Skip to content

Subscribe  |  Login  |  Account

Osterville abode provides a home away from home

Online only: See more photos of this Osterville home!

Wilson Kelsey Design

The welcoming front entrance and parking court of the Ivan Bereznicki designed home. Photo by Michael J. Lee

Boston-based Wilson Kelsey Design creates a fresh, relaxed second home for an active family in Osterville.

For those fortunate enough to have a secondary or vacation home to share with their family and friends, the balance of retreat, respite and recreation can be a tricky or elusive equation to successfully resolve. When Claire and Mark McCarthy decided to break the cycle of several years of summer rentals in Osterville, the couple decided to investigate the available options for purchase. A traditional home designed by Osterville architect Ivan Bereznicki offered a conveniently located home with enough room for the McCarthys’ growing family and most importantly, ‘good bones,’ a term in the building and design industry used to acknowledge that the core layout, structure and style, will serve as a malleable base for any design expression. Bereznicki had so adroitly conceived a classic home that a freshening and update was all that was needed for an active family that wanted to experience every great thing the Cape has to offer during the summer and special weekends throughout the year. Consideration of whom to enlist for the project briefly entertained the notion of local designers who could translate the Cape Cod vernacular, but the decision to enlist Sally Wilson of Wilson Kelsey Design was an easy one, especially after their relationship with Wilson was built upon a long and successful history, begun when they built their dream home in Acton, MA. “Our home in Acton is beautiful,” says Claire McCarthy, “but it is very traditional. We wanted something very different. We wanted to go down to the Cape and feel like we were ‘away.’ Sally said she wanted to do this project, and she wanted to do something different for us, since she knew us and our family so well. So, we enthusiastically said, ‘Go for it!’”

The key to understanding the journey this renovation experienced lies in understanding who Sally Wilson and John Kelsey are. Principals of this Boston-based design firm, this husband-wife team have enjoyed the accolades and opportunities afforded to the top echelon of interior design entities in New England. Wilson, who specializes in the softer side of design while accommodating families, and Kelsey, who utilizes his superior spatial and planning skills to manipulate the interior architecture of the space, leveraging a lengthy background with historic homes, make up a team that thoughtfully transforms unique spaces for their clients. To translate the McCarthy project just right, Wilson and Kelsey embarked on a road trip to the Cape, seeking out open houses, boutiques and local home accessory shops on several main streets of the quintessential villages of Chatham, Orleans and Provincetown. They ‘checked-in’ to the McCarthy home for a few nights with little to no furniture and got the feel of how the home would live, then they started making lists and forged ahead with sourcing every last element that would bring their vision to life. A budget for a secondary residence is often more constrained than that for a primary home, so custom pieces were rarely used here, but Wilson maximized her investigative skills in search of unique elements while still achieving a customized, high-end look. She oversaw every element within the house, from furniture to rugs, bedding, pillows and artwork. The challenge also included a very tight timeline, five months, in order to make sure the McCarthys could enjoy their home for the upcoming summer.

You might also like: