Nantucket Friday Favorites – Boathouse Chic

In downtown Nantucket, across from where the car ferry ushers in its seasonal visitors, sits the historic Old North Wharf. Originally built in 1750 for the burgeoning fishing trade, the tiny shacks lining its width were eventually transformed into cottages for more residential use.

Nantucket boathouseOne of the most charming boathouses is actually two cottages combined, that its owners use for entertaining, for occasional guest overflow from their in-town main house and for prepping outings on their classic Hinckley Picnic Boat, docked off of their deck, below, where one of the Nantucket by Design All-Star Private Dinners will be held (more about that at the end of the post).

Hinckley Picnic boat on Nantucket

Designer Gary McBournie (whose own island home was recently featured in an At Home With video visit), who was brought on board to update the boathouse, revamped it into a chic space reflecting nautical life. Surrounded by hydrangea, the front door sets the tone with a bright ocean blue.

boat house chic by Gary McBournie

Inside, the beams and ceiling are reminders of the original structure while the white beadboard and and crisp color scheme add a fresh modern touch.

Nantucket boathouse decorated by Gary McBournie

The owners’ art, including some of their enviable collection of island artist Mellie Cooper , below,

Mellie Cooper collages in Nantucket boathouse and accessories are effortlessly included in the mix, adding their  personal story and history to the space.

Nantucket boathouse vignette

In a corner of the sitting room, McBournie commissioned a local cabinetmaker to build bunk-like banquettes, that are perfectly ship-shape in terms of space and style,

Nantucket boathouse seating

with great custom details from the mattress upholstery to clever storage solutions.

Nantucket boathouse seating details

At the other end of what is essentially a loft-like room, is the kitchen, with an eating area in between. The ladder leads up to a sleeping loft.

Nantucket boathouse kitchen

The kitchen is a great melding of form and function, again referencing boat-like design, with teak counters, open shelving and that fabulous grill-like woodwork and handles, inspired by a 1920’s yacht.

Boathouse kitchen detailsBoathouse open shelving detailsLooking back toward the seating area, you can see the space is united by the floor, painted throughout with Benjamin Moore deck paint and then treated with a decorative splatter pattern, serving up practicality with style.

Nantucket boathouse interior

While many of the furnishings, such as the great cabinet, below,

Nantucket boathouse bar cabinet

serving as a bar,

Nantucket boathouse cabinet bar

were found on island, items were sourced from as far away as the south of France, including the vintage nautical flags in the bathroom which were the original color scheme inspiration.

Nantucket boathouse signal flags

Nantucket boathouse bathroom

Surprisingly, even the old Skipper wharf restaurant sign, below, was found in France.

Nantucket boathouse corner, designed by Gary McBournie

And then McBournie added fun custom touches like the lampshade, below, fashioned from a Nantucket chart map and trimmed with rope.

Nantucket map lampshade

Upstairs is a charming sleeping loft, where the sound of the waves can lull you to sleep, snug as a bug under the eaves.

Nantucket boathouse sleeping loft

The best of Nantucket summers include outdoor living and the boathouse happily opens up from both kitchen and sitting area onto a generous deck overlooking the water.

Nantucket boathouse looking out onto deck

Nantucket boathouse deck doorsall photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

Presented by Magellan Jets, the Nantucket by Design All-Star Private Dinners are being generously chaired by Gary and partner Bill Richards, below,

Bill Richards and Gary McBournie who will be hosting lucky guests for one of the intimate candlelit dinners at the boathouse. Other dinners, each with a special design guest, are being held at NHA historic sites (including Greater Light) as well as several private Nantucket Homes. But, if interested, get your tickets now – I understand they’re quickly selling out!

Nantucket boathouse deck


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7 Responses to Nantucket Friday Favorites – Boathouse Chic

  1. Pamela says:

    Stunning. How pretty. Thank you for sharing. 💯💯💯💯💯💯

  2. Diane says:

    So beautiful. Thank you. Love Nantucket!

  3. Marguerite says:

    This was just charming! I especially love the floors done with paint and additional splatters…. Did the owners happen to mention where the beautiful geometric rug was from? Thank you!

  4. Margo Warchus says:

    Thank you for sharing,I am reading books by Elin Hilderbrand and she writes about Nantucket.

  5. I love this house! It’s the perfect beach house harkening back to a simpler time. I remember hanging on to a shelter magazine, it may have been House Beautiful, for years just for the spread on this boat house and only recently, reluctantly parted with it. Now I’ll bookmark this story!
    Thank you!

  6. Angela says:

    Ive just got around to reading and viewing this. Their little boathouse is so beautifully put together Stacey. Everything is perfect, I particularly love the bamboo pieces scattered about, especially the little rack housing the tea towels in their kitchen, its so cute.

    Thank you for taking us along. xx

  7. Franki says:

    Now…THAT IS the ultimate boat”house” franki

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