Designed for a multi-generational family to enjoy for years to come, this new retreat exudes a time-honored vibe.
At first glance, this gracious Shingle Style home looks as though it’s been perched in its spot along the Massachusetts coastline for the last century or so. And that was precisely the intent, says architect Tom Catalano of Catalano Architects. “We wanted the home to feel timeless and not be obvious that it’s a brand-new house now, or in 75 years.” The homeowners’ vision was to build a generational summer retreat that they would enjoy with their children and future grandchildren.
Designed to accommodate family gatherings, the main home is equipped for entertaining large groups year-round; it also serves as a quiet place for the couple to unwind and work. With guest quarters located above the detached garage and a beach cottage that the husband uses as his office, each structure exists in harmony with each other and the landscape, creating a lovely, secluded oasis.
From the front, the home is inviting and warm. Blue shutters compliment the shingled exterior, and a glimpse of the ocean is visible as soon as one steps through the front door. Designed in a way that balances the orientation to the view with the correct orientation to the sun, the interior is constantly filled with natural light. With extensive millwork and decorated in shades of white, blue, and sand tones, there is a cohesive flow throughout the home, yet each room has a distinct appeal.
In the kitchen, interior designer Barbara Kotzen of Kotzen Interiors LLC selected a gray and green Del Mare granite for the island and countertops, with a Thassos marble mosaic backsplash. The same stone and backsplash are used in the pantry, located off of the kitchen, where the homeowners store large appliances and an additional refrigerator. Across from the kitchen is a butler’s pantry and wet bar with translucent green quartzite countertops and a rippled mirrored mosaic backsplash, that sparkles when hit by the sun.
Located in a flood zone, Catalano and Henry Ladd, principal of Howland Company, worked to ensure the home is both resilient and energy-efficient. “Being attentive to the smallest details is the start of a high-performance home,” says Ladd, the lead builder on the project. “From how the windows are installed, to the detailing of the envelope, to the way everything is air sealed, it’s critical to monitor all those little details.”
Despite community restraints on construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the project was completed in two years. The dynamic team met regularly on-site to identify and develop design options, requiring an open line of communication and a level of trust. “The homeowners were a dream to work with and everyone was willing to listen to one another to move the project forward,” says Catalano. “It was a successful arrangement with mutual respect and clear expectations.”
The two-bedroom guest cottage is an idyllic spot for visiting family members and friends to stay. Just outside the main house is an infinity pool, outdoor patio, and expansive lawn that leads to the beach cottage, which was the only building that remains from the residence’s previous incarnation. The cottage’s basic structure was not changed, but a stone fireplace and glass doors that open out to the water were added, creating a tranquil space perfectly positioned on the ocean.
Ornamental blooming plants along the parking court and front door add texture and color to the home. The same colors are reinforced along the water side, but slowly transition to more ornamental grasses and resilient shrubs that can withstand the ocean’s salt spray and seasonal storms.
A pitched wall surrounding the pool was designed to diminish wave action and the edge of the infinity pool was engineered to withstand tidal floods, according to landscape architect for the project Gregory Lombardi of Gregory Lombadi Design, who worked closely with Catalano designing a space that is fluid and open. “Tom understands how landscape interacts with architecture and that allows us to do our best work,” says Lombardi.
Architecture: Catalano Architects
Construction: Howland Company, Inc.
Interior Design: Kotzen Interiors, LLP
Landscape Architect: Gregory Lombardi Design
Millwork: Fine Finish Inc.
Landscape: R.P. Marzilli & Company
Stone: Cumar, Inc.
Photography: Warren Patterson