Behind a traditional façade, stunning contemporary interiors accommodate extended-family living.By Rob Duca | Photography by Christian Scully/Design Imaging Studios
On a dead-end street in Osterville sits a house that overlooks East Bay and Dowses Beach. It is something of a summer playground, with eye-popping scenery that is just a glance away from nearly every room. Gazing at the stunning home now, most people would not know of the hurdles surmounted to arrive at the finished product.
“The footprint that we were able to work in was really difficult,” says Tim Luff, president of Archi-Tech Associates, which designed the house. “There were zoning constraints and conservation restrictions on two sides, so the site presented a high level of challenge when you consider what the client wanted in terms of the house size and the water views. But with everyone working together we were able to come up with a floor plan that really captures the views.”
What was previously a 1950s-style ranch house now features four bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, along with a media room with a projection movie screen, a kitchen with two islands and a striking restaurant-style wine rack, all set amid an open floor plan that is ideal for entertaining.
“By tearing down the previous house we were able to build something that could maximize views that we would not normally have been able to have,” says Jim Bowes, vice president of Bayside Building.
The fun begins in the backyard, which features a swimming pool and a cabana that includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a changing room and a laundry facility. There is also a fire pit and a pergola that provides shelter for a television. “There’s no need to go inside at night,” Bowles says. “You can sit outside and watch the baseball game.”
In order to meet conservation guidelines, a four-foot high stonewall was built to serve as a barrier between the pool and the water frontage. The wall also acts as a fence, so that the spectacular views remain uninterrupted. A 70-foot porch extends across the back of the house, with a 16-foot section capable of being transformed into an enclosed screened porch with the touch of a button.
The goal was to incorporate traditional elements into the exterior of the property with a contemporary look to the interior. Therefore, visitors are greeted by native plantings, natural stonewalls and weathered Cape Cod shingles. The interior features a blend of gray, white and light blue textures, with gray pickled quarter-sawn oak floors, thus creating the clean, fresh look that the homeowners sought.
The kitchen offers the ideal space for preparing meals while still remaining involved in the social scene. In addition to an industrial-style six-burner gas stove, there are two ovens and a beverage cooler. The kitchen’s focal point is the two Calacatta marble islands, one for preparing the meals and another for enjoying them. Each island includes a refrigerator.
Glass cabinets throughout the kitchen feature soothing lighting elements, and the backsplash is white Caesarstone quartz. An expansive pantry that is the size of many kitchens includes a second full-size refrigerator. A laundry also sits off the kitchen, with a second washer and dryer located on the second floor.
The kitchen, the great room and the dining room blend together seamlessly, with the porch, providing water views from throughout the living area. The unquestioned centerpiece is the unique glass-enclosed wine rack that extends from ceiling to floor in the dining room. “We’ve never designed anything like it before,” Bowes says. “The homeowner saw something similar in a restaurant and he wanted to bring it into his home.”
The back wall of the wine rack is striped marble, creating the illusion of a waterfall. Stainless steel cables hold the bottles in place, and the wine rack is cooled by a unit that is suspended from the basement ceiling below. There are 15 rows to hold bottles, with space for each to contain a case of wine. A nearby stainless steel table sits below a stunning chandelier that is designed with a series of hanging bowls of various lengths.
A coffered ceiling adds dimension to the great room. Built-in units frame a fireplace, with the television fitting neatly into the wall to the right. As with the remainder of the house, the walls, furniture, tables and lamps are all either splashed in soft white or light gray tones. “It goes with the modern look of the house,” Bowes says.
In addition to the first-floor master bedroom, there are three more bedrooms with water views on the second floor. The third floor is the children’s paradise, with built-in bunk beds, theatre seating and a projection screen for watching movies.
“The homeowners wanted a house that would work for their two kids, the grandparents and for their friends,” Bowes says. “They wanted a place where they could have fun.”