A Truro home embraces its beach setting with green design and modern style.By Jennifer Sperry | Photography by Eric Roth
Starting in the 1930s, a handful of American bohemians and Europeans, including Marcel Breuer and Serge Chermayeff, designed houses for themselves, friends and clients on the Outer Cape. Nestled into the sandy, scrub pine-covered hills of Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown, these mid-century gems are historically significant for their deceptively simple forms, communion with nature and contribution to modern architecture.
In 2010, when a Boston couple purchased their dream Cape Cod property in the dunes of Truro, on a high bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay, their preference for modern design fit right in. Living in Boston’s Back Bay in a sleek, ultra-modern town home, they wanted to apply their contemporary aesthetic to their future summer home but with allowances for the setting’s beach vibe and arresting bay views.
They also wanted to minimize the home’s environmental footprint, and hired ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) to create the ultimate modern green home getaway. For the interior furnishings, they envisioned “clean lines, minimalist yet comfortable and cozy—elegant beach,” explains the wife, and turned to Boston-based Eleven Interiors, which specializes in blending contemporary selections with custom furnishings and vintage pieces.
“The goal of the interior was classic contemporary,” explains Eleven Interiors principal Michael Ferzoco, who had worked with the owners previously on their Boston residence. “We kept the living spaces clear, clean and open and chose approachable, durable furnishings to accommodate their large family of children and grandchildren.”
ZED’s interior architecture is simple, with green, low-maintenance materials such as slate and polished concrete used throughout. Floors of rapidly renewing bamboo combat any drift toward austerity with a subtle dose of warmth. Similarly, maple plywood sheets on the vaulted ceilings “maintain the volume while lending a sense of humanity and perspective,” observes Ferzoco.
At 7,000 square feet, the home’s generous interior is split into two sections: the “living bar,” with the living and dining areas and master bedroom—all that the couple needs when alone—and the “sleeping bar,” with plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for extended family. In both sections, Ferzoco arranged furnishings in both small and large vignettes, alternating strategically between coziness and spaciousness.
Capitalizing on the home’s west-facing orientation is the glass-lined living room, which juts out into the dunes, reaching towards the coastline. Prioritizing comfort, Ferzoco selected contemporary sofas from Sedia in Boston and upholstered them in easy-to-clean micro-suede.
In the ZED-designed chef’s kitchen, a backsplash of white milk glass meets stainless steel counters on the back wall. A countertop of sustainable Caesarstone waterfalls over the island, outfitted with an easy-to-reach wine fridge for entertaining. Two glassed pantries set into a side wall provide valuable storage space.
Eleven Interiors’ practiced restraint culminates in the dining room, which, furnished just with leather dining chairs and a showpiece wenge-and-steel custom dining table, is minimalism personified.
Throughout the home, the Eleven Interiors team achieved livability without sacrificing interest, assembling an intriguing mix of modern, mid-century modern and contemporary elements. From the start, Ferzoco’s ability to work creatively at the blueprint stage proved invaluable to the project’s timeline and success.
“Michael was essential because I’d never decorated a room without being able to stand in it, and the house wasn’t going to be finished in time to decorate before we moved in,” recalls the wife. “He had the vision to look at the architectural plans, the building site, and, knowing our tastes, was able to create the perfect design.”