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Timeless treasure on Nantucket

Timeless Treasure, Winter 2017 Cape Cod HOME |

A Roman Thomas light fixture completes the generously sized kitchen. “I think light fixtures are the coolest things—they’re like jewelry,” says designer Anne Becker.

One seemingly minor, yet key design choice in the home—which overlooks Medouie Creek—came in selecting oil-rubbed bronze hardware for doors and cabinets. “It’s pretty substantial,” Becker explains. “It’s also rustic. If we had gone with, say, brass, which is more popular now, I feel like in 15 years it would’ve been like, ‘That’s when they went through the brass phase.’ For this house it seemed more natural, and casual, to go with bronze and more appropriate in feeling like you’re out in the country versus a big house on Main Street, where you might do polished nickel because it’s a captain’s house that’s more formal.”

Living spaces in the approximately 5,000-square-foot home are warm and inviting, bathed in an abundance of natural light from the many view-facing windows and sets of French doors. The formal living room is as abundant in light as it is in texture—from wicker chairs and bamboo blinds (found throughout the house) to a cane coffee table and an end table comprised of antique stacking baskets. “I love texture,” Becker says. “I think texture is everything. For one thing, if [textural pieces] get a little beat up, they don’t look bad—they look like they’re old and happily used. All of this texture adds more character. It’s more cozy too.” Becker adds, “My aunt was an interior designer, and she always talks about ‘wabi-sabi,’ a term meaning the imperfection in something is what makes it beautiful.” One piece that particularly embodies wabi-sabi in the house is found tucked in a corner of the living room: an old woven basket, like those once used for fishing. “It’s sort of beat up and off-kilter, and that makes it feel very personal,” she says.

Around the corner from the living room is the library/TV room, with mahogany trim and beams and burlap grasscloth walls. “[The homeowners’] kids were young when the house was built,” Becker notes, “and I wanted the room to feel not-so intimidating for them to come in and put their feet up and watch TV. We wanted it to be fun but timeless too.” Curved mahogany window seats (window seats are a staple on both floors of the house) feature cushions upholstered in a colorful pattern, a Japanese-style design made by Schumacher called Katsugi—reinforcing the room’s subtle Asian aesthetic. The neutral colors in this space, like the faded brown of an armchair and the pale blue-gray of the couch, evoke a Nantucket aesthetic. “Nantucket is brown and gray, for the most part, and it’s beautiful, but these are muted colors,” Becker says. “The subtlety of these colors is what I gravitate toward. It’s not that strong colors are wrong by any means, but for me, a house is such a haven, and to be comfortable and cozy means a lot to these homeowners.”

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