Swept by the Sea

An expansive new home overlooking an iconic Cape beach is as impressive inside as it is outside thanks to the talents of Sandra J. Tuthill Interior Design and Colony Rug Company. 

MacKenzie Brother Corp. designed and built this Cotuit Home

The exterior of the expansive, two-story home in Cotuit.

A special piece of land overlooking an iconic Cape beach called for a special team to make it all happen. To tackle the design and construction of the expansive home, the homeowners turned to MacKenzie Brothers Corp.

And when it was time to get serious about the interiors, they turned to Sandra J. Tuthill Interior Design. Tuthill had worked with the couple on their home at Willowbend, so they knew she would serve them well for their new residence. With about 10,000 square feet of living space, it was a huge undertaking, but Tuthill says in a project this large the place to start is with the floor plan. She and the homeowners sat down with the floor plan and started laying out furniture to see what would work best.

On the first floor, the kitchen, living room and dining room all open up to each other in an open floor plan, while the second-floor is more private with bedrooms and a quiet reading area at the top of the two-story library. Overall, both the owners and builder Glenn MacKenzie—co-owner of MacKenzie Brothers Corp.—were impressed with how all of the rooms in the house have a distinct look. “You can go to the library, relax and have a glass of wine or sit outside on the screened-in porch and feel the ocean breeze,” says MacKenzie, about the four-bedroom and four-bath home with additional three half baths.

A love of blue

Two-story great room with a custom colony rug

The rug in the two-story great room serves as the focal point for the decor in this dramatic space.

While considering the layout, Tuthill says “At the same time [they’re] also thinking color. Color really is important and that’s why they both have to [be considered] concurrently.” She explains: “As you work on the floor plan and find furniture that will suit them, you need to be thinking color at the same time because you want to have it flow through the whole house, going room to room.”

The location of the house with its gorgeous water views made it easy to pick out a color scheme of blues, greens, and beiges to match the surrounding sky, ocean, trees and beach grass. “The point of the project was to take advantage of the water views and the setting of the lot,” says MacKenzie, who adds that there are only two rooms in the entire house that don’t have ocean views. The natural setting combined with the homeowners’ love of the color blue played a large role in the design, especially in the great room.

“Because they love blue so much, we used a lot of [that] color,” Tuthill says. “The great room rug has strong blues in it. That’s kind of the focal point of the room. We fell in love with that and went from there.”

Custom-created rugs offer a focal point

The great room rug and three other rugs in the home were custom made by Colony Rug Company in Hanover, Massachusetts. Tuthill consulted with Colony Rug owner Paige Pieroni and brought in fabric samples and an idea for a design. Pieroni contacted her importer who created a computer rendering so the homeowner could see what the full pattern looked like in the desired size. Next they created a strike-off sample for Tuthill to approve. After approval it takes about three months for the rugs to actually be made.

“Nowadays people can literally come in with a picture and we can replicate it,” Pieroni says. “Years ago we replicated one of the Kennedy’s sailboats into an area rug. It’s limitless, especially with technology.”

With the rug as the focal point, Tuthill played up the strong color with a dark- blue leather L-shaped sofa and then added softer blue and green chairs. A nearby game table has four chairs upholstered in a blue and white checked pattern.

“The fireplace is all natural stone, which blends with the patio outside,” Tuthill says. “The flow of the colors and textures from room to room really work very nicely.”

Continuity of color

DanCutronaPhotography©SNEH_Cotuit-8355

The kitchen, with chef-grade appliances, is part of the first-level open floor plan.

The house has an open floor plan so the adjoining kitchen, outfitted with chef-grade appliances from KAM, was done in shades of white and beige with a little blue brought in on the seat cushions at the breakfast table and barstools at the island. A large oriental rug with a lot of blues in it became the inspiration for the formal dining room; Tuthill selected a striking striped fabric for the chairs. The table has a beautiful inlay of antique brass nautical stars in it that suit the dramatic room perfectly.

The two-story library is done mostly in wood, so Tuthill kept the accents rich in that room as well. A blue and red Oriental rug creates a classic look in front of the fireplace while blue and beige striped Roman shades and sconces add to the effect. A sailboat model adds a nautical touch.

The master bedroom suite, with its sweeping ocean views, is a very soft shade of aqua with a lovely attached sitting room done in shades of beige to mirror sea and sand. Both his and her bathroom reflect the homeowners’ individual personalities with an enormous slate shower in his and beige and blue marble in hers.

Artfully decorated
Gentlemen's pub and bar area

A ‘gentlemen’s club,’ complete with a bar , fireplace, pool table and stage was created in the lower level of the home.

Another huge consideration when decorating is artwork. The homeowners have traveled extensively and while they were in Africa they bought some vibrant artwork that became the inspiration for the “Africa Room” for their son. His bedroom is papered in grass cloth and the adjoining bathroom has wallpaper with beige fronds and orange accents to play up the artwork.

Art was also the inspiration for their daughter’s room, dubbed the “Florida Room,” because it takes its coral and green tones from artwork the homeowners bought at an art festival in Florida where they spend the winter.

The homeowner designed his own gentlemen’s pub on the lower level. It has a bar and a cozy ‘fireplaced’ sitting area on one side and a pool table and stage on the other. Even the bathroom is masculine, with newsprint wallpaper and black and white marble. Just outside the pub is a natural stone patio with a fire pit so the men can relax and smoke cigars.

“The theme of the house was casual elegant,” Tuthill says. “We did not want stiff or formal. We were looking for a more casual lived-in feeling, but it was the kind of house that needed to be elegant in feel as well.”

By Laurie Higgins
Photography by Dan Cutrona
Design & Build: MacKenzie Brothers Corp.
Interior Design: Sandra J. Tuthill Interior Design
Carpeting supplied by Colony Rug Company
Appliances supplied by KAM Appliances

 Article published in the 2013-14 annual issue.

 For more inspiration, check out A Modern Marvel, a two-story luxury home in Osterville.

Guest room

A first-floor guest suite.

DanCutronaPhotography©SNEH_Cotuit-8506

The formal dining room.

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