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This home on Edgartown’s Katama Bay is as beautiful as its surroundings

The Katama Bay home faces east-southeast, perched to welcome the roses of dawn but also to absorb the slates and grays from heavier skies, the whitecap-torn charcoal surface of the water when northeast winds howl. Rather than design a home that captures a single fancy or evokes a simple story, Hutker Architects created one that reflects Nature’s myriad moods and recognizes the beauty in warmth, in coldness, and in the juxtaposition between such opposing elements. While much of the home captures the colder white and gray hues of Martha’s Vineyard, the ceilings of the living room, dining room and kitchen all reveal exposed beams of reclaimed, hand-hewn white oak. Hutker Architects works with Harry Raymond of Vintage & Specialty Wood, based in Florida, to source pieces for this type of project. Ehrman says: “Harry’s an amazing vendor who scouts all over North America. To achieve this warm, driftwood tone, he uses a special sauce—a lime wash that makes it appear like the timbers have been bleached in the sun for years.” Echoing this warm coloring, the floors and the screen porch are wooden with bright finishes. The latter has the feel of a traditional camp and contains areas for socializing and dining.

The interior design of the Katama Bay home enhances and amplifies many of the elements that Hutker Architects envisioned. Liz Stiving-Nichols, founding principal and senior designer of Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design (MVID), says, “This house has great views, so we took influences, but we didn’t want to compete with the natural beauty. The overall goal was to work with a coastal palette without it feeling forced.” She notes that one advantage of working with grays is that they can take on other colors, almost reflecting them. “In areas where there’s less natural light, the same color has a different effect,” she says. With the furnishings, Stiving-Nichols and her team worked to keep a low profile to avoid imposing on the views, and she selected swivel chairs so that people can either hold conversations with others or turn outward to the natural surroundings. Perhaps the most impressive area of the Katama Bay home is its entryway. “It’s almost like a surprise as you pass through the first section, through such an elevation of glass,” Stiving-Nichols says. “You don’t have a full appreciation for its volume until you enter the vestibule.” Here, her goal was to keep the lighting elements and furniture minimal, but the light fixtures really stand out like celestial bodies. “Each one is a handmade glass orb on a pendant that hangs from the wood ceiling on a simple cable,” Stiving-Nichols explains. On the porch, MVID chose teak furniture to add to the traditional warm feel of the room, but the cast concrete coffee table and side tables reinforce the confluence of the modern with the traditional, as does the porcelain surface of the dining table. Because of the room’s layout, Stiving-Nichols says, “The family can utilize the space for lounging, dining, entertaining, or just stretching out for a nap. Two people could sit out there and feel comfortable in the space.”

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