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Cape Cod Vacation Home Offers Space for Everyone

ERTA-MJ Nardone East Orleans Kitchen. Photo: Dan Cutrona.

On a two-acre property just off Main Street in East Orleans, not far from Nauset Beach, sits a stunning, multigenerational family vacation home. The stately, cedar-clad gambrel was designed by Architect Erik Tolley, principal of ERT Architects, in the stead of an older home that was in disrepair. 

While homes designed by ERT Architects often incorporate distinctive signature elements, they don’t necessarily have an instantly recognizable “look.” Tolley draws on his more than two decades of experience to create homes that are a unique reflection of his clients’ wishes, interpreted through his lens of creative expertise, while also remaining aesthetically in keeping with the neighborhood. For example, the gambrel roofline on this home is tripled for an updated and unexpected silhouette. Ornamental details on the exterior, such as the cornices and fish-scale shingles at each of the three peaks, are minimal yet draw attention to the distinctive profile.

ERTA-MJ Nardone East Orleans Front Exterior. Photo: Dan Cutrona.

Tolley worked with Cape Cod custom home builder Mike Nardone, of MJ Nardone Building and Remodeling to make this home the masterpiece it is. Nardone has built a reputation as the premier builder on the Cape and beyond. He has a sharp eye for detail, years of experience, and can bring every client’s vision to life. Nardone frequently partners with ERT Architects and has an established symbiotic professional relationship with their team. This home is an exceptional example of their collaborative work. 

Inside, the common living spaces are spacious without feeling cavernous. Custom millwork adds depth and visual interest to nearly every space, the signature mark of every home designed by Erik Tolley. The primary living room boasts a coffered ceiling and a fireplace flanked by custom cabinetry. A small, intimate den has an accent wall finished with decorative millwork. In the kitchen, the oversized island is a main focal point, and gives the elongated room a sense of proportion. The stairway in the center hall is finished with an exquisite handrail and balusters, and a window seat fills a niche at the top of the stairs. A bunk room for the kids has a nautical feel, with its quartet of built-in beds. Tolley takes great care to exceed his clients’ expectations by taking into account the way the family lives and honoring that lifestyle with custom details. Because this family enjoys puzzles and games together as a tradition, Tolley ensured that there would be a designated puzzle room upstairs, and the basement was transformed into an impressive entertainment space.

Tolley draws on his more than two decades of experience to create homes that are a unique reflection of his clients’ wishes, interpreted through his lens of creative expertise.

ERTA-MJ Nardone East Orleans Living Room. Photo: Dan Cutrona.

Jennifer Perini, of Jennifer Perini Interior Design, put her fresh spin on the quintessential blue-and-white scheme: classic navy and Delft blues are punched up with the bright, saturated blues of the matriarch’s favorite flower, the hydrangea. The massive kitchen island and china cabinet are painted a bold hydrangea blue, and pop against the snow-white cabinets and navy grasscloth-covered walls of the dining room beyond. Perini skillfully mixes high-end custom elements and budget-friendly options. For instance, the black granite countertops are one of the least expensive features in the room, yet they’re a perfect fit alongside the pricier details, like the blue tiled backsplash, which was handmade custom in Mexico.

Overall, the vibe of the home is comfortable and serene, with playful splashes of color, especially in the kids’ bunk rooms. The bathrooms have a beachy, spa-like feeling, thanks to subtle details like wallpaper in a watery pattern, a rope-framed mirror and a shimmering tiled floor that ever so slightly resembles the shape of a whale’s tail. Bright, open and unstuffy, the home has space for four generations to gather, while also offering private moments of retreat. Indoor spaces flow effortlessly out to patio areas, inviting guests to enjoy dinner outside, or sunset by the fire pit. No detail is spared; nothing is over the top. This timeless home will serve generations to come and age perfectly in historic East Orleans.

ERTA-MJ Nardone East Orleans Bunk Bedroom (left) and Bathroom (right). Photo: Dan Cutrona.

ERTA-MJ Nardone East Orleans Back Exterior 1-4. Photo: Dan Cutrona.

Architecture: ERT Architects
Construction: MJ Nardone Building and

Interior Design: Jennifer Perini Interior Design
Landscape Design: Cheney Landscape Design

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