Orleans residence designed with family—and the ocean—in mind

Dvorsack Orleans House-3708

Photography provided by John Dvorsack, Architect

Some houses immediately make you feel calm—the palette is neutral, the furniture sleek, the spaces uncluttered. Others immerse you in a theme: yacht-club nautical, executive formal, rustic country. Then there are those homes you enter and immediately feel happy. Such is the case with the East Orleans residence of Doug and Jennie Jacoby.

To begin, the home offers fun, fresh colors: lime greens, periwinkle blues, lavenders, pinks and pops of yellow. There are whimsical elements that surprise and delight, like the white Victorian birdhouse that harbors a small, decorative crow in one corner of the living room. Nearby, a large painting by Maine artist David Witbeck depicts an elongated fisherman named Amos, whose enormous hands hold out a fish as large as Amos’ boat.

A teal crab stands on a nearby windowsill, and starfish can be found everywhere: in the corners of the fireplace screen, cut out of the Seaport Shutter-designed storm door, poised in the European chandelier over the dining table, and on throws, pillows and cabinet pulls. In fact, all of the home’s knobs are eye-catching; there are knobs of sea glass on storage cabinets under the open-frame living room/dining room divider, MacKenzie-Childs fish knobs on the generous window seat dubbed “Peggy’s Place”—as this is Peggy the dog’s favorite spot—and black and white pinwheel knobs on the master bath vanity.

Every level of the home holds surprises, including a lower level landing where a mannequin named Lily stands, clad in an antique bathing suit, with a hat that is changed for each season.

Naturally, these feelings of fun and lightness the home inspires are by design. In the wake of her mother’s passing, which took place as the house was being built, Jennie made a conscious decision to fill the home with “color and happiness.” It was her parents, after all, who instilled in her a love of the Cape, having rented and then built a home in this same neighborhood, where Jennie grew up spending summers and long weekends in the non-winterized, sweep-the-sand-out-the-door cottage. Though they met in Ohio, Jennie and Doug bonded over their connection to the Cape, for Doug also had Cape Cod ties, having attended summer camp here as a child, and learning to sail on Pilgrim Lake.