Most Nantucket regulars would agree that September is the most beautiful month on island. The throngs of tourists have left, you can actually get a restaurant reservation, the water is still warm and that early autumn light softens the colors to glinting golden hues. So while Labor Day may have passed, we take another look at a chic island home. Today’s Nantucket House Tour brings us to one of the most charming locations on island. Sconset, short for the proper Siasconset (Native American for “place of great bones”) is the other Nantucket “town.” One of the earliest seasonal communities in the country, its core of 18th and 19th century rose covered shingled cottages are a shutterbug’s dream.
On the Bluff in Sconset with expansive ocean views, my friends’ house is a family friendly home with just the right mix of old and new.
When they bought the property, the original house, below, needed to be moved and updated with necessities such as insulation and additional bathrooms (it had five bedrooms with one bath).
With the help of Botticelli & Pohl, it was reconfigured, keeping the best of the old, such as the original windows, and creating the new with the same vintage Nantucket feel, while adding the conveniences of modern living.
As with many older Sconset homes, the original house had dark wood in the interiors, so the owners found ways to bring that in. The mudroom is a great space for all the accumulation of summer life, with a handy chalkboard for messages or schedules.
The kitchen and adjoining family room were new additions but feel seamless in their flow. New cabinetry with vintage lighting and furniture offer the best of both worlds.
The seating area is in a sunny corner with an inviting eclectic mix.
Classic Slim Aarons prints, vintage pillows and aged Janus et Cie chairs have a timeless seaside appeal.
An adjoining TV room is cozy with a casual rustic chic vibe.
But the epicenter of the home is the family room. A large space, it is reminiscent of the rambling camp-like expanses in older vacation homes. Divided by the central staircase, one side features a seating area around a stone fireplace. The owners commissioned a local mason to create it as a nod to the old beehive fireplaces in their last house, made from the same cobblestones as the fabled streets in town.
A blue and white theme dominates with a comfortable mix of upholstery and rattan with an assortment of personal island related accoutrements.
A fun collection of ship dioramas, which used to be scattered among the rooms, is now unified here.
The other side of the staircase features an open game room where a range of activities for evening or rainy days is available.
Every corner features charming vignettes with references to a sense of place.
Pass by the staircase and you can enter one of my favorite rooms, the bar. A wonderful area for entertaining, it serves as a homey space for lunch off season.
The back side of the bar, through the porthole door, is attached to the pantry. And just like in good boat design, every inch is utilized. A clever tactic I admired was how each side of the double door opens neatly into its own nook, fitting exactly flush against the wall. Wine and basket storage fill the surround.
A door on the far side of the seating area in the family room leads to the charming dining room. In an elegant soothing palette of greenish gray, the owners recreated the walls of the original room with the same type of v groove beadboard paneling.
Every house on island could benefit from a screened porch and this house has a lovely one, with a fireplace backing up to the one in the TV room. Cool evenings and fall days are welcomed in this sheltered space continuing the blue and white theme with comfy cushions on wicker.
This segues to the outdoor terrace, perfect for warm weather dining and lazy lounging.
And for those in between moments, the house is replete with covered porches, providing shade and protection on hot sunny days,
and corners and steps graced with pots of lush greenery and blooms.
We’ll take a quick peek upstairs, where the views across the street alone are worth the trip.
The top of the stairs divide, one side leading to the master suite and the other to the family bedrooms. Outside the master is an appealing area to work or read.
Desk and nautical appointed shelving fill one side with a reading area on the other.
The master bedroom is a light and airy retreat opened up to the rafters.
Windows on three sides let the ocean breezes waft through the room. With a charming country appeal, an Elizabeth Eakins rug anchors the space with a pretty new Schumacher pattern on a tufted window seat.
Like all the bathrooms in the house, the master has a fun splatter paint floor with a crisp and clean ship shape aesthetic.
I often think halls are underrated and forgotten spaces. But this one, leading off the other side of the landing, is a lovely visual pause. With pale colors and simple furnishings, it offers you a place to rest your eyes and feet.
Continuing the tone throughout, the children’s bedrooms have an easy relaxed seaside chic that is stylish yet comfortable.
And in between is a fun “crash” room where an overflow of kids and their friends can hang out and even sleep.
I’m sure my daughter has spent many fun hours here.
An original outbuilding on the property, below, which was once a bath house with changing rooms for coming to and from the beach, was protected by the HDC (Historic District Commission), and was eventually enlarged to become a wonderful guest house that we will visit on another occasion.
Many thanks to my lovely friends for allowing me to share their beautiful Nantucket home. Kudos to them for creating such a heavenly haven for friends and family!