or her unique talents to this home, and it was truly the collaboration that led to a successful finish. “These projects that really come together well, it’s all about the teamwork,” Tuttle says. “There was strong communication between the client, the builder, myself, and everyone involved. Everyone’s talents and abilities are visible throughout the home.”

Lilly Lowe

Lilly Lowe lives in Boston where she works as a copywriter. She spends her free time with friends, family, the outdoors, and daydreaming about her next trip. She has written several articles for Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME and Cape Cod ART in recent years including profiles on local gardeners and a feature on Cape Cod Roller Derby.