House on Stage Island
House on Stage Island
3,100 square feet (interior)
3,700 square feet (perceived)
Stage Island is a small hilly peninsula surrounded by Stage Harbor and its marshland with views beyond to both Nantucket Sound and the open ocean. When architects John and Sharon DaSilva of Polhemus Savery DaSilva first visited it, the geography, plus a lack of traditional "Cape" houses, reminded them of the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California. This feeling, combined with their love of the work of such architects as Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan who worked in the Bay area in the early 20th Century, inspired them to relate this design to the shingled houses they, and their regional contemporaries, designed. Other arts and crafts influences including the English architect C.F.A. Voysey, are also evident in the massing, detailing and colors of the exterior of the house.
Budgetary limitations led to a compact plan and efficient use of volume. The living space is roughly square in plan. The ceilings are relatively low and there are no dramatic spaces. The slope of the site allows the basement level to be decent living space with exposure on three sides. There is very little un-used basement or attic space.
Further serving to keep the house affordable, are simple inexpensive interior finishes. The spaces are given character by the paint colors, the openings between spaces and to the exterior, some simple dropped soffits, and by a few details "cut-out" of flat, painted wood. There are no built-in cabinets or furniture except in the kitchen and there they are simple MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) shapes held up by whimsical "flower" brackets. Countertops are mahogany, flooring is real linoleum tile or southern yellow pine; rich looking but relatively inexpensive materials. There is no fireplace and no deck. While the house looks rich and complex, it was relatively inexpensive to build.
Door and window-like openings occur between rooms to visually expand the spaces, providing both an open, flowing feeling, and enough solid wall to suggest more traditional rooms as well. One of these openings is glazed with a custom-designed art-glass window with an irregular (or incomplete) pattern, similar to the regular pattern in the nearby stair balustrade.