Bold and bright nautical furnishings complete a chatham home remodel.By Jennifer Sperry | Photography by Dan Cutrona
For months they endured an endless progression of dust, tools, workmen, paint fumes, ladders, and more. Deciding to remodel their newly purchased Chatham home catalyzed a messy journey of overlapping projects, including refinishing floors; adding built-ins, beadboard, and bathrooms; and improving lighting for the main living areas, among other projects. One day, while shopping for shutters, the homeowners met designer Marsha Malone and embarked upon yet another transformative layer of their remodel: tackling the interior furnishings.
A fortuitous first meeting
“They came into Seaport Shutter looking for shutters and mahogany screen doors and discovered Nautique, the side of our business that provides interior design services and custom furniture,” recalls Malone. “They needed almost everything for their new house and one thing led to another. In the end, I designed just about all of the furnishings and window treatments, picking the fabrics and overseeing any custom upholstery.” Nautique’s in-house craftspeople handled all of the fabrication and hand-painting.
“We were so fortunate to find Marsha,” say the owners of this chance meeting, “and to discover that Nautique specializes in the bright, colorful nautical furnishings that we wanted.” The owners encouraged her bold selections of color and pattern that are evident at every turn of their completed home.
An important consideration for Malone was the husband’s extensive collection of maritime paintings. “A lot of our decisions honored the artwork,” she says. “Oftentimes we pulled colors out of the paintings so that the furnishings coordinated. And the owners’ obvious appreciation for the play of color and light made for a fun, collaborative process.”
Room for family
Knowing that the wife’s family gathered for holidays on Cape Cod, the designer decided on a generous dining room table to accommodate high guest counts. Part of Nautique’s Sail Loft Collection, it was handcrafted out of reclaimed wood. Window valences in a yellow-and-blue floral add just enough color without competing with views of neighboring cranberry bogs through the bay window. Malone even had the chandelier’s fabric shades hand-painted with coordinating yellow-and-blue striped trim.
The living room embodies nautical while showcasing furniture pieces from Nautique’s Coastal Collection. The room’s end tables, coffee table, and sideboard feature beadboard, finished mahogany, brass hardware, and 23-karat gold star punctuations. Playing with patterns, Malone paired the sofa’s vibrant blue upholstery with two club chairs in a softer blue-and-white seashell print. Instead of fabric window treatments, she opted for white interior shutters by Seaport Shutter Company that are at once crisp and classic.
A second gathering space for the family of four is the family room, awash in light blue walls and oriented around a gas fireplace. Here, Malone went for big pairings of colors with the upholstered sofa in yellow with white roping, club chairs in a primary red fabric patterned with lighthouses, and blue-and-white striped window valences. The round coffee table’s motif, a hand-painted compass rose designed by Malone, unites the room’s color interactions.
For the first-floor master bedroom, the designer featured a favorite choice of the wife’s, a sweet fabric of soft yellow with blue hydrangeas. It appears in pillowcases and window treatments as well as the room’s custom fabric headboard and bench. The wife’s desk was hand-painted with hydrangeas as well as a blue-striped border that picks up on the bed’s striped European pillow covers. “Overall, the room is fresh, summery, and light,” describes Malone.
Personal preferences also played a role in the daughters’ bedrooms. One daughter chose a cheerful floral pattern of lime greens, pinks, and fuchsias, which Malone transformed into custom bed linens. She then pulled together all of these colors, albeit a bit more muted, into a custom-made rag rug. Meanwhile, the other daughter opted for a more serene palette of sea-foam greens and blues that stripe and weave throughout her bed linens and wall treatments.
Not to be outdone, the husband carved out a second-floor office for himself complete with a TV, sitting area, and pullout sofa for extra summer guests. His desk, also from Nautique’s Coastal Collection, was built to Malone’s specs—“It had to be a certain length and depth to accommodate all of his machinery while still fitting into a fairly narrow space,” she says.
Combined, all of her customizations add up to an interior that is welcoming and personable, with furnished rooms that function to their fullest potential. “It was challenging to measure and envision spaces during all of the construction,” recalls Malone, “but in the end everything came together and is now enjoyed as an artistic whole.”