80 DESIGN NEW ENGLAND JULY/AUGUST 2017
has long been a summer haven for a couple of American ex-pats, who
moved from California to London 14 years ago. Its location off the Massachusetts coast proved an ideal middle-distance destination when
they wanted to connect with friends and family in the Midwest.
While on vacation there one rainy day in July 2014, the couple
decided on a whim to go house hunting. “We weren’t really looking,”
says the wife. They toured a sprawling Cape-style house in Edgartown
and were smitten. “We went out and immediately loved that house. I’d
never wanted something so much.”
Built in 1958, the house has many traditional features. In par-
ticular, the couple were drawn to the living room and its decorative
arched window. They also liked that the backyard’s thick privet hedges
afforded plenty of privacy, giving the space a sense of sanctuary despite
its proximity to Edgartown’s bustling center.
By early 2015, they had purchased the property and began thinking about adding what they thought would be a small pool house, with
guest quarters, for the existing pool. They wanted it to be an extension of the house so their three children, ages 3, 5, and 7, could move
freely between spaces and their many houseguests would have a comfortable, but connected, place to stay.
They hired architect James Moffatt of Hutker Architects, which
has offices in Boston, Vineyard Haven, and Falmouth, Massachusetts,
to help them with their plan. As issues were identified, the project grew
in scope. “The pool house was the spirit of the project,” says Moffatt,
“but as we started moving, the renovation part grew and grew.”
The original house had 3,498 square feet on two levels with a total
of four bedrooms — two upstairs and two downstairs. With the addi-
tion of the pool house and master suite, the square footage grew to
approximately 5,600 square feet and the bedrooms to six. The pool
house guest room can accommodate a family of four or five.
The husband’s desire for modern influences was tempered only
by the wife’s desire to maintain the charm of the house, which in 2016
became part of Edgartown’s historic district. In addition to contem-
porary design, the husband wanted maximum natural light, which
meant lots of glass. “If he could live in a glass house,” says the wife,
Planning was a collaborative effort between Moffatt, the home-
owners, and interior designers Liz Stiving-Nichols and Liane Thomas
of Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design in Vineyard Haven, Massachu-
setts. Their synergy (Stiving-Nichols was a designer at Hutker for
stepping stones lead to the
updated front entry, where
the glass pivot door is framed
by a streamlined portico.