More than a dozen designers collaborated on a stunning Show House in Osterville to benefit a local cause.

  • Donna Elle; Donna Elle Seaside Living; Nantucket and Cape Cod; Entry Foyer, Powder Room and Second-Floor Hallway.

By Jaci Conry Photography By Dan Cutrona

It Takes a Village

Show House Honorees
Richard FitzGerald & David Webster
                                          Featured Designers
Cape Leisure, Cotuit Castlebrook Interiors, Barnstable
Chatham Interiors, Chatham Donna Elle Seaside Living, Nantucket
Expert Closets, West Yarmouth F.D. Hodge Interiors, Boston
‘g’ Green Designs, Mashpee Jeanne Upton Interiors, Osterville
Joyce Landscaping, Marstons Mills Kathryn Piscuskas Designs, Sandwich
Kira Vath Interiors, Orleans Margo’s, Osterville
Sundries Furniture, Falmouth Surroundings, Orleans
Tracker Home Decor, Martha’s Vineyard Urban Design Interiors, Harwich Port
Water and Main, Chatham Weena and Spook, Boston


Creating a designer show house is no small feat. Selecting and coordinating the work of multiple designers and craftsmen is a time-consuming juggling act, but according to Margie Huggard, it was worth all the effort. For Huggard, an interior designer and owner of the Osterville home furnishing shop Margo’s, spearheading June’s WE CAN Designer Show House, “Changing Lives Room by Room,” was a labor of love.

Finding a home that would serve as the star of the show seemed to evolve organically for Huggard, who was co-chair, along with Jean Upton, of the show house committee. Huggard was already doing interior design work for owners Peggy and Pat Patalino in August 2014. “One day, I was there for a brief appointment and I started looking around the house. Right away, I realized it would be perfect for the show house,” says Huggard.

A sprawling 1910 Cape with vibrant yellow awnings shading the front facade, the house has an intriguing history. Peggy Patalino had summered in the house as a child when her great-grandmother owned it in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The house was sold out of the family in the 1970s. Nearly three decades later, in 2008, when the Patalinos decided to purchase a second home in Osterville as a retreat for their family, remarkably, the house was on the market.

“The history of this house is so precious,” says Huggard. “It’s a wonderful story to see this house come back in the hands of the family that was here so long ago. Peggy has so many memories of being here as a little girl.”

The Patalinos were intrigued by Huggard’s request that the house be the site of the show house that would benefit WE CAN, an organization that devotes resources to empower women who are faced with challenging transitions. It wasn’t long before they agreed to turn the property over to the committee for a top-to-bottom overhaul.

Huggard and Upton cultivated a crop of select designers from Boston, Cape Cod and the Islands. After months of hard work, the show house gleamed bright with interiors that paid homage to the home’s original architecture and history while infusing spaces with a fresh, current feel and flow.

Donna Elle; Donna Elle Seaside Living; Nantucket and Cape Cod; Entry Foyer, Powder Room and Second-Floor Hallway

Donna Elle; Donna Elle Seaside Living; Nantucket and Cape Cod;
Entry Foyer, Powder Room and Second-Floor Hallway

“The foyer is your first impression of a house, and I really value first impressions,” says Donna Elle. “I wanted to conquer the feeling of ‘wow, isn’t this glamorous,’ without being ostentatious.” Elle selected a navy blue and soft white color palette for its timeless appeal and veered toward infusing the space with a coastal chic vibe.

The navy blue ceiling is unexpected and the Thibaut linen wall covering in a geometrical print gives the space dimension and depth. The stair runner is a blend of sisal and wool. “Sisal alone can be brazen and hard underfoot for some people; the wool softens it,” says Elle. “Juxtaposed with the curved geometry of the wall covering, the strong but soft textile gives the eye something else to look at—I didn’t want the eye to always be drawn to the lines of the wallpaper.”

Designing the tiny powder room was fun for Elle. “It’s no bigger than a postage stamp, so I got to really play with pattern and scale. She sheathed the ceiling with grass cloth and selected a bold print for the walls.

Donna Stearns; Sundries Furniture, Falmouth  Guest Bedroom

Donna Stearns; Sundries Furniture, Falmouth
Guest Bedroom

The L-shaped guest bedroom intrigued Stearns the moment she saw it. “It gave me the chance to create two personalities in one room,” says Stearns, who selected soft gray and violet hues for the space—a palette, she says, that has the look of driftwood. The room incorporates a former sleeping porch where she put a twin-size daybed with cushions upholstered in a gray and white cabana stripe fabric. “It feels old-school Cape Cod, beachy without a shell,” says Stearns. The whimsical alcove has roman shades made of a playful dot-patterned fabric.

“I could see a couple and a child using this room,” says Stearns. The adults would stay on the more sophisticated side where the queen-size bed is situated. The headboard has a gray finish that echoes the driftwood vibe and pairs perfectly with the vintage-inspired print of the Thibaut wallcovering. Darker metal pieces were used throughout the space, including a custom table in front of the daybed, which Stearns thought recalled a rustic fence on a beach dune, and a reclaimed tin mirror over the dresser.

The inspiration for the room came from a print depicting a white tree decked with small, subtle hearts and a gray background encased in a rustic white wood frame. “It’s called ‘Tree of Love.’ It’s non-specific pretty art; something you can look at and never get sick of,” says Stearns.

Margie Huggard; Jeanne Upton; Margo’s, Osterville & Jean Upton Interiors, Osterville Butler’s Pantry

Margie Huggard; Jeanne Upton; Margo’s, Osterville & Jean Upton Interiors, Osterville
Butler’s Pantry

Margie Huggard and Jean Upton transformed an awkward pass-through space that included the washer and dryer into a bright, multi-functional area that makes gearing up for the next party—or even doing laundry—a cheerful experience. By relocating the washer and dryer to the other side of the room, a long counter under the window is free for food prep. An eye-catching green and white Thibaut wall covering gives the space a fresh and inviting appeal, while a trompe l’oeil designed fabric by Manuel Canovas makes the roman shade seem like artwork. “It’s now a fun, happy spot to be in,” says Huggard.

Frank Hodge; F.D. Hodge Interiors, Boston Front Porch/Sunroom

Frank Hodge; F.D. Hodge Interiors, Boston
Front Porch/Sunroom

Frank Hodge designed the sunporch as a place for the family to gather. “I wanted it to feel more like an extension of the house than a sunporch,” says Hodge. “I steered away from using traditional wicker furnishings and opted for an eclectic mix of antiques and custom-made modern furnishings.” As the room is over 40-feet long, Hodge divided the space into three distinct areas. A sitting area on the right, a middle area grounded by a large console, and on the left, “an informally, formal dining room.”
The Carleton Varney curtain fabric—a large-scale handprint of flowers, birds and monkeys, featuring brick red and blues against a taupe background—was the inspiration for the room’s color scheme. A blue and taupe sleep sofa grounds the sitting area. Modern woven metal lamps by Formations and rustic “Papa Bear” chairs are by Richard Mulligan.
The console cabinet is paired with an early 19th-century Italian mirror and a pair of 1920s candlestick lamps. “I love the juxtaposition of the rustic elegance of the mirror hanging on the shingled wall,” says Hodge. The dining area has an antique Swedish table surrounded by a set of white-washed chairs. The chair seats are upholstered in the same fabric as the sofa and a very grand antique Swedish clock watches over the space.

Melinda Headrick; Chatham Interiors, Chatham Boy’s bedroom

Melinda Headrick; Chatham Interiors, Chatham
Boy’s bedroom

Melinda Headrick set out to steer away from the cliché Cape Cod theme and embraced a nautical, masculine vibe for the Patalino’s 10-year-old son’s room. “I wanted it to be a room that could grow with him, and with a few manipulations, become a guest room after he’s grown,” says Headrick. She was inspired immediately by a red-and-blue striped Ralph Lauren fabric that she used to upholster an armchair. Roman shades were crafted out of a timeless Kravet sailboat motif fabric. “Lamps with bases fashioned out of heavy rope nautical knots make a statement about being on the Cape,” says Headrick. “A shiny silver shark affixed to the wall is a nod to Chatham, where I’m based.”
Walls are painted a rich Benjamin Moore hue: Hale Navy. Elements repeat throughout the room—a rope bench at the end of the bed echoes the lamps, and the wool rug, which will last for years to come, incorporates all of the colors in the room.