When Past Shapes Present
Once the sun does set, the group heads downstairs to gather at the baronial dining table. The couple found a model of the table in a New Hampshire antique store; the final product was made to specifications for length and width in France. The dining table is just steps inside the foyer, and an island of oak flooring beneath both the foyer and dining table articulates the space. The same pattern is repeated in the ceiling above. Andrea, recalling the 30 people she hosted for Thanksgiving last year, remarks with a smile, “A full house is a fun house.”
Andrea also smiles when she remembers working with her husband, Ehrman, and his associate, Abby Bart, who helped select many of the home’s fixtures, tiles, and furnishings. A particularly inspired choice was the selection of unique blue-swirled light fixtures above the dining room table made by Sandwich glass-blower Michael Magyar, who also made the glass light fixtures in the theatre dining area.
Cooking for such a crowd calls for a generously sized kitchen, and while Andrea initially wanted it to be situated on the street side of the house, so as not to waste precious views on a utilitarian space, her mother-in-law urged her to locate it right where she could work and appreciate those views. Her mother-in-law prevailed, and the long workspace of sink and Labradorite granite counters as well as the gray-stained maple island faces 270 degrees of views. To make room for the windows, storage is in base cabinets and in the pantry, hidden, like the Sub Zero refrigerator, behind a panel.
To prevent the home from overpowering the property, Hutker and Ehrman conceived a design that takes its cues from New England architecture, appearing as if it evolved over time. Ehrman describes it as having “two volumes” with the staircase in between acting as a “joint” for the private and the guest side of the house. Hutker elaborates: “When you look at the house from across the ocean, there is a loose narrative of two smaller houses being joined over time.”
Andrea reveals just how successful the architects were at taming the scale of the house: “Our friends live across the water on Wings Neck, and they said, ‘We watched the house being built across the water, and then we saw it disappear.’ ” Having used natural materials typically found on Cape houses, such as the cedar trim, cedar shingles, and IPE decking, the house will continue to weather gracefully, blending in even further with its surroundings as time goes on.
The home’s first-floor bedroom suite was originally intended for Roger’s mother. Though his mother saw and approved the plans for the home that would take the place of her Cape, she did not live long enough to move in to her new room. Her spirit survives, though, not only in the paintings in her granddaughter’s room and in the garden blooms that she planted, but in the shared vision, outward and inward, of this family. As Andrea says, “The new house has the soul of the old house, and when you walk in, it feels like home.”
For more information, visit hutkerarchitects.com and cataldobuilders.com.
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