Two Worlds Collide

Cape Cod Home  /  Summer 2022 /

Writer: Allyson Plessner / Photographer: Mike Crane 

A New Seabury couple come together to reinvigorate a traditional Cape home, combining their unique styles to create a space expertly situated in duality: timeless and modern, classic and chic, calming and vibrant.

What happens when a pool lover and a beachgoer meet? Like with any great marriage, the answer is compromise. For Josh Hundert and Greg Strazzulla, that compromise came in the form of an untouched foreclosure, just blocks away from a peaceful private beach and with a hidden gem in the front courtyard: a spacious pool. Thus began a two-year renovation, undertaken with the kind of love (and compromise) that it takes to restore a Cape home to its full glory.

“Greg grew up spending summers in West Falmouth. His first job was lifeguarding for the town,” reminisces Josh. “When we got married, we began the search for a house of our own. My parents rented a great place in Maushop Village one Fourth of July, and that was our first introduction to New Seabury. We loved it!” Greg and Josh were quick to fall farther in love with New Seabury once they discovered the subdivision of Promontory Point, with a quiet, garden-lined cul-de-sac just a short walk from a private beach and oceanfront golf course. “We really enjoy that each of the different villages of New Seabury have their own character and personality. And similarly, each of our friends and neighbors have something that make their home special—be it a pool or a roof deck,” explains Greg. 

When it came to creating their dream home, the existing structure was taken down to the studs in most places to combat untreated wood rot and the wear and tear of age. “We wanted to be true to the original design and playfulness of the home but update it with modern luxuries and style,” explains Greg about the scope of the project. “The inspiration was clear from the start: keeping in step with the original intentions of the architect, while tweaking it to fit our lifestyle. We also made a point to have a little fun! This is a place to get away after all.”

Working for a major home furnishing company, Arhaus, Greg has spent many years honing his style and becoming comfortable in his own world of classic, understated beauty. “Throughout my years at Arhaus I have witnessed how furniture is made and how selecting the right pieces can decide the energy of the room,” he explains. “I grew to love the story behind our décor choices for this property; many of the pieces we picked are made from sustainable natural materials, and they tell a meaningful story—about the artisans who makes the pieces and the places they come from. I’m especially drawn to earth tones and unique finishes. I value longevity in my designs, to create a solid base in a world full of fast fashion and to keep true to those elements that are already fixed in place such as the architecture of a home.”

With their New Seabury home, the couple felt they had an opportunity to unearth a fantastic story: one of natural Cape splendor, timeless design, and, of course, an outdoor escape. Greg and Josh gave a nod to the mid-century feel of the home with classic furniture pieces, clean lines, and stylish light fixtures. “We made a point to bring a natural element into every room,” says Josh. A neutral color palette gives the space an organic, understated atmosphere that is contrasted with vibrant, colorful art pieces like a large canvas painted in hues of white and bright aqua blue in the main dining area. In fact, all of the artwork in the home is from local Massachusetts artists, most of whom are from the Cape. “While we steered away from the ‘traditional Cape’ style, we did give a nod to the beachside lifestyle with elements like a fish scale tile, canvas slipcovered sofas, and, of course, lots and lots of hydrangeas on our patio,” notes Greg.

Having worked with Hingham’s Classic Tile and Stone on previous projects, Josh and Greg knew that once again they would seek assistance from co-owners Julie Ryan and Kristin Henaghan, as they knew that tile and stone would play an important role in setting the stage in almost every setting throughout the home, both inside and out. “This project was so exciting because the homeowners not only love tile, but also understood that natural stone and ceramic tile are a great way to add personality to a space, as well as bring easy functionality, particularly for a well-used vacation space like this,” Ryan explains. 

The age-old dichotomy between pool and beach is one that is echoed in other ways throughout the home: in the natural yet fun style that permeates each room; the soft greys and tans accented by surprising yet welcome pops of vibrant artwork or jazzy fish scale tiles, recommended by Ryan, which are handmade by artisans in the US. “The house is not traditional, and neither are we!” laughs Josh. “It is light and bright and we hope very welcoming as we love to have family and friends stay with us. We made decisions along the way together, and took lots of advice from professions like Julie and Kristin, that reveal a lot about us in every aspect. Our joint aesthetic can be seen in every room and finish selected, but there are pieces that we made sure were uniquely our own.”  

“We definitely had our challenges,” admits Josh, noting that the full renovation took about two years, largely due to material shortages. “One of our major successes, though, was reworking the floorplan to make it more functional.” The couple laughs about the extra space they were able to finagle by repurposing closets and moving every bathroom in the home. “The home feels cohesive and well-conceptualized. Everything seems to fit and go together,” says Greg. “My favorite part is the sense of completion,” agrees Josh. “We took on a tremendous project during a difficult time and were able to pull it off. I am so grateful that we had this opportunity to make this our own.” 

In the kitchen, waterfall quartz countertops, which are complemented by light grey cabinetry, and darker grey, organically shaped tile, give the space—which Greg and Josh note as one of the big triumphs of the renovation—a warm, calming feel. The original kitchen was situated in the middle of the home, disrupting the flow of the other rooms, and as the couple struggled to make this floorplan comfortable and functional, Greg’s mother, Diane, came up with a masterful solution: “She said, ‘just move the kitchen!’” they laugh. “Turns out, she was right.” Now in a new location, the space is complete with a farmhouse sink, Sub-Zero fridge, convection oven, and range. A French four-panel sliding door leading to the home’s courtyard oasis means that Josh and Greg can now happily enjoy cooking in a space filled with light and, of course, function. “The doors create a great indoor-outdoor flow and give the illusion of a larger kitchen,” notes Greg. “We were also able to remove the old kitchen walls and create a beautiful new dining space.” 

Another standout of the renovation is the master bedroom, featuring a curbless wet room with side-by-side showers. Finished with grey stone and a feature wall done in herringbone grey tiles, the shower pays homage to the natural, indoor-outdoor ambiance that is central to the home. A new dressing area and double vanity provide the couple with ample space to get ready in the morning, and Greg’s favorite elements—a large skylight and comfortable patio space—ensure lots of natural light and an organic feel to the bathroom. “Whether it be our view to the outdoor patio, the natural stone, or the furniture pieces we were able to bring into the bathroom, we wanted to echo that natural aesthetic in every room,” he says. 

Outside, that biophilic design comes full circle with two private outdoor spaces—one overlooking a backyard and the other boasting a poolside refuge. “Our intent with the pool was to create a true resort-style feel,” explains Greg. “We mimicked colors from the master bathroom and fireplace, carried the teak finish on the furniture over from the back patio, and tiled with glass that coordinated with our kitchen. The pool now feels like a seamless part of the home, letting your eye carry from one room to another, from inside to out, without conflict.” The pool abuts the house as well, running alongside the master bedroom, and can be seen from almost every room in the house. “The handmade, textured glass tile used for the pool waterline allows the light to dance and reflect all while playing off of the interior theme of the kitchen backsplash tile,” adds Ryan. To complete their outdoor getaway, Josh and Greg have a comfortable seating area along the back patio, surrounded by a large rock wall toward the back of the yard and in the spring by fragrant, eye-catching flowers—something that appeals to the couples’ natural green thumbs. 

“One thing that we love about New Seabury are the beautiful gardens,” emphasizes Josh. “We are lucky to have a front yard that has several varieties of hydrangeas as well as a Phantom hydrangea tree, a large wall of rhododendrons for privacy on the side, and in our backyard, we have a bluestone patio with more hydrangea varieties including Nikko blues and Limelights.” With two private courtyard areas, the couple has the space and privacy for both moments alone and valuable times with their community: another welcomed dichotomy. 

It’s obvious stepping into the space that each detail was thoughtfully considered by the couple—from a lively hexagonal tile in the guest bath to a living room decked with pops of coastal blues. “Plus, the heated floors in the master bath always make me smile,” points out Greg with a grin. The home is full of both personality and careful design choices and stands as a true homage to what it means to love an old Cape home. 

“Our home is the first you see when entering the neighborhood,” notes Josh, “so we are proud to have had the opportunity to give it a well-deserved and much needed update.” The great debate between beach vs. pool might not be solved by this one, albeit spectacular, home. But for a couple that lives in a world marked by duality—in a home that is once thoughtful yet unique, calm yet spirited, beachy yet chic—finding the best of both worlds is what’s important. 

Allyson Plessner is a contributing writer for Cape Cod Life Publications.

Allyson Plessner

Allyson Plessner is a former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life and now works for the publication as a staff writer and digital media coordinator. Born in Florida, Allyson has been a lifelong summer resident of the Cape. She is a recent alumna of the College of Charleston, located in Charleston, South Carolina, where she completed bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Allyson is an avid sailor, beach-goer, and—like her fellow Cape Cod Life colleagues—a dog-lover.