An extensive remodel turns a run-of-the-mill colonial into a relaxed family retreat.

Written by Jennifer Sperry | Photography by Dan Cutrona

Summers spent in Chatham leave lasting impressions. So when a couple with three children in their teens and twenties decided to invest in a home of their own after years of renting, they knew exactly where they wanted to be—near Hardings Beach and close to friends. They also knew a home in need of some TLC wouldn’t be enough to derail their dreams.
The couple had already worked with SV Design—an integrated architecture, interiors and landscape design firm with offices in Beverly and Chatham—on one house project. This time, they brought the firm in early on for guidance. When the right property came up for sale: “We looked at the house together, and as soon as the deal closed, started planning for the required renovations and additions,” says Leslie Schneeberger, SV design associate, principal and architect.

With its proximity to the beach, the lot’s location was ideal but the house itself had limitations. “It was a typical center-entrance colonial with additions on both sides,” says architect Paul Muldoon of the c. 1959 structure. Narrow site and zoning regulations prevented SV Design from dramatically expanding the footprint. So the architects got creative, embarking on an intense remodel with builder Cape Associates that involved gutting and reworking the interior while removing and replacing two underutilized additions—a sunroom and a roof deck over the garage.
“We had to mindfully create better space,” says Schneeberger of the 14-month makeover. “The owners wanted a casual, easy family house. They also wanted it to be flexible to accommodate a large group of family and friends—or just the two of them. We created a master bedroom suite on the first floor so that, if they’re home alone, they don’t have to open up or heat the second floor,” she adds.
The first floor was segmented and walled-in, with the kitchen and living room closed off from each other—typical of a colonial. Stairs took up valuable real estate off the front entry. “We completely rearranged the main part of the house,” says Muldoon. “We moved the stairs to the side near the garage and created an open floor plan; we expanded the kitchen and took away walls, opening it up to a new great room on one side and a living room on the other.”

The new roof deck adds more entertaining space plus views of the ocean.

The interior design is cool and clean with a predominance of whites, blues and grays.

The new great room features a gas fireplace finished in sleek soapstone and its ceiling coffers—clad in stained wood—resemble beams.

The interior design, which aligns with the wife’s love of blue and the home’s beach setting, is cool and clean with a predominance of white, blues and grays. SV Design collaborated with Hyannis-based Classic Kitchens & Interiors on the kitchen cabinetry and bathroom vanities, while the owners worked with Nautique on the décor and Chatham Home on custom furniture pieces. The goal was simple—create a relaxed, beachy and comfortable atmosphere.

Anchoring the downstairs is the kitchen, whose painted island (in Wood-Mode’s vintage “Deep Sky” finish) pops against crisp white wall cabinets. Sourced from Orleans-based Tree’s Place, the marble backsplash and its gray-blue veining complements the neutral quartz countertops. A farmhouse sink nods to tradition while a sleek vent hood and Lucite bar stools provide a contemporary twist that maintain the room’s open feel. Over the sink, a faceted glass fixture, inspired by a trip to Italy, sparkles like a jewel.

To expand living space, SV Design removed an awkward, underutilized sunroom, replacing it with a new great room and roof deck above. Inside the new great room, the gas fireplace, finished in sleek soapstone, is flanked by a set of windows, and its ceiling coffers—clad in stained wood—resemble beams. The living room has a fireplace focal point as well; the brick was existing but the surround and built-in bookcases are all new. A custom-built mirrored cabinet door over the mantel hides a TV.

The kitchen’s marble backsplash and its gray-blue veining complements the neutral quartz countertops. A farmhouse sink nods to tradition while a sleek vent hood and Lucite bar stools provide a contemporary twist.

The removal of a deck over the garage allowed SV Design to further expand the home’s footprint by rebuilding the garage with finished space above. As a result, the home gained another bedroom, complete with beach-facing balcony and shiplap walls; raising the roof in an attic space gained this bedroom an adjoining bath.

The firm’s thoughtful design increased living space, but also prioritized family and fun. In the kitchen, a designated bar area, with wood countertop, beverage fridge and refrigerated drawers, facilitate easy entertaining. The powder room makes a dramatic statement with navy blue appearing in the vanity (crafted by Cape woodworker Toby Leary), mirror frame and ceiling. Outside, a cutout of a tuna playfully punctuates the covered front entry.

“We wanted to bring in the personality of the family: They love the Cape, they love to be by the ocean and they love to fish,” says Muldoon, who sketched the fish motif. A second tuna appears in the shingled cladding overlooking the roof deck. “We did everything we could to give the home its own unique character,” explains the architect.

Besides the roof deck—“it’s a great spot with nice breezes and a view past just a couple houses out to the ocean,” says Schneeberger—the owners gained a variety of outdoor perks. They now have a rear patio for private lounging, a covered side entrance to corral the accoutrements of returning beachgoers and an outdoor shower.

The home offers everything a family of five needs for the perfect summer, inside and out. It’s better organized, fully modernized and much more coastal in feel. To the family and anyone who visits, it’s much more “Chatham”—and that’s high praise indeed.  

Front entry way

The owners gained a variety of outdoor perks.

SV Design collaborated with Classic Kitchens & Interiors on the bathroom vanities.

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