to work with the footprint of the existing structure to remake their own retreat. From the start, says Hattaway, the
clients made it clear that they wanted a second home that
was as different from their year-round residence as, well,
summer is from winter.
In their off-Cape life, the family has a busy schedule.
Both parents are business professionals, the three children
(all under 12) are engaged in an assortment of school and
extracurricular activities, and the entire family has a full
social calendar. “This house was not going to be a place
to entertain,” says Hattaway. “They do enough of that in
their Boston life. This house was to be about family.” And
there is plenty of family around. The children’s grandparents and several aunts and uncles have summer houses
nearby, which means there are lots of cousins going in
and out of houses. “They wanted a place for the family to
enjoy an unencumbered vacation,” says Burton Visnick,
who with his wife Long, designed a house with an exterior
that is respectful of the traditional Cape Cod architecture
around it, but an interior that is open and streamlined.
“I wanted the house to have an open feeling,” says the
homeowner, “to be as much like a loft space as possible.”
The living room accomplishes that, and more. The
two-story space is washed with natural light, which pours
in through strategically placed skylights. The undeniable
focal point is the curved staircase, but the pièce de résis-tance is the stainless-steel railing system Potter designed
for it. “We didn’t want traditional wood,” says Potter. Rather than a string of pearls, he opted for a shimmering silver
necklace that set the tone for the entire house.
Designers and clients easily settled on a monochromatic color scheme, with public spaces done in shades of
white, black, and gray. “It is the opposite of what I would
have done at our other house, which is more traditional,”
says the homeowner. “Here, we wanted serenity.” Design
decisions such as painting the wood floors shiny white
created the desired sense of calm. “I was concerned about
maintenance,” says the homeowner, “but even with wet
towels and sandy feet, the floors clean up easily.”
the homeowner selected one of her favorite colorful Deruta
pottery patterns (left) for designer Martin Potter to reinterpret in
the gray and white color scheme of the kitchen and family room.
“Martin expanded it and related it to the island,” says Hattaway.
“Ultimately, it became a kind of tattoo.”