You saw the boathouse…now check out the rest of this home on Arey’s Pond!

Cape Cod Home  /  Autumn 2019 /

Writer: Elizabeth Shaw / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

An Oasis in Orleans

This McPhee Associates redesigned home offers the perfect getaway and entertainment oasis on a beautiful Orleans pond

Traveling down a dirt road in Orleans, one wouldn’t expect to emerge from the dark cloaked woods and find a stunning home, perched above Arey’s pond like an osprey in its nest. With classic Cape Cod shingles and a wood shake roof, the home, designed and renovated by McPhee Associates, brings lake house vibes to the Cape with a classic, yet modern feel. Purchased for its location on the water and privacy, the house needed serious updating. 

A secluded getaway, this home is the perfect space for both relaxing and entertaining. An open, airy bonus room over the garage that easily incorporates into the flow of the main living area, gives enough space for any number of guests and family. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of the lake, and the wood furnishings and accents complement the natural surroundings. Family, friends and visitors can gather around on the sectional couch, enjoy a movie, or play a game of pool. The sliding glass doors open up to the deck and a wood burning stove in the corner make this the ultimate year-round entertaining space. The deck overlooking the pond was completely refurbished by McPhee, featuring new cable railings to keep the deck enclosed without blocking the view of the water. 

While the kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, this home took the idea quite literally, with the kitchen, dining room and sitting room centered around a large, freestanding fireplace. The open concept kitchen and dining room allows the host to multi-task, with enough space to prepare and cook meals for a large crew while overlooking the dining room and sitting room, never too far from the party. “You get to look out to the water and as you’re entertaining, you can face everyone while you are getting everything ready,” says Rob McPhee, president of McPhee Associates. 

Working with Melinda Headrick of Chatham Interiors, a new color palette was introduced, transforming the house. The exposed brick fireplace acts as a center point for the three rooms, a sort of beacon. The sitting room with its exposed beams and light wood shiplap across the high ceiling gives a warmth to the white open space, resulting in a lake-house style. Wicker accents and rustic, hanging light fixtures connect the design in the sitting room to the dining room where large wicker dining room chairs, an expansive table, and exposed lighting set the tone. Overlooking the pond, the dining room brings people together to enjoy the company, and the beautiful view. The exposed beams, originally an unattractive darker tone, were re-treated by McPhee’s crew, in tones of driftwood, tying everything together.

A highly functional hidden pantry tucked away to the side, so as not to disturb the precious sightlines, extends the kitchen, providing another space to store and prepare. A sink and dishwasher add another layer of functionality to the pantry. Embracing the new neutral: gray, the kitchen forms a stark, but welcoming contrast to the exposed beams and warm wicker of the living room and dining room. With clean, white Silestone quartz countertops and a farmhouse sink, any chef, professional or amateur, would be inspired. Gray marble subway tiles create a calming backsplash, and a pot filler sits over the stove top, ready to fill any pasta pot or kettle. Tucked away from the kitchen is a perfect little breakfast nook, whose windows wrap around and overlook the entrance and tranquil gardens; a beautiful spot for intimate breakfast gatherings or quiet conversations, Complete with a custom-made sliding table, the breakfast nook is one of the many unique spots in the house.

The breakfast nook was added during one of the previous additions made to the home. It created space for the breakfast nook, a powder room and a more welcoming entryway; rather than having guests enter directly into the kitchen, they now have a tidy mudroom for greetings and welcomes. The addition also created more space for the staircase and a small desk area underneath the stairs. As well as adding space inside the house, the addition gave the exterior a more dynamic look. “It was a very long house, with not a lot of dimension to it, so the addition gave it more detail, a little more depth,” says McPhee.

On the first floor, the master suite offers the homeowners a peaceful spot and sweeping views of the pond and the inimitable Arey’s Pond Catboats scoping on their moorings. Sliding glass doors open up to a private deck and let the sun shine through into the bright, airy room. Minimalist decor keeps the room clean and simple. Continuing with the simple design, the en suite bathroom features a sumptuous natural stone vanity top, neutral cream paint, creating a stunning, simple home spa. “I’m sure the house gets loud and busy with guests and kids, and it’s just a great space to escape to, a little oasis,” says McPhee. 

The kids’ room, located directly above the master, features three beds with plenty of space for the three boys. The kids also have a view of the lake, so they can start planning their adventures from their beds. Boat blueprint wallpaper in the bathroom paired with porthole- inspired mirrors and weathered wood cabinets gives the bathroom a unique nautical theme.

Guests at the house have options when it comes to living quarters. The second floor offers two guest rooms, each with a distinct style; one with exposed beams, warm white decor and bedding, the other with white walls and beams, an exposed brick fireplace, navy accents and a private balcony overlooking the pond.  A guest bathroom takes the best of both with white walls and granite, and blue cabinets, connecting the two rooms. While high ceilings are envied, McPhee decided to lower the already high ceilings of the first floor to create more room on the second for the second guest room.

For those who want more privacy and flexibility, a guest suite in the lower level provides guests their own private getaway with a kitchenette and bathroom. “That’s a fun use of space; it’s a great space for when they have guests that are maybe staying a little longer, they can have their own space,” says McPhee. “It’s also a spot the kids can utilize as they get older.” With a private entrance off the side of the house and their own patio, visitors can relax in this clean, cool, comfortable suite when they need some peace and quiet. 

A boathouse on the pond (featured in the 2019 Cape Cod HOME Summer issue) provides another getaway, with a three-season porch, a kitchenette and bathroom. Currently used as an office for the homeowner, the boathouse was built to be multifunctional. Future plans include turning it into an escape for the children, a place to be by the water (and out of the house). 

With a little work, and a lot of love, this Orleans hideaway was transformed into the entertainment oasis that it is today on peaceful Arey’s Pond.

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a former assistant editor, photographer & videographer for Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Elizabeth spent many summers on the Cape, before she and her family moved down full time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Writing & Rhetoric and Film Media, and started at Cape Cod Life the following fall. In her free time, she takes as many pictures of her dog, Watson, as possible, in between beach trips.