A Tale of Two Tablescapes:

Cape Cod Home  /  Winter 2019 / ,

Writer: Brenna Collins / Photographer: Elyssa Cohen 

Holiday Decorating with Summerland’s Michelle Woeller

For Michelle Woeller, the joy of design is in the process of crafting spaces that reflect the individuals within them. Her hope in establishing Summerland Homes  & Gardens in Osterville was to bring together interior and landscape design, an extraordinary venture allowing designs to flow all the way from the living room to the backyard. “Our tagline is ‘design for your indoor and outdoor spaces.’  I love being able to create a vision for the whole property—the house and yard—and have it flow together to provide a seamless transition from indoors to out. That is especially important on the Cape where outdoor living is so big,” Woeller notes. 

Woeller and her family enjoyed summers on the Cape for years, with a year-round residence in Central Massachusetts. There, she was the landscape designer for her husband’s landscape company. In 2013, she combined her love of interior design with landscape design, and Summerland Homes & Gardens was born. Come each autumn, the family couldn’t seem to part with the Cape’s tranquil shores. So in 2016, they took a leap of faith and moved permanently to Centerville, where Woeller began focusing on her business full-time. 

From a young age, her creative spirit was cultivated within her artistic family. “My mother is an artist, and she was always creating beauty in our home. Both of my parents were avid gardeners, so growing up I was immersed in that and saw what they would do to the spaces and homes where we lived.  They designed and built one of their houses and I would sit at my dad’s drawing board, creating my own floor plans. Then I would cut out furniture from the Sears catalog and place it in the rooms,” Woeller says with a laugh about her childhood pastime. Her creative passions led her to college for fashion design and merchandising, and after some time in the fashion world, she took the principles of design and transferred them to interiors and landscape. 

Today, her thoughtfulness and attention to detail has been refined into her ever-growing company, visualizing how clients will thrive in their home. In a new build or renovation project, Summerland collaborates initially with the architect or builder to imagine how every space will be best used, guiding clients through this extensive process. “We help our clients think about how they will be living in their home, the rooms they’ll spend the most time in, the activities they’ll be doing. That drives the design,” she says explaining that each project varies, whether it be interior, landscape, or both. “Often a client will hire us for an interior project, but after we build a relationship with them throughout the design process and they see how we work, they’ll hire us for landscape design as well.”  On the Cape, Summerland often steps in as a guiding hand for individuals transitioning their summertime getaway into a full-time residence. 

Her style, which she describes as “relaxed traditional,” is on display in her new studio on Main Street in Osterville. Opened this past June to accommodate her company’s growth, the studio’s open concept creates a sense of ease with natural tones, while its curated details, like wicker accents and a printed wallpaper, sharpen the aesthetic. “I want my spaces to be comfortable, inviting, and cozy. Often I lean towards a coastal-inspired palette:  blues, greens and neutrals. Clients come to us because they’re drawn to that aesthetic, but I am always interested in going outside of that circle and working with different colors and styles as well,” Woeller comments. In September 2018, designer Kelly Vaillancourt joined the team to assist with their growing client base, bringing her own innovative vision to the table. The studio’s retail space invites visitors to browse for furniture, art, and home accessories. Summerland also carries a private label upholstery line, which offers customized furniture pieces. 

Woeller’s inspiration for the studio and designs comes from her surroundings, nature and travel.  “I’ll be on a walk in the woods and it’s the color of the bark against the moss and leaves that pulls me in. I am drawn to different textures and colors and how they play against each other—beach grass against the blue sea, colorful perennials in front of manicured boxwoods, pattern on pattern. I’m constantly observing.  I was in Spain and Morocco last year and loved the architecture, the detailed tilework, the beautiful textiles and vibrant colors. When I’m visiting new places my senses are so heightened while taking everything in, and I’m constantly exploring how I can take some of those elements and incorporate them into my Cape designs,” she explains.

Dreaming up a springtime renovation? Now is the perfect time to start planning with Summerland Homes & Gardens, with the quieter winter months providing ample time to consider thoughtful details. In fact, it is the design journey itself that sparks Woeller’s spirit. “I find joy in the doing, whether it’s pouring over fabrics, searching for finishing touches to style a bookcase, or getting my hands in the dirt to create window boxes or planters. There is always an excitement in the anticipation of seeing the finished product,” she remarks. 

In celebration of this joyous time of year, Summerland Homes & Gardens curated two winter-themed vignettes. The following pages showcase these two designs, styled by Woeller and Vaillancourt, perfect to enrich any gathering and nourish your soul at the table. Holiday decorating has never been easier! 

A Winter’s Night

For the first tablescape, “A Winter’s Night,”Woeller was inspired by Dutch still-life paintings. In this design, cooler tones unite with neutral browns to create a calming core. The mixture of neutral solids with green and blue prints, like the leafy green tablecloth and blue block printed napkins, perfectly balance one another in this detailed look. The tablecloth, a fabric available through Summerland’s studio, creates an overarching earthy feel while artistically grounding the table setting. Surrounding the table, the blue wicker chairs with printed pillows extend the design. The antique brass candlesticks add an historic, traditional charm, while tiger shell napkin rings and salt and pepper shakers bring a touch of sea life and an unexpected accent. The moody-toned floral arrangement by Blossoms of Cape Cod serves as a gorgeous centerpiece, with a Chinese vase tying into the patterned plates. The bamboo silverware and wicker place card holders create additional earthy accents. Various light bites and a charcuterie board, catered by Helen Ventouris of Three Sisters Catering, are positioned around the setting to complete the presentation, readying it for a cozy gathering. Over at the fireplace, (pictured on the previous page) the Dutch still-life inspiration continues in this warm nook, complete with evergreen mantel arrangements, a pear-filled bowl, and a miniature holiday tree in a wicker stand. Camilla Richman Fine Arts provided both paintings featured in the home, perfect for the historic Cape winter aesthetic. In designing this setting, Woeller aspired to reflect the historic aura of this Orleans home with the Dutch inspiration and antique accents. To replicate these design elements, many of the pieces displayed are available for purchase in Summerland’s shop. This tablescape creates the perfect backdrop for a winter’s night by the fire.

For a fresh take on holiday decorating, incorporate earthy tones with your classic red and white.

Holiday decorating is made easier when your dessert can double as your centerpiece!

Merry & Bright

What better way to celebrate the holidays than sharing sweet treats? Indulging in gingerbread cookies or peppermint bark with friends and family brings a nostalgic ambiance to your winter gathering. The second setting, “Merry and Bright,”uses a more traditional holiday scheme in a modern kitchen setting. For this design, Woeller envisioned a lively holiday get-together for desserts and drinks, showcasing a red and green dessert buffet.

The kitchen’s island serves as the main buffet setting, embellished with cocktails and assorted desserts catered by AMIE Bakery. Blossoms of Cape Cod crafted floral arrangements with lush greens, berries, red tulips and white hydrangeas to enhance the overall color scheme. A small arrangement sits next to the stove, along with additional green accents and a bowl of evergreens with red ornaments. A red cookie platter and dessert plates spark a dash of liveliness against the light countertop, balanced by the apple green block print napkins. For a thoughtful touch, red ribbon is tied around each silverware set. The three-tiered dessert stand not only holds the cupcakes and chocolate, but serves as a focal piece with evergreens and vintage ornaments on the bottom tier. Neighboring the tiered stand, a vanilla cake surrounded by evergreen accents sits atop a wooden cake stand. The varied height of these displays across the island pleases the eye and adds complexity to the design. For cocktails to share, raspberries and prosecco in champagne flutes tie perfectly into the scheme, and for an additional option, wicker glasses topped with cranberries and a sprig of greens bring extra holiday flair. With berries and greenery throughout the space, the entire design becomes a cohesive, vibrant atmosphere that pops against this primarily white, sleek kitchen in Hyannis. As the heart of the home, and often a favorite gathering space, the kitchen may be wonderfully transformed for holiday parties. With a cheerful buffet setting, your gathering can be set in a casual, yet thoughtfully curated space bursting with holiday cheer. 

For more holiday decorating inspiration, make sure to visit Summerland’s studio in Osterville!