Osterville pool house makes a splash
Family and friends gather for fun in the sun
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” It’s conceivable that designer Marsha Malone, upon meeting her client Amy Collins several years ago, may have repeated this famous line from Casablanca. Malone, owner and principal of Nautique in Brewster, was first enlisted to help Collins, a savvy homeowner with a specific vision, with some items for her Florida home. This successful endeavor led to a recent collaboration transitioning a pool house to a guest house.
Collins and her husband, John, benefit from a lovingly and successfully “blended” family, as they share special times together, particularly at their home in Osterville during the summer. The young grandchildren love to visit “Papa’s House,” and when the extended family gathers together, every moment is precious and savored. For the young parents of these energetic children, the stress of imposing their busy, chaotic existence upon their hosts is completely avoided thanks to the serene and simply appointed guest house at Papa’s. “In the morning, the kids are told, ‘You cannot go into the main house until you see Papa up and about in the kitchen,’” Collins explains. But with a twinkle in her eye and a devilish laugh, she adds, “But usually, it is John telling me the same thing, I can’t go over to the guest house until I see that they are up!”
Collins oversaw the subs who accomplished the expansion that more than doubled her existing pool house. “Before, it was just kids in and out from the pool, wet towels, and grass on their feet. We thoroughly used the kitchen and bathroom, but there wasn’t really any civilized place to sit and be comfortable,” she says. “So, I thought, ‘Why don’t we add on to it?’ It occurred to me that it could be so much more, and with Marsha, we were able to outfit it with the pretty things I wanted, but everything is indestructible, so I never have to worry about it.”
Malone applied her signature “Nautique-look” to the new guest house and made sure every fabric could easily rebound from wet bathing suits, sticky hands and anything else thrown in the mix.
“Amy had a blank slate, and she really wanted to make this a comfortable space for her children and grandchildren to be able to settle in for the weekend, but also enjoy the pool without any bother,” Malone explains.
Coordinating a spa-like palette of white and sea-mist green with a punch of turquoise, Malone says, “Amy wanted all of the soft colors, a beachy feel, but still sophisticated. Kid-friendly and pratical, but also soft and friendly.”
Years in the design business have allowed Malone to create a custom line of furniture called the Nautique Coastal Collection that incorporates the nautical and sometimes personal details that can make a client’s space unique. In this space, Malone kept it simple with beadboard bedside tables, upholstered club chairs, custom cushioned wicker arm chairs, a slip-covered sleeper loveseat and lamps from her Nautique lighting collection. An oversized, comfortable bed is crowned by a turquoise beaded chandelier. “That is Amy,” Malone smiles, “she loves things to be fun and just a bit of bling. Just a touch, just enough.”
Hardwood flooring is softened by custom-sized, indoor-outdoor rugs with a whimsical Susanna pattern in a soft teal. Collins and her builder also incorporated a Murphy Bed covered in white beadboard into the design, resulting in overall sleeping space for five adults or countless toddlers. “We sacrificed precious wall space that might have otherwise been used for art or something pretty, but the space needs to work for us. If it doesn’t work, it is no good to me,” Collins explains.
A separate entrance that leads to a private parking area provides seclusion that other guests might also appreciate. A second spacious bathroom was added to the guest house that allows for the living quarters to become a private ensuite, closed off by a door that connects to the fully functional kitchenette. A perfectly respectable entryway welcomes guests from the pool deck with an exquisite scallop shell mirror crafted by one of Malone’s favorite local artisans, Nick Nickerson.
“You know, my son, who recently graduated from Georgetown, sometimes has his college buddies stay here.” Collins jokes, “That mirror might be the only thing that could suffer their antics.” Malone assures her that Nickerson can easily restore the artwork to its former glory if necessary. That is the Nautique way—no matter what the client needs, Malone and her team will go the extra mile to fulfill his or her needs.
Collins gushes when she talks about the various Nautique custom pieces—and when they arrived in the space. “John, who runs Nautique’s work room, is the best!” she says. “When I answer the door and he is there I just get so excited; he is so professional and so sweet, I just love that man.”
Outside, the family takes advantage of all the comfortable elements found in the well-appointed backyard. A beautiful in-ground gunite pool, installed by Viola Associates of Hyannis, reflects the aqua tones found in the design elements both inside and out. Collins furnished the pool deck and a multitude of seating areas with furniture by Kloster and purchased at Cape Leisure, now located in Mashpee Commons. Malone recently recovered all of the cushions in a crisp seafoam Sunbrella fabric, extending the entire design aesthetic from the guest house, to the backyard entertaining areas, and into the main house as well.
Malone explains, “The color of the pool really inspired the whole plan. Amy likes the design themes to continue through. So this way, we bring the outside in, but more to the point, we blur the lines between inside enjoyment and entertaining with outside family and fun. The whole thing feels connected.”
A crushed glass fire pit provides the perfect gathering spot for the family to share ghost stories, jokes or shared memories on warm summer nights as the breeze moves through the boughs of the towering pines that flank the property.
After all of the coordination, countless design decisions, and numerous trips back and forth from Florida during the off-season to accomplish this aquamarine gemstone of a guest house, Collins can only laugh when recalling a line from her husband. “He said, ‘I don’t care what you do, but after this investment, you can’t call it a pool house; it is now a guest house.’”
Malone says she enjoys working with Collins because she has such a simple vision, but by no means does that mean boring. “Amy is very elegant and enjoys beautiful things, so it is exciting to find those special touches that showcase her exquisite taste and sense of fun.”
Clearly, the relationship between these two women and their extended families and organizations is a special one that has deepened over the years. Malone talks about the process of getting to know, listen to and understand her clients. “They become more than clients, more than a business relationship, but that is how you know it is working—for both of you—when you achieve that easy, comfortable, trusted friendship.”
Humphrey Bogart couldn’t have said it better.