History Lesson

Nautique and Seaport Shutters bring fresh updates to a 19th-century sea captain’s home.

BY Lenore Cullen Barnes | Photography by Kyle J. Caldwell

For Nick and Karen Prezioso, the road to Cape Cod began on the eastern end of Long Island. The Brooklyn-based couple were vacationing in Montauk and browsing real estate office windows when a Cape-style property caught their eye. It sparked thoughts of buying a home on the Cape and Nick began researching historic properties on the market.

“We love old homes—our Brooklyn townhouse was built in 1910,” says Prezioso. “I saw this house with friends and fell in love with it. Karen didn’t see the house until after we closed. It was the only house we looked at.”

Comfy red leather armchairs and a round wood coffee table from Nautique’s Sail Loft Collection complement the home’s antiques.

Fortunately, Karen loved it as much as Nick when she finally saw it in person. Built by Captain Prince Matthews in 1809, it has the historic character the couple loves and is beautifully situated on a slight hill overlooking the Yarmouth Port Common on one side and an expansive lawn on the opposite side. That lawn proved the perfect spot for a pair of Adirondack chairs the Preziosos spotted outside of Nautique in Brewster. The colorful chairs drew them in and they met Marsha Malone, the store’s owner and principal designer, and her husband, Peter Malone, owner of Seaport Shutter Company.

In addition to the Adirondack chairs Karen eventually gave Nick for his birthday, their house now features three screen doors with anchor appliques and black shutters from Seaport Shutter.

“We loved the shop and made an appointment for Marsha to come to the house,” Prezioso says. “She is great—very easygoing and down to earth.”

A gold anchor applique on the Seaport Shutter screen door sets the tone as you enter the house.

“My goal was to make the house feel updated, fresh and alive, not staid or stodgy, while still honoring the history of the home,” says Malone. She worked closely with Nick and Karen to assess their tastes.

“We spent hours at Nautique with Marsha combing through catalogues and fabric swatches,” Prezioso recalls. “Marsha was great at reading us and making suggestions for wall colors, furniture and window treatments.”

Together, they chose muted yellow and green paint tones for the living spaces and bedrooms. In concert with the paint hues and drawing from several carpets the couple already had, Malone and the Preziosos selected simple Roman shades in similarly subtle tones but with contemporary striped and floral patterns that inject a fresh feel.

Malone successfully mixed painted wood chairs, coffee tables, and upholstered and leather pieces. The antique wood used for some of the pieces from Nautique’s Sail Loft Collection blended perfectly with the Preziosos’ collection of antiques. The result is a low-key, inviting series of rooms with a sense of both heritage and modern-day comfort.

The second floor of the pine bead-boarded carriage house is a whole other flavor, a full-on nautical suite, originally intended to be Nick’s getaway. “I was really taken by the Nautique Coastal Collection but didn’t have a spot for it in the house,” Prezioso says. “When we finished the space above the barn we decided to use pieces from that collection there. It worked out perfectly. I planned to use this space to relax, however, it winds up being the favorite spot for guests.”

Prezioso may be displaced, but his lucky guests are happy. Navy-and-white striped chairs, an upholstered sofa, a star-studded navy rug, custom end tables and a television credenza invite a cozy conversation or lounging after a day at the beach.

The trip from Brooklyn to the Cape is a happy one that brings the couple to their historic Cape Cod house of dreams. When they retire, it will be their full-time home, but for now, they savor every moment they’re able to spend here.

Clad in beadboard, the cozy space above the Carriage House is perfectly suited to nautical pieces from Nautique’s Coastal Collection.

Roman shades in a contemporary stripe add a fresh feel to the guest room.

Facing one of six fireplaces in the home, the couch is upholstered in fabric selected by Marsha Malone; likewise the custom shades and the paint color.

The Captain George Matthews House, built in 1809, overlooks the Yarmouth Port Common.

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