If three’s a crowd and too many cooks spoil the broth, clearly no one told the talented design teams behind this masterful and eye-catching contemporary coastal home on Cape Cod.
In a testament to teamwork, a leading New England architect, interior design company and custom builder played separate – but integral – roles in creating this stunning residence that showcases beautiful water views and promotes modern family living.
Pond View Home in Falmouth, Mass., is not your classic Cape Cod summer cottage. The striking glass-walled home is nestled in a wooded landscape and yet its transparent living spaces, viewing platforms and terraces all look out to picturesque pond and ocean views.
Complementing its bold, cutting-edge architecture and crisp angular lines are colorful interior features, including a tiled red fireplace, mirrored red kitchen cabinets and elegant floating stairs.
Boston-based architectural firm Schwartz/Silver designed the home’s exterior and open-concept floor plan. After the glass-and-stone envelope was complete, LDa Architecture and Interiors of Cambridge, Mass., stepped in.
Interior and exterior interact faultlessly, a fact that is especially notable because LDa – which handled the interiors – was not part of the original project team.
“That made for an unusual situation,” acknowledges designer John Day, who leads LDa’s interiors department. “We usually come on board a lot earlier, but with this home we took it forward from the shell.”
LDa’s team, which included Boston-based C.H. Newton Builders, was responsible for everything from designing the stairways to selecting floor materials, cabinetry, built-ins, fireplace, railings, furnishings and décor.
“We did the bathrooms, kitchen, millwork, floors and stairs – essentially all of the interior architecture, design and decorating – but we also needed to be sensitive to the architect’s original vision,” says Day.
“Warren Schwartz [founding partner of Schwartz/Silver] is a master of contemporary architecture. We didn’t want to change his message. We wanted to work in chorus with it,” adds Day, noting that a contemporary home is not simple to construct.
“With clean, spare lines and an absence of extraneous details such as crown moldings, baseboards and heavy draperies, there’s nowhere to hide,” says Day. “We relied on and appreciated the meticulous craftsmanship of the builders, C.H. Newton.”
The client, who was closely involved throughout the process, wanted an artistic yet playful design. Most importantly, though, the home had to be livable and not just a contemporary showpiece.
“She wanted a home that you could walk into with sandy feet and gather around the hearth,” Day says. “Her mantra was, ‘Beautiful, but first [it must be] functional.’ ”
With that mantra constantly in mind, Day knew the family home had to be so much more than merely modern.
“It would have been easy to make the home a contemporary case study,” he says. “But this client didn’t want it to have just one single message. Her taste is eclectic. The home had to be pragmatic. It had to marry contemporary design with a livable, approachable feel.”
That dual desire presented a design challenge. “With a much wider palette than the typical modern home, it became even more important that the exterior architecture, interior elements and décor aligned and did not feel oddly disjointed,” Day says.
The LDa team looked for options to soften and add warmth and character to the design. A hand-tufted wool Tibetan carpet in the entrance foyer warms the granite floor while adding color. Walnut cabinets bring a measure of softness to the kitchen and grass reeds are sandwiched within shower panels.
The wide open floor plan offers few walls, so rugs serve as works of art while imparting texture and pattern.
The client expressed her love of color. “She especially loves red,” Day says, hence the inclusion of the mirrored-back frosted red resin kitchen cabinets. “She adores the impact of the red kitchen – she loves the depth, shimmer and sparkle of the cabinets,” he adds.
Day is especially proud of the fireplace, with its cantilevered granite hearth and red artisan glass tiles. “It supports the architecture as well as the client’s taste for pops of color,” he says. Swirls of undulating glass add depth and character.
The overall effect is dramatic: a sleek, uncluttered, contemporary home that is also comfortable, livable, stylish and visually stimulating.
“It took many conversations with the client, imagery, showroom visits, three-dimensional renderings and design mockups to make sure we successfully hit the mark,” Day says. “With such a multi-faceted project, everything and everyone had to work in unison.”
Image Credits: Photo by Greg Premru.