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HOUZZ TOUR: A CRISP, CLEAN SUMMER COTTAGE ON NANTUCKET

When this Nantucket cottage lost power during a storm while the homeowners were off the Massachusetts island, the pipes between the first and second floors froze, burst and eventually flooded the home with 3 inches of water. As a result, the entire downstairs had to be torn out. Fortunately, it provided the homeowners a chance to reconsider what exactly they wanted their home to look like. They were over the mid-1990s vibe, and so they set out to reimagine their home in a soothing, beachy, contemporary style.

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Melanie Gowen Design

Photos by Michael Lucas

Houzz at a Glance
Location: Sconset, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Size: 1,833 square feet (170.2 square meters); three bedrooms, two bathrooms
Designer: Melanie Gowen

The homeowners hired designer Melanie Gowen to oversee all the layout changes and finish updates for the project, which also included a new 300-square-foot master bedroom and bathroom addition.

In this reconfigured living room, Gowen slathered the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to refresh the look of the cottage. For the ceiling, she used Farrow & Ball’s Cabbage White in high gloss.

Coffee table: Gary J. Gowen

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Melanie Gowen Design

All the white paint and light-colored slip-covered furniture give the home an airy quality. Most furniture throughout is custom or handmade by the designer’s brother, Gary J. Gowen.

The designer also opened this area more to the adjacent kitchen, part of which can be seen here at the right.

Reed sconces: Circa Lighting, sofa: Lee Industries; upholstery: Perennials

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Melanie Gowen Design

Working within a tiny footprint, Gowen redesigned the kitchen to absorb the old bathroom for more square footage. Whites and light grays make the space feel even bigger. Space-saving cabinets work overtime to store everything from cookware to tea canisters, while glass-front cabinets and collected hardware give it a cottage look that’s anything but utilitarian.

Cabinetry: custom, Michael Pearson and Fionn Cawley; countertops: Minuet, Viatera; fireclay farmhouse sink: Randolph Morris; table and chairs: Gary J. Gowan; pendant: Circa Lighting; paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore

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Melanie Gowen Design

The spigot placement was a happy accident. It was supposed to be centered over the cooktop, but medicine cabinets on the other side of the wall in the new addition’s master bathroom took precedence. This forced Gowen to scoot the kitchen plumbing off-center, which in the end made for an interesting look.

Tile: Toledo Blanc Thassos and Calacatta Gold mosaic, The Tile Room

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Melanie Gowen Design

In a bright hallway, Gowen and the homeowners chose a light that seems to float away from the ceiling.

Star flush mount: Circa Lighting

Before Photo

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Melanie Gowen Design

BEFORE: The property offered ample room to expand. Here, construction is underway on the new master bedroom and bathroom addition.

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Melanie Gowen Design

AFTER: Looking at the home from the other side, you can see that the addition extends from the original structure and includes a porch — a longtime dream of the homeowners — off the new master bedroom. New shingles were feathered in and will patinate over time to match the old.

Gowen was careful not to attempt to make the home “a Rolls Royce,” she says. “This is a small, casual beach cottage. My goal was to preserve what was intrinsically good about the house while adding new elements that breathe new life into it.”

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Melanie Gowen Design

For the front door, a screen door was custom-made in Maine. It welcomes guests into the cottage, which is warmly named Sandpiper.

Door: Wooden Screen Door

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Melanie Gowen Design

Gowen put a custom spin on the new master bedroom with pillows she designed, a headboard painted by her brother and relaxed Roman shades she custom-made.

Sheets: Matouk; other fabric: China Seas and Bagatelle, Quadrille

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Melanie Gowen Design

Blue and green tones pull the outdoors in. Polished nickel swing-arm sconces offer great light for reading while freeing up space on the nightstands.

Sconces: Robert Abbey; window treatments: Melanie Gowen Design

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Melanie Gowen Design

The master bathroom, also part of the new addition, features a marble countertop and beadboard siding on the walls. The recessed medicine cabinets offer additional storage, necessitating that pot-filler move in the kitchen on the other side.

Medicine cabinets: Restoration Hardware; sconces: Circa Lighting; towel and bath bars: Charlie’s Collection, Creations by Alno; sinks: Waterworks; cross-handle faucets: Rohl

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Melanie Gowen Design

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Melanie Gowen Design

Blue teardrop tiles lend a seaside-inspired look and tie in all the blues from the living area.

Ogee Drop tiles: Fireclay Tile

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Melanie Gowen Design

The former master bedroom in the original structure became a new library, now the homeowners’ favorite room in the house.

Sconces: Hudson Valley; storage ottoman: custom, Stewart Furniture, upholstered in Lulu DK fabric for Duralee

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Melanie Gowen Design

A custom sleeper sofa turns the library into a guest room.

Sleeper sofa: Lee Industries, upholstered in #15423-546 fabric in key lime by Duralee

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Melanie Gowen Design

Built-ins keep computer and TV wires tucked away, allowing the focus to be on the books and collection of sandpiper figurines.

“They never before had the impetus to make the house everything they wanted,” Gowen says. “We got to reinvent the exact same space, but in a new way.”

Paint by Farrow & Ball: Skimming Stone (walls) and Tunsgate Green (ceiling)

ABOUT HEATHER

HEATHER G JOHNSON

Phone: 314-324-8118

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