sen with care by interior designer Jon Hattaway and the late Martin
Potter, Hattaway’s business and life partner, who succumbed to cancer during the project. Potter’s ideas and influence are seen throughout
the house, in such elements as the entry foyer mural, which he designed
to depict the New England coast; the coffered ceilings of the first-floor
rooms, which he varied in design to add visual interest; and, in the master suite, the curvaceous bed of Southern pine veneer that he designed
to take advantage of the ocean view.
Hattaway credits Potter with inspiring creativity among the entire
team of designers and tradespeople who worked on the house. “Martin
had an extraordinary imagination, and he was also incredibly encour-
aging to others,” says Hattaway, principal of MJ Berries Design in Bos-
ton’s South End. “One of his greatest gifts to me was that he helped me
trust my creative intuition.”
It was important to Hattaway that the house evoke a sense of age,
that its collection of objects, elements, and surfaces look as if it evolved
over time. In the foyer, the scenic maritime mural and gracious stair-
way with its elegantly simple balustrade with spindles in three patterns
establish that old summer house welcome. The adjacent living room
and screened porch beyond offer layers of decorative appeal: painted
furniture, both antique and new; interesting artwork, much of it by
folk artists; perfectly scaled sconces and light fixtures; timeless fab-
rics and exquisite rugs.
Architectural details speak to the design team’s concept of a casually elegant vacation house that has aged well. Simple yet deep baseboards and crown mouldings accent every room. Fireplaces, each with
a unique mantel created by finish carpenter Michael Stewart of Michael
Stewart Building and Remodeling in Plymouth, are found throughout.
French doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and arched transom windows
are strategically placed to maximize natural light and sea breezes.
Some of the random-width pine floors are stained in various tones,
while others are painted, a classic summer house touch. The color
scheme changes gradually, subtly, and gracefully, with blues, grays,
and greens grounding the first floor and pale pinks, golden yellows, and
soft oranges suffusing the second-floor bedroom suites. “The second
floor reflects changes in color, where the nuanced shades of the walls
are all reminiscent of beautiful sunsets, the homeowner’s favorite time
of day,” says Hattaway.
One of the house’s most endearing spaces is an ocean-facing sleep-
ing porch off the master bedroom. “I wanted a version of a sleeping
porch,” says the homeowner, who recounts blissful childhood memories
of summer nights falling asleep on such a porch in her family home. “My
the sleeping porch off
the master bedroom has
timeless appeal with its
painted wood floor,
horizontal wall boards,
and vintage iron bed.