Cape Cod Home, Annual 2017 |

Rustic remodel in Brewster

Cape Cod Home  /  Annual Home 2017 / ,

Writer: Lilly Lowe / Photographer: Jeffery Garran 

Rustic remodel in Brewster

Cape Cod Home, Annual 2017 |

Cape Cod Home  /  Annual Home 2017 / ,

Writer: Lilly Lowe / Photographer: Jeffery Garran 

Gary LaFave

Lafave house | Silver winner • Excellence in Remodeling – Whole House | Photos by Jeffery Garran

McPhee Associates redesigned this Brewster home with client’s dreams in mind

Down a long, winding driveway in Brewster, secluded from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, lies the spectacular piece of property Deborah and Gary LaFave purchased in 2014. The picturesque view of the pond and the home’s rustic wood floors were just two of the features that sold the future owners.

The attractive four-bedroom home was previously used primarily as a seasonal rental. To make it a functioning house for year-round living, Deborah, an interior design coordinator, had a vision to transform the house.

To bring that vision to life, the LaFaves tapped McPhee Associates of East Dennis, co-owned by Rob McPhee and his father, Bob. McPhee Associates focuses on new homes, renovations, additions, property management and land development on the Cape.

“In working with the homeowners, it was really their vision and us executing it for them,” Rob McPhee says. “We gave the whole place a facelift to suit their lifestyle and décor.”

The six-month remodel included building an addition to the master bedroom; designing a new office, mudroom and laundry room; expanding the kitchen area; and upgrading the covered porch in the rear of the home overlooking the pond. The finished project won silver in the 2016 BRICC Awards Excellence in Remodeling category.

The LaFaves previously owned a summer home in Dennis with a typical Cape Cod beach house look—vibrant hydrangeas, white woodwork, and nautical accents. But Deborah didn’t want to carry over that vacation look into the couple’s year-round home.

From the outside, the house looks like a typical Cape residence. Inside, the style is anything but. “The house has a lot of character,” Deborah LaFave says. “It has more of a traditional, warm, and rustic feeling to it. It’s unique—you don’t see too many houses with this style on the Cape.”

From Reverie to Reality, Annual 2017 Cape Cod Home |

Kitchen before and after the remodel. Photos by Jeffery Garran

Crystal doorknobs, pewter accents, dark woodwork, tapestries, floral draperies, and earth tones complete the look she carried over from her previous home in Hopkinton. “The home’s style has a European flair to it,” LaFave says, “almost like an old English lodge.”

LaFave’s vision for the redesign of the décor complements McPhee’s remodeling of the layout.

With the addition of two massive walk-in closets and a grand bathroom, the master bedroom was transformed into a suite. The expanded space provided room for a raised ceiling, from which an elegant chandelier dangles over the new open floor plan. A luxurious freestanding tub is the centerpiece of the attached master bath. The sheer size of the bathroom and the slew of new cabinets are impressive in themselves, but the mosaic tile in the shower and the floor’s intricate tile designs—installed by Anthony Geraci Custom Tile of Dennis—make the room even more appealing.

The kitchen restructuring was key to LaFave’s vision of her home. The main part of the house is made up of a cavernous great room, but the kitchen within the great room was small. McPhee enlarged the space, allowing the area to truly be the heart of the home. Glazed, cream-colored cabinets, installed by Superior Cabinets of Gardner, added storage and a vintage accent to the room. A gorgeous 10-foot granite island is an inviting space for family and friends to gather around.

Off the great room, a covered porch was converted into a heated dining area with a bar. McPhee raised the floor, took out the French doors, and installed windows, transforming the room into a cozy, four-season space with cream wicker furniture. A 12-foot sliding door opens up to masonry steps extending down to a massive rear patio with nothing but water in view.

“I had a specific vision as to how I wanted the house to look,” LaFave says. “McPhee got it. They understood exactly what I was looking for, and they followed through on it. They’re into detail, and that’s exactly what I was looking for. I’m very pleased with how the house turned out.”

“We took a nice home and just made it that much nicer,” McPhee says. “We’re in the relationship business. We do everything we can to complete every project right for each person we work with. We take care of them and hope they call us back whenever they need anything in the future, big or small.”

The following businesses also contributed to the remodel of the home featured in this article:

Framing: SDP Builders

Plumbing: Abbey Plumbing & Heating

Electrical: MAC Electric Cape Cod

Landscaping: McNamara Bros.

Lilly Lowe

Lilly Lowe lives in Boston where she works as a copywriter. She spends her free time with friends, family, the outdoors, and daydreaming about her next trip. She has written several articles for Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME and Cape Cod ART in recent years including profiles on local gardeners and a feature on Cape Cod Roller Derby.