This wooded wonderland in Falmouth is straight out of a fantasy story
That team consisted of Jill Neubauer Architects, Cape Associates for the construction and Bernice Wahler Landscapes for the outdoor design. “This home and the emerging design that it represents is so different from what is typically featured on Cape Cod,” says Rich Bryant, executive vice president of Cape Associates. “Installation of the round columns, or ‘trees’ as they are referred to, was definitely a challenge—particularly getting them to the right degree of inclination to match the design. Some of the poles were structural and some were for effect. I think that those elements along with other unique aspects like the interior staircases and stone that is staggered with the wood floors makes for a really special space.”
“Rich brought in a tremendous team that made building a complicated house possible,” says Neubauer about Cape Associates. “And Bernice’s landscape is as critical and integral to the house as anything else. It’s her landscape that draws us from the street across the grade changes and down to Buzzards Bay.”
“it’s about making a building from the story
of the family and the story of the land”
For Wahler’s part, she credits the stunning results of the project to a close collaboration with Neubauer from the beginning. “We were even involved in the actual positioning of the building on the landscape,” she says, “and being able to move the house closer to the water helped us to develop the character of the landscape.” The vast majority of what Wahler incorporated into her design consisted of native plantings, pulling from what she refers to as the “naturalized language” of the backyard and the theme throughout the inside of the home. The result is a seamless, mindful flow between indoors and out.
“Judi is a mosaic artist, so a lot of what we did was also inspired by that,” says Wahler. She looked to Neubauer’s architecture and Judi’s love for mosaics to create thoughtful details throughout the landscape. Linear stone walls replicate the texture of the siding through carefully crafted stonework and patterning. Pathways, often indicated by the inclusion of natural boulders as an entry point, turned into a study of materials, playing off of the relationship between pavers and grass to create a mosaic-like feel.
The natural elements of the home do not end with the tree-inspired columns or the natural landscape design. “What I love about the house is that it’s aligned with the New England seasons,” says Neubauer. “It capitalizes on more than just the lightness of summer; There’s a richness that settles in in the autumn and winter.” Color palettes for the home were inspired by the landscape outside as well as Zinman’s fabric swatches that Judi artfully used to reupholster her living room furniture from Retrocraft Design in Concord. Clearly contrasting against many blue, white and beachy-toned homes across the region, Neubauer pulled from the colors she saw when admiring the trees after a fresh rainstorm. “The color of the bark goes from warm grey when its dry to a dusty eggplant when its wet. We brought that color into the house with all the woodwork and cabinetry,” explains Neubauer. Open shelving in the kitchen makes the space feel innovative and ties well with the warm, organic colors throughout the home. Sand colored walls are a nod to the shores of Buzzards Bay that can be seen beyond the trees at the edge of the property, and native white oak floors complement local Ashfield stone used throughout on the countertops as well as the floors. Pendant lights from Pairpoint Glass in Sandwich made of deep purples, rich teal and burnt sienna over the kitchen island tie the whole design together.
“We feathered the stone and the wood floors rather than having a hard line transition,” explains Neubauer. It’s this beautiful detail that serves as a shining example of Neubauer’s unique talent and keen eye for design. “I think my other favorite part is the screened porch,” she adds. This particular space becomes an extension of the dining and living rooms when the large lift-and-slide doors are open, making it a fun place to hangout that also capitalizes and fully emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between indoors and out.
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