Every last detail
“I wanted lots of fun color, particularly in the bedrooms,” Louise Donovan explains. “I didn’t want hotel rooms. I wanted them to each have a distinct personality.” Karlan certainly achieved that directive by deftly utilizing soothing shades of various colors to determine the distinctive design themes of each relaxing bedroom. Guests and family are treated to sanctuary-like accommodations that might cause them to ask if they can stay longer than expected.
The master bedroom is where one could truly escape the real world. In soothing shades of white sand and just a whisper of blue, the room overlooks the tidal tranquility of marshes that buffer a coastal inlet. A low-profile gas fireplace is positioned across from the king-sized bed for the cozy appeal of cooler nights. Shades of pale driftwood appear not only in the stacked tile surround of the fireplace but also in the bedside tables and dresser. The crowning touch in the room is an exquisite seashell chandelier that sits in the room like the pearl in an oyster.
The en suite bath is simply breathtaking, as it appears to be suspended in an undersea wonderland. Wall covering depicting soft, white sea fans floating on a pale aqua background wrap the room in soft hues of the Cape Cod waters outside. Sparkling glass tiles, like droplets from crashing waves, intersect the field of ivory floor tile. A glass-enclosed shower with aqua glass tiles and a beach stone floor is paired with a freestanding slipper tub that takes in the view without compromising privacy. Suspended from the ceiling, as though floating in a water column of their own, a cluster of metal, bead and filament lighting fixtures twinkles like a pod of jellyfish.
On the ground floor, the kitchen is full of light, air and views galore. There are no upper cabinets on the exterior walls, allowing for more windows and more seascape tableaux. A triangular island, painted a light turquoise, is topped with a sand-colored quartz slab sourced and installed by Cape Cod Marble and Granite. This time in the kitchen, Jim Shaw built plenty of cabinetry to accommodate a busy family that enjoys cooking dinners together. The surrounding cabinetry balances against the opposing bank of windows perfectly with backlit, glass cupboards at the uppermost level.
The remaining social space on the ground floor encompasses an open dining room, where Dvorsack intuitively suggested replacing two windows with additional sliding glass doors to the expansive deck outside. Shaw’s craftsmanship is again evident in the built-in buffet that separates the dining room from the living room. And a dry bar in the living room with curved fretwork on the glass cabinet doors was inspired by Dvorsack, executed by Shaw and playfully accented by Karlan.
Peter Donovan says that everything they did was to expose the view. But the scene outside is more than a static vista. The tidal inlet changes constantly through the day and accordingly has a transformative effect on the Donovans as they unwind each weekend. The abundant wildlife on the property is continually responding to the changes that a coastal environment experiences. Peter Donovan says the birds are in perpetual motion, and he and his family can get lost in the quest of the herons and egrets as they patiently wait for their moment to snag an unsuspecting fish or eel. Even the breeze seems to have a unique effect on this family’s home—as it moves through the backyard and filters through the screens surrounding the dining room, it renders a pleasant tinkling sound from the light-as-air capiz shell chandelier over the dining table.
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