Interior design - Falmouth home

College friends join forces to create a colorful and comfortable Falmouth sanctuary

One caveat you can definitely take to the bank: life is unpredictable. Situations arise that you might never have imagined, and your path may take a hard right turn. Such was the case for interior designer Carey Karlan, owner of Last Detail Interior Design, who never guessed a reunion with Trinity College friends would result in a memorable project three hours from her local stomping grounds of Darien, CT. Peter and Louise Donovan hosted a weekend reunion at their home in Westwood, MA for several friends from Peter’s alma mater. The weekend was such a reminder of the close and joyful bond Donovan had with his classmates that, as the guests prepared to depart, he impulsively asked Karlan if she would consider taking on the design work of a new home they were planning in Falmouth.

Moving forward with a full home renovation imagined by Falmouth architect John Dvorsack and executed by the team at E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. of Hyannis, Donovan added Karlan to the dream team. “We all worked very efficiently together,” Karlan recalls. “John Dvorsack created such beautiful flow within the home, and the team at Jaxtimer is focused on delivering a high-quality product, so everyone worked together to create a lovely home for a wonderful family.”

The Donovans say the goals of the project were to create a Cape home where the family could gather on weekends, enjoy all of the Cape activities they love and truly leave the rest of the world behind. The tone is set from the moment one approaches the home via the driveway. Peter Donovan sums it up best: “When you first see the house, with the green marsh wrapped around it, you catch your breath. Then, you catch your breath again when you walk through the front door.” As you step through the coral-colored front door, into a spacious and welcoming front entry, the ground floor stretches out in front of you, with the view of the marsh through every available window and door. It is as though you have entered a creature comfort portal that is surrounded by an active natural world. Peter explains the deliberate absence of tall lamps, or other tall tabletop distractions, stating, “From any vantage point in the house, you are drawn to the view like a magnet.”

Peter says he knew Karlan would be fun to work with, but when he viewed her work on her website, her fresh take on design and her approachable interpretation of a sophisticated setting sealed the deal for him and Louise. Karlan’s use of color is in the playbook for the Donovans’ project, and the ground rules are set immediately with a coral-painted backdrop in a built-in bookcase, fashioned by Jim Shaw from Pocasset’s Shaw Woodworking. The walls of the open ground floor are painted a soft, delicate blue—the color of a spring sky—and a new stair rail and ballusters effectively gives the contemporary Cape a rich and finished look without looking too formal. The living room’s main seating area is grounded by a caramel-colored sofa with ivory welting and a smartly banded trim at the base. Accents of salmon, turquoise and sea life patterns remind you that you are a skipping stone away from the beach.