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Collecting the Cape

“When you’re going to renovate a house, always hire an architect you’ve known for 50 years,” say the owners of an exquisite Cape in Brewster.

Although the owners present this advice as a joke, the nature of their relationship with architect Kevin Lichten actually did directly impact the design choices for this unique project. In a sense, the renovation began over 50 years ago, when the owners and Lichten were classmates at Brown University. Lichten notes, “We share a common history; our years in Providence were important in establishing an inventory of what makes a beautiful house.”

“The East Side of the city is just gorgeous,” adds the owner. “And because of the local politics, Providence was unable to modernize in the 1960s the way many other cities did, which left much of the existing architecture in place.”

Even the reminiscence of these formative college days, in a conversation on the new screened porch of the Brewster home, reveals the type of collaboration that went into the project. While the owners have chosen careers other than architecture, the discipline remains as one of their hobbies and passions. In fact, conversations amongst the three friends about houses and design predate the renovation by decades. Their keen interest in architecture not only contributed to the successes of the project, but also factored in thematically, for this is a home with the concept of “collecting” at its core, and the owners have essentially created a living museum for themselves with various collections of art and antiques throughout the house; the actual renovations are themselves a collection of elements that Lichten and the owners accumulated together.

“We tried to harvest everything we love about Cape Cod,” says Lichten.

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