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No Judgement, Plenty of Deliberation

One of the first orders of business was blowing open the walled-in galley kitchen that chopped up the main living area and hid the pond from whoever was cooking or prepping. They also gave themselves a little more kitchen space with a bump-out for the sink and surrounding cabinetry that took over what had been a front porch. 

Archi-Tech of Cotuit pushed back the home’s main room by about 5 feet to make room for the baby grand piano (and pull the pond even closer).

White Wood principal Gail O’Rourke helped them plan the new kitchen layout. “She has a wonderful three-dimensional computer program, so we were just able to move everything around until we got it where we wanted it,” Gordon says. The result is a commodious workspace complete with an ample island and two dishwashers. “If you’re designing or redesigning a house for entertaining, two dishwashers are a must,” says Kress.

Archi-Tech enhanced the new kitchen still more by turning the flat ceiling into one that soared, allowing light to pour in from new transom windows built high above the sink (and which open remotely to let heat escape when hot air rises). Kress and Gordon chose kitchen finishes including marble backsplash tiles bordered by mosaic inlays that they picked out at Cloutier Supply Company in Harwich and spectacular pendant lighting of seeded glass from the Feiss Collection, purchased from New York Lighting (one of the few design choices not sourced directly on the Cape). 

A wall of windows in a three-season porch that the owners expanded and turned into an indoor “bar room” takes advantage of the home’s pond side location. The antique bowl on the coffee table was executed by a student of Madam Lalique.

On the pond side at the back, Archi-Tech extended the living area about five feet across the entire stretch of the home’s main room, which afforded a) more dining space, b) a place for the baby grand piano, and c) a sense of “just being able to stand there and spread your arms out wide,” Kress says. It also brought the house a little closer to the water, and bringing it closer still was loads of new glazing along the back wall that replaced a couple of glass sliders with distracting mullions. 

“Everything we did was aimed at the water,” says Gordon. He and Kress, who have been together 40 years, can now see fish jumping out of the pond and enjoy paddle boarding and other (non-motorized) watercraft just outside their back door, in addition to watching the day and its light disappear over the water as they sit in the backyard by the fire pit they installed.

They also enjoy gazing at the pond from a three-season porch that they enlarged and insulated to create a family room, which they call the bar room because they added a wet bar (cabinetry courtesy of White Wood Kitchens). The wet bar and the new half bath just off the bar room were carved out of space appropriated from the garage.

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