Residence Redux: Laying the groundwork

Cape Cod Home  /  Early Summer 2018 / ,

Writer: Julie Craven Wagner

Laverty residence

The covered terrace features granite imported directly from China. Photo courtesy of Greg Bilowz

Part three of our series about the Laverty residence in the Nye’s Neck area of North Falmouth examines how the homeowners and their guests are able to enjoy the outside of their home, all thanks to a talented team of professionals who took what mother nature nature offered and coaxed it to its maximum potential.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this special property in the Nye’s Neck area of North Falmouth is the simple lay of the land. Such an expansive, gently sloping piece of land—particularly as it is buffered by a pristine slice of a white, sandy beach—is a rarity, not to mention a treasure. This archetypal lot has been thoughtfully groomed and coerced to provide a stunning backdrop for the owners, while offering a myriad of practical applications for the best summer living has to offer.

“One of the reasons I knew this property was so special was because of how many different functions the land could accommodate,” homeowner Charlie Laverty explains. In fact, there are several uses of the property, and somehow they all complement each other. However, one of the more subtle aspects of the property is how one space seamlessly flows into the other. The natural stone, three-season porch with an outdoor fireplace allows the homeowners to enjoy the cool Cape Cod evenings even during the shoulder seasons. It is here that the natural element of the stunning Chinese granite subliminally leads visitors from the loge-like porch to the covered terrace that extends along the back (waterside) of the home. The stone path then spools off and slightly down and across the backyard to create a circular terrace, featuring an oversized fire pit surrounded by eight chairs by Cape Cod Beach Chair.

The creative genius of these spaces is a product of the imagination credited to landscape designer Greg Bilowz. “I find creating spaces like these to be pretty intuitive,” Bilowz explains. “I’m a firm advocate of two things. One is to get the interior space and the exterior space to intimately relate to each other; that is done by setting the elevations, so you step out one step onto a finished terrace or hardscape area. Second, as the grade transitions down to the water, I’m a real advocate of sitting walls, because a sitting wall is a really efficient footprint. You don’t have to over-furnish them to accommodate a lot of people.” Bilowz says you have to read the topography, and in the case of the Laverty property, it unfolds perfectly for this kind of seating arrangement. “You don’t have a lot of people sitting in the center of the terrace; instead, casual, comfortable interaction takes place throughout.”

Laverty residence

In order to match the existing boulders of the seawall, landscape architect Greg Bilowz instructed the landscape construction crew to pull boulders out of the revetment to create the massive stairway that now provides access to the beach. Eighty tons of Chinese granite were sourced to create a maze of terraces and walkways throughout the backyard. Photo by Dan Cutrona

Ralph Cataldo, principal of Cataldo Custom Builders, says, “Everyone involved was a critical part of the overall team; none of this could have happened if everyone hadn’t brought their ‘A’ game.” That certainly is the case when it comes to executing the plan Bilowz had envisioned, and Gary Tavares and his team from Francisco Tavares in Falmouth were up to the task. Jonathan Searles served as Tavares’ project manager on this particular job, while Martin Botello, also from Tavares, supervised the artistic installation of over 80 tons of the pink-hued granite that was imported directly from China. The stone, which took 16 weeks to arrive, was sourced in two distinct but complementing colors, just a shade apart. The lighter shade was used for the perimeter borders of the spaces and the darker shade was used as the in-fill material throughout.

Tavares’ team was also responsible for the fieldstone walls throughout the property and the masonry work on the fieldstone chimneys. Details of authenticity are often subconsciously processed, so the use of locally sourced fieldstone from Westport, Massachusetts seems appropriate, as it blends into the environment. Similarly, the reclaimed cobblestones Tavares’ team set in the driveway lend an air of having earned their place in such a landscape. A path through the seawall that leads to the private beach was created with the help of Martin Botello, who tirelessly was on-site overseeing the many crew members. Bilowz says that he instructed Botello to pull the revetment apart and find any boulders with a flat face to use as the steps. The crowning touch came in the form of a curved bronze railing that was drilled into the boulders.

Perhaps it was with family in mind that Charlie Laverty decided to enlist the services of Kerry McNamara to build a putting green on the property. McNamara, owner of Putting Greens of Cape Cod in Marstons Mills, also installed a Bocce court. Laverty’s granddaughter originally asked her grandfather where he was going to put the pool. Laverty looked at her and said, “Meg, we have the biggest pool in Nye’s Neck—it’s right in front of you, the ocean.” However, a pickle ball court is getting a lot of discussion recently.

The Laverty’s have created an exquisite property with the help of a talented team of professionals, but more importantly, they have created a home. And while it is a home of unique distinction, the halcyon opportunity of enjoying it is not lost on them. Bilowz cites Charlie’s ability to appreciate his surroundings, saying, “He’s into it, he really is. That’s why you have a property like this, so you can share all of this with family and friends… it’s such a lovely property. It’s great to see someone who says, ‘You know, I feel very fortunate, and I realize that every day.’”

Julie Craven Wagner

Julie Craven Wagner began her experience with Cape Cod Life in 2010 when she joined the sales team after 10 years of working with local businesses on the Cape and Islands with WMVY. In addition to sales, she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. Growing up on the Outer Cape has given her a unique perspective of life on Cape Cod, from tip to bridge, and that is reflected in her appreciation and presentation of stories found within the pages of our publications. Julie lives in North Falmouth with her husband, Eric, and their yellow lab, Enzo. When she finds free time, she enjoys her Cape Cod life sailing on Buzzards Bay, spending time on the beach in Wellfleet, or exploring Martha’s Vineyard.