One family’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation home manages to honor the island’s traditions while standing apart from the crowd. 

“This is so not your typical Martha’s Vineyard house,” says interior designer Robin Pelissier of the 14,000-square-foot island home. Her company, Robin’s Nest, creates extraordinary interiors, and this home’s architect and its owner agree that this home is just that. What most sets apart the contemporary Shingle-style house designed by Charles Rolando, principal architect at Domus, is its exuberance.

The Vineyard look features gray shingles with white trim, but this family summer home displays a penchant for color, mixed materials, and a non-linear approach. A wide, curvaceous stone entry encompasses vast windows, a great oak door, arched lights reminiscent of medieval castles, and a verandah. That entry is set into the L of the house marked with dormers and Palladian windows.

“I love curves,” says Rolando. “The homeowners love stone. Their dream also included soaring spaces, walls of windows, and coastal views.” To maximize those requirements, the most challenging aspect of the architect’s work was the house’s situation on its small, somewhat challenging lot.

“Between the wetlands and the flood plain, there was little room to maneuver,” Rolando says. “I tell my clients that I will drive them nuts with site analysis; I’m sure I did in this case. We reoriented the house and built closer to the height restriction and setbacks, resulting in a design where every room, except for the home theater, has a water view.”

The exterior curves repeat in a great circular staircase that sweeps up all three floors, connecting the eight bedrooms, 13 baths, theater, wine cellar, gentleman’s club room, and gym, which includes a hidden sauna. A fieldstone fireplace and chimney dominate the soaring two-story living room. While its front façade displays a modest one-and-a-half stories, the house’s rear elevation, all-glass walls, reveals its size.

“The interior features a lot of wood, iron, and stone,” says Pelissier. “Rich, saturated colors in fabrics and furnishings balance that masculine spirit. The homeowner loves color.” Pelissier points to the purple leather headboard in the master bedroom as an example. “[She] has great jewelry; we used that aesthetic for the interior design.”

Pelissier calls the lighting fixtures and hardware “the jewelry of the house, giving it sparkle and completing the décor the way a…necklace adds the finishing touch to a great outfit.”

But the kitchen is the heart of the home. “With four children, it’s where everything happens, so it was located in the center, with rooms radiating outward,” says Rolando. 

Image Credits: Eric Roth.