A New Take on the Cape Cod Look

Finding one design element they loved for each room gives a family the starting point for a top-to-bottom renovation.

By Laurie Higgins | Photography by Dan Cutrona

When doing a kitchen or bath makeover, homeowners usually don’t know where to start. Robin Decoteau, a designer at Supply New England, says it really doesn’t matter which element you choose first. She recommends that you find one thing you love and that will drive the rest of the project because it narrows the field dramatically.

“It may not be the tile or cabinet,” she says. “They might have a print they want to hang in the bathroom or a towel color. You have to start with one thing.”

It all started with an island

In this South Chatham waterfront home, the starting place for the kitchen was the specific color of blue of the 87½-inch-by-57-inch island. The homeowners fell in love with the shade of federal blue and the rest of the choices were decided from there. They found a blue pearl granite countertop that was a perfect match to the island. The blue pearl granite countertop is echoed again in the perfectly matching horizontal stiletto glass tiles that has become a dramatic focal point on the far wall.

“We wanted the blue but we didn’t want to do all blue,” Decoteau says. “One of the major concerns when we were beginning was how low the ceilings are in that kitchen. The thought was to keep the other cabinets white and then match the white right up onto that ceiling so it opened it up and made it look seamless. Everyone’s goal in that kitchen/dining room area was to make it feel like it is just as big and impressive as the adjoining area that’s all windows and cathedral ceilings.”

The white cabinets by Mouser Custom Cabinetry were custom built and designed by Supply New England. Mouser sent Supply New England the available frames, center panels and options for different router edges and they built the door.

One of the key elements in the kitchen is the appliance wall, which is all built into one side of the kitchen. Appliances include a column refrigerator, freezer and wine refrigerator all lined up in a row with a visually appealing fluting detail in between to make them look built in. An oven and microwave are also built into the same wall.

While some features like the glass tiles and cabinets were meant to be dramatic, other features were designed to be neutral. For example, recessed lighting in the ceiling gives it a clean uncluttered look. Flooring is white oak with a dark stain that complements the glass tiles. Stainless appliances and sinks pick up the gray color introduced with the tiles and are soothing to the eye.

A serene master bath

In the master bathroom, the homeowner chose sand colored stiletto glass tiling to extend the coastal look and provide some contrast to the blue that is featured in so much of the home. To create a unique focal point that makes the ceiling feel taller, the glass was laid on a vertical grid in the back wall of the shower and then mirrored on the wall behind the BainUltra air jet tub.

The sidewalls of the tub and the floor are tiled with a beautifully honed 12-by-24-inch travertine tile and the floor of the shower has matching two-by-two tiles. Cabinetry is from Mouser Cabinetry’s inset line topped with Carrara marble. His-and-hers sinks and mirrors are separated by a custom-built center-column cabinet that keeps all the homeowners’ bathroom supplies hidden but within easy reach.

For the son…

Upstairs in the son’s bathroom, the driving force was beautiful green glass subway tiles custom ordered from Italy. The bathtub features an olive color tile with a sage accent and reversed pattern on the wall behind the mirrors.

“The countertop was butterfly green granite, so you had all those dark ‘olive-y’ greens in there with just a little of the light sage green,” Decoteau says. “The cabinets are a deep-stained cherry. It’s called peppercorn and the brand is KraftMaid.”

Floors are tiled with a simple and inexpensive porcelain tile that looks like marble.

The construction of the project was done by Stello Construction in Chatham under the supervision of foreman Sean Lydon.

“Originally we were just supposed to be doing the kitchen and the master bedroom suite, but we ended up doing the entire house, basically from the inside out,” he says. “We’ve touched every square inch of this house.”

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