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Quintessential Cape

“One of the things we felt really strongly about was using that old, dated pine paneling in a fresh new way,” says Waldo. “Sarah and I are both really drawn to a rustic-coastal vibe, so it’s mixing the old with the new,” explains Lambton. Contractor Jeff Keefe and his company Keefe Construction carefully extracted the paneling off the walls, sanding down the boards and painting them white, reincorporating the pine panels along the walls of the guest bedroom, in shiplap style, as well as in the hallway. Keefe then personally sourced additional knotty pine, choosing wood with less than 1 inch-thick knots—any thicker, he says, and it wouldn’t paint well. This pine was then whitewashed and incorporated throughout the rest of the home as feature walls, wainscoting and in ceilings. Linda admits she was a bit worried at first that it would all look too white. “We kept saying, ‘The subtle tones will come out,’” recalls Waldo. “I’m so happy we trusted them,” Linda says, as the home now feels bright and airy yet still cozy-cottagey.

Whitewashed pine and subtle tones of white paint keep this cozy cottage feeling spacious and calm, while highlighting the hemlock beams. Texture is layered with natural fiber rugs and accessories.

What it doesn’t feel like, though, is a tiny house. “We wanted to make the rooms as spacious as possible without changing the footprint,” says Keefe. To open up the interior, Keefe vaulted the previously drop, cardboard-tile ceilings above the formal living room and kitchen, allowing the spaces to be open to one another. In the kitchen, comfy banquette seating, in place of a formal dining table, helps enable the flow between the two spaces, and a large picture window offers a resplendent view of the pond just beyond the backyard. Vaulting the ceilings also allowed for gable windows, for more natural light, and created space for a loft that sleeps two, perfect for accommodating Linda and Marty’s grown sons when they come to visit. The design team extended living space by transforming the screened porch—which had an existing block foundation—into a four-season TV room, complete with banks of divided lite windows on all three sides and exposed beams, kept their natural wood color to contrast the whitewashed paneling of the walls and ceiling. A cozy spot to lounge on a lazy Sunday, the four-season room also opens out to a large deck for summertime entertaining.

“One of the things we really pride ourselves on is making our projects feel authentically Cape Cod, that you get
 that feeling the minute you walk in
the door without it being advertised.”

Sarah Waldo, Washashore Home

Above the master and guest bedrooms, Keefe installed 2 ½ by 4 ¼ inch hemlock beams, topped with ¾ inch southern yellow pine, which also serves as the floor of the sleeping loft above. “What that did is create a lofty, post-and-beam effect in the bedrooms and gave a little more headspace,” Keefe explains. “But to achieve that,” he continues, “I had to put a structural ridge in that basically spans from each gable end—so there’s one big post in the middle then the beam from either half supports the whole roof structure.”

Furniture in the small cottage bedrooms is kept to a minimum so as to create as open of a feel as possible. Well-dressed beds offer a gracious welcome for guests. What was previously dark and cabin-like is now light and bright while still feeling charmingly cozy.

Additional restructuring included the fireplace chimney. The original fireplace, Keefe says, was undersized and not optimally functional, so it was opened up and redesigned so a wood stove could be installed. To Keefe, not only is the wood stove a more efficient heating element here, it also adds traditional charm. “We also brought in some old brick that’s original to Cape Cod and refaced the fireplace with that,” Waldo notes.

In selecting interior furnishings, Waldo and Lambton found an understated approach to be most impactful. “We didn’t need to go overboard with the nautical nods. You can do it in a very subtle way and still get that vibe,” says Waldo. “One of the things we really pride ourselves on is making our projects feel authentically Cape Cod, that you get that feeling the minute you walk in the door without it being advertised.” Soft-toned linens from Design Works in Yarmouth and armless living room chairs from Elburne in Dennis help create that easy-breezy feel desired. “That’s another nod to the Cape, using furnishings and pieces that are from local stores. It just makes it that much more personal to the Cape,” says Lambton. “We love working with local shops and store owners to source furnishings,” Waldo adds. Beachscape paintings by local artists were sourced from Harvest Wine Gallery as well as Design Works, and for an added pop of color, Waldo and Lambton chose a blue and white, circular-patterned tile backsplash for the kitchen. Knickknacks were kept to a minimum, says Waldo, and stain-resistant, slipcover Sunbrella fabrics were used for the couches. “With a Cape house,” Waldo says, “you don’t want to be spending your time dusting and cleaning.”

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