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Summer Mooring

Harborfront
2018 BRICC Award (GOLD)

The homeowners bought this Cape Cod property over a decade ago, loving the land but not the banal house that sat on it. Its location in an environmentally sensitive area, on a peninsula with a saltwater pond on three sides, presented challenges when deciding to rebuild. Regulatory requirements dictated that the newly constructed house use the footprint of the original and also adhere to the same height. Because the house is in a flood plain, a finished basement was not allowed. New flood vents now permit water to enter and flow through without causing structural damage.

The clients requested a welcoming, nautically inspired home well suited to family gathering. PSD designed and built the house with twin gables and a centered front door set into a shallow entry porch. A traditional, but flattened and oversized, fan light made into a screen wall symbolizes welcome and announces entry at a grand scale. The exterior is clad in white cedar sidewall shingles and red cedar roof shingles. Decorative window shutters with anchor cutouts and emphatically linear trim are finished in crisp white paint, contrasting, in typical Cape Cod fashion, with grey shingles. Windows on the front facade are fully divided into six lights, while the rear facade opens to the view with larger paned windows and French doors. A large terrace and outdoor kitchen provide outdoor living space between the interior and the sweeping lawn.

For the interior, the homeowners asked for a playful nautical feeling with a combination of open and closed spaces. Entering the home is like walking onto a classic yacht. The front door leads to an entry/stair hall that soars up to a ceiling that is curved and ribbed like the hull of a boat. Playful “Greek” details are contemporary in their abstraction, but classical enough to suggest 19th Century revivalism. Just beyond, over the central dining area, the ceiling is vaulted like a yacht’s cabin and makes the most of the restricted ceiling heights. To one side of the dining room is the kitchen and to the other is the living space, which features a whale’s tail shaped mantel carved from black granite. Other details throughout the house include the back-lit star patterned panel above the curvaceous window seat at the dining room, and the built-in wooden canopy over the master bed. Mahogany beams glow against white-painted woodwork, curves and swooping arches define spaces, and meticulously crafted cabinetry can be found in nearly every room. The bunk room, which received an award, includes waves carved into the wood, a tugboat wall, a custom ship’s ladder on either side of the room to travel between levels, and nautically inspired bunks and decor. The homeowner named their house “Summer Mooring,” saying the home is seamlessly integrated into its coastal environment and grounds their family, allowing them to relax and connect.