Summer Fun for Everyone
Del Mar Vacations is shaking up the rental market on Cape Cod…in a good way. Interior designer Cathy Kert dusts off a Cape Cod classic home and gets it ready for the season.
“Everyone has a story. And each one is different. The ways that people find their way to Cape Cod for the first time, everyone takes a slightly different and unique path. That is just one of the ways this area is so special,” remarks Luke Chapman, owner of Del Mar Vacations in Orleans, as he reflects upon the countless homeowners and renters that choose to spend their vacation time on Cape Cod. Luke and his wife Christina are rolling into their fifth season with their unique vacation rental company that differentiates itself from all others with an uncommon business model. They provide full-service vacation rental management and guaranteed income, so homeowners know they won’t have to lift a finger, and they’ll know exactly how much they’ll make for the summer season.
“We operate a little bit more like a hotel, although it is still a private home, and the homeowners still vacation at their homes. It is a nice value-added service, since we provide all of the property management and all of the cleaning, and all of the landscaping, and all of the marketing for the home. By putting that all under one roof, it allows us to deliver the quality that has become the standard vacationing guests expect from a world-class resort,” Luke explains. This all-encompassing approach allows Del Mar to respond to guests’ needs, not just in a timely manner, but immediately. Again, think high-end resort—if you call housekeeping or maintenance, you have an expectation to have your concerns addressed quickly. A traditional rental scenario might involve a call to the realtor, who may (or may not) call the property management company who may (or may not) get a contractor dispatched in the next few days.
As a result of their commitment to quality and responsive fulfillment, Del Mar Vacations has a portfolio of desirable properties across the Cape that both homeowners and rental clients express their high level of satisfaction with when asked what makes Del Mar a different experience. One such homeowner, Pedro Bento, is a new client of Del Mar’s and says the experience has surpassed his expectations. Pedro’s parents recently sold White Village Cottages, a collection of seasonal cottages on Beach Point in North Truro that they had maintained and rented for years. The family wanted to invest the proceeds into a property arrangement that would take the back-breaking work off of their parents, but still allow them to reap the benefits of a rental property, as well as the added bonus of a home large enough to accommodate the Bento family for their own weeks of enjoyment throughout the year.
Pedro found a quintessentially classic home on Pleasant Bay in South Orleans, with water views from every room and thoughtful architecture throughout. After personally overseeing a renovation of the home, Pedro was introduced to interior designer Cathy Kert via Del Mar, and the rest, as they say, is history. Cathy, the principal of Cathy Kert Interiors, is a talented visionary who can translate a client’s wishes into a space that often exceeds their imagination. The task at hand was to fully furnish a six-bedroom, waterfront home that would be turnkey ready for the busy rental season, in just over 90 days. Never one to back down from a challenge, Cathy stepped up and delivered.
“Thankfully, the home had been renovated and freshly painted, but we had to furnish everything,” Cathy recalls. “I put every item, from bedframes, mattresses, pillows and rugs to dishes, coffeemaker and wine glasses into a spreadsheet and gave the Bentos a range of a budget. We agreed on a comfortable budget and I am happy to say that we created a beautiful, welcoming house—and it all came in under budget.” Cathy focused her spending on quality pieces for the more durable items like beds and couches, and for the lower end of her budget, she and her design assistant Amy Seroussi scoured the Internet and major chains for all of the fill-in items like accessories and kitchen stock.
“We kept it fresh, happy and vibrant though by using decorator fabrics on small accent items like throw pillows,” she explains. “That way you still felt like the sophistication was present because they were the focal point anyway.” A coastally inspired theme is present throughout, as it is presented in plenty of wall art that depicts beaches, soothing scenarios and signs portraying kitschy, beachy slogans. “The goal was to make things remind the guests that they were on vacation and keep things upbeat,” Cathy says. Perhaps one of the biggest design challenges was not the budget, and not the timeline, but the obstacle of designing for an unknown client. “It was a different project from most that I do, because usually you have to find out what kinds of things make the client happy and content,” Cathy says. “In this case I was designing for an unknown entity. But somehow that just made it more of an adventure. I always try to envision who will be living in the homes we design and create suitable spaces for their lifestyle: areas for eating, entertaining, reading, napping, playing games and enjoying the beautiful views.”
The result is a space that feels like generations of summer residents have owned the home for decades and still gather to celebrate milestones and add to a lifetime of memories. Raised paneling in the main living area sets the stage for family cocktails and game nights. The distinctive flooring, consisting of alternating wide and narrow planking in warm mahogany tones, is rarely found outside of the local area around Pleasant Bay in South Orleans and Chatham. The warm woods serve as a backdrop to the furniture sourced from Fresh Interiors in Dennis and Boston Interiors in Mashpee. The ground floor features a nine-seat movie theater and 1,500-square-foot game space.
Outside, there is plenty of room for games as well. A significant landscape plan was newly implemented and includes natural grasses to appease the local conservation committee, and a plethora of local plantings like hydrangea, rhododendron and day lilies. Just beyond, a private beach and the calm, serene waters of Pleasant Bay remind the owners of the days gone by on Cape Cod Bay at their former home in North Truro. For guests of the property that are savvy enough to enlist Del Mar in their vacation plans, new memories are ready to be gathered and treasured like the beach glass that washes up on the shore.
Not your typical rental, and definitely not your typical rental company, all successfully connected by the tapestry of summer fun woven by the talented Ms. Kert.