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The rich history of Chatham comes alive in this home… See for yourself!

To complete the Pleasant Bay Overlook project, Ahearn and Whitla Brothers, who have previously worked together on several Chatham projects, faced some significant challenges and opportunities. Three separate structures already existed, and the plans called for a pool cabana that would double as a garage where the owner’s vintage Porsche could winter. Because of zoning and conservation restrictions, tearing the buildings down and starting afresh was not an option. Likewise, the addition of the pool had to be sited close to the house to avoid encroachment upon wetlands. To address these concerns, “We reoriented the hierarchy of the house so the front door faces the street by making programmatic changes inside,” Ahearn details. “We improved the circulation pattern by establishing a primary spine along the water-facing side of the home, seamlessly connecting the three structures and nearly doubling the livable square footage and increasing water views, all within the existing footprint.” The fictional shellfishing shack at water’s edge is now the master bedroom; the made-up boat shed, once an actual garage, has metamorphosed into a grand living room framed by the kitchen and a fireplace constructed of reclaimed stone. 

Upon arrival, guests first encounter the pool cabana, which behaves as a vignette, a “folly building” that, along with the pool itself, previews the house proper and the bay beyond. This miniature connects thematically with the way that the front door opens directly into the living room and its windows to the seascape just beyond the fringes of the lawn. The interior has a 1790s, almost Shaker style; the balustrade is a replica from an older home. The reclaimed antique flooring, the timbers and beaded board, the materials, and the finishes combine to evoke a bygone era. “All the things you touch and feel convey a different time,” says Ahearn. “The use of post and beam seems like an original feature.” While the interior of many traditional Cape homes contain, in Ahearn’s words, “a rabbit warren” of tiny chambers, the Pleasant Bay Overlook “lives the way people want to live today.” The overall plan is much more open, the ceilings much higher, and there’s far more natural light than what one would find in Chatham homes of even the 19th century. So here’s another plot twist in the story of the Pleasant Bay Overlook—despite the attention to antiques, Ahearn says, “The historical exterior hides a modern interior.”

While the owners of the Pleasant Bay Overlook sought vintage, classical and traditional Cape qualities in their new home, they wanted to punctuate these features with bright and unique color choices. Craig Tevolitz, principal at Platemark Design, says: “The owner was adamant about not wanting the blue and white ubiquitous coastal scheme. That was absolutely off the table. This was refreshing to me, because it’s interesting as a designer to not do the same thing everyone else is doing on the Cape.” Instead, Tevolitz brought in the colors of the dawn sky. “What helped was the couple wanted the space to feel ‘happy and joyful.’ Using vibrant colors brought that energy into the home,” he says. “As well, fashion-forward fabrics, like Missoni and Pierre Frey, brought in a contemporary vibe to upholstered pieces and window treatments, which imbue an overall lightness to the home.” One of the most dramatic pieces in the living room is a double-tiered iron chandelier that hangs in complement to the stone fireplace. Isolate these two features, and they could appear at home in a luxury hunting lodge. Yet here, they dwell amongst patterns of vivid oranges, lavenders, and greens. “The chandelier is undeniably grand,” Tevolitz says. “But the room takes it in as naturally as the ocean view. Such is the brilliance of Patrick’s architecture—making it all look so effortless that a massive chandelier reclaimed from a New England courthouse can casually step into the room and not set it off balance.”

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