Cape Associates helps one couple bring a historic renovation to fruition.By Jessica Laniewski | Photography by Dan Cutrona
Deciding to completely renovate a house is never something that comes easily, especially when it’s a historic home overlooking Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay, but Joyce and Pam knew they were up for the challenge. The couple has owned the home since 2008 and, while they currently use it as a summer retreat, they intend to make it their primary residence once they retire.
“We knew we wanted to start with a great waterfront location, which the home had,” says Pam. “We worked with Manitou Architects immediately upon signing the purchase and sales agreement and described to them how we wanted to use the house, what specific features we wanted, and that we absolutely had to maximize the view.” The architects were familiar with waterfront and beach property renovations so the planning process went smoothly as the couple articulated what they wanted in their new vacation home.
A reinvented interior
With frequent house-guests and visits from parents, Pam and Joyce wanted a one-bedroom, one-bathroom fully private in-law apartment along with a semi-private wing in the main house that includes two guest bedrooms and a full bath. This area can be closed off from the primary living spaces with a sliding pocket door, allowing guests to keep their own schedule when visiting as well as giving the homeowners privacy.
The main living and dining spaces and kitchen have an antique feel, with a pitched ceiling punctuated by exposed wood beams that were original to the home and wide plank wood floors. Skylights and large windows along the rear elevation of the home allow sunlight to pour into the space and make the most of the view. The wide-open space allows for easy entertaining whether it is a few friends for an intimate dinner party or a house full of guests.
“The house plans were thoughtfully designed by the architect, Ed Dusek, to maximize usage of square footage of the existing home,” says Matt Cole, the president and CEO of Cape Associates. Working hand-in-hand with the architects, Cole oversaw the renovations and addition that took place at the Provincetown home. Energy efficient measures such as increased insulation and improvements to the home’s overall systems were implemented to bring the home into the 21st century.
Bringing back the exterior
“We knew we wanted to update and solidify the existing structure, but be true to the historical roots of the house,” says Pam. “We returned the Commercial Street view to what it was in the early 1900s.” The couple loved that the house had belonged to generations of fishing and lobstering families and were respectful about saving what could be salvaged and restoring the front façade of the four-bedroom house to its original appearance.
Cole points out that the Commercial Street property is very unique for a historic home in that it was a multi-residential dwelling and still is today with the inclusion of the well thought out in-law apartment. The home’s exterior seamlessly combines the old and the new with its traditional cedar shingles and clapboards and thoroughly modern composite trim, storm-resistant Andersen windows and cable railings. From the street, passersby will notice that the historic features have been maintained, while from the water one can see the glass addition and multi-level decks that give the home the slightly contemporary feel that’s equally fitting in Provincetown.
The couple did the interior design on their own with a little help on color selections from the architects. Pam and Joyce went for “simple, clean coastal with light colors” that would allow the focus to be on the expansive and ever-changing view. Pam and Joyce aimed to make their vacation home a soothing one where they could unwind and not be hindered by loud colors or furniture that would detract from the natural beauty just outside their door.
“One of the most tranquil rooms in the home is the master bedroom suite with its own private deck opening to stunning water views,” says Cole. The owners enjoy the master bathroom with its large soaking tub, double sinks, and walk-in shower with built-in niches and tile floor. “The house has many modern finishes while maintaining the character of the home such as the exposed beams in the kitchen and dining area.”
The couple couldn’t be happier with the renovations. “The direct access to the water with a beautiful private beach is one of our favorite parts of the home,” says Pam. The couple and their friends spend days out on the water rowing, paddleboarding, and swimming. When not down at the beach, they can relax on the multiple outdoor living spaces, including the rooftop deck with a 360-degree view of Provincetown and Truro. Pam and Joyce knew they had their dream home from the start, but the renovation and well-planned addition allows them to enjoy the unrivaled sunsets and stargazing even more.