Grand living on Great Island
Some may take their cocktails to the large outdoor hot tub for a relaxing soak while dinner is prepared either in the indoor kitchen, with its crisp white cabinetry and contrasting black honed jet mist granite countertops, or perhaps on the grill in the outdoor kitchen. When it’s time to eat, the family gathers around a large Restoration Hardware farmer’s table, illuminated by a contemporary Artic Pear Wave chandelier found at Ochre in New York City by the home’s interior designer, Karen Quinn of Connecticut. After dinner, a few wander to the patio to watch their favorite program on the outdoor television, while others opt for different choices of viewing in the comfort of the family room, where what looked like a mirror over the marble fireplace becomes a television at night, transforming the family sitting area into an indoor theater.
Furnishings are from a variety of sources, some new, some antique, and some transplanted from the couple’s suburban home, but nothing is ornate or fussy. The living room is “fairly dressed up,” Quinn says, but the Perennial and Schumacher fabrics are sturdy indoor/outdoor selections. There are standout pieces, like the Belgian table in the entryway, but Quinn, who has worked with Nicholaeff on several projects, says the house is the star. “Doreve’s houses don’t need a lot,” she says. “They are so interesting, and as a designer, I have to let the spaces be the artwork and let the views be the artwork.”
The C2 Salt Water wall color used throughout the house unites the spaces, furnishings, and fabrics. Choosing the right shade was paramount, Quinn adds, as there are no natural breaks in the walls; all of the major public spaces are connected. Given the prominent role of the color, it was important that it be interesting, with added drama provided in its contrast to the handsome walnut floors, whose color will lighten and become more blonde over time. The wall color also exhibits changing moods. “It is different from day to night,” Quinn says. The general goal for the interior design’s palette, she adds, “was to keep the colors light—sand, water, sky. We used those colors so that when you open up the door, everything just flows outside.”
The house feels like a perfect summer day—open, bright, breezy, calming. It has room for everyone and their activities, but is also comfortable when it is just two: “They are a close family,” Quinn says, “but we also needed to design the spaces so when the couple is alone, the spaces don’t feel cavernous. They still feel intimate.”
Even when the house is full, there are still places to get away. Those seeking quiet can retreat to a second-floor deck and look out at the ocean or watch the group below gathered around the fire pit chatting and listening to the wind play the sea grasses. The more intrepid souls, meanwhile, make the three-story journey up through the heart of the house, and emerge from a small door to meander around the circular rooftop path where the ocean views are epic and the roofscape, with its curving passageway is endlessly beguiling. When they are satisfied with the play of architectural shapes, they gaze up in silence at the natural firmament and get lost in constellations that seem so much closer from this special vantage point.
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