Nantucket island is a place nearly untouched by time. Its signature shingled cottages draped in bougainvillea and windswept dunes lend it the feel of a bygone era. Indeed, Nantucket is home to highest concentration of pre-Civil War homes in the country, so when interior designer Nichole Marks set out to design the living space in a newly built home, she envisioned a space where modern and traditional elements could intermingle.
Read on to hear from Nichole, including how she decided upon this striking layout and why working on Nantucket brings its own unique challenges for a designer.
My husband, Jason, and I own Shelter 7 which is a small firm that designs and builds custom homes on Nantucket Island. We work with clients to create beautiful and thoughtfully designed homes beginning with a comprehensive architectural design and continuing through (and beyond) construction completion. We also have an “arm” of our business that designs, builds, and decorates turn-key homes for sale. This project falls into the latter category, which has become a sort of passion-project piece of our business. It not only has become a fun way for my husband and I to collaborate on a design vision but it also has given us the opportunity to push the envelope a little in the design process and to test out new building techniques.
Having grown up on Nantucket my approach to a “beach house” design is perhaps different from what is typical. For me, a beach house doesn’t have to include all white ship-lap with seashells and surf posters to be beachy. However, what it does have to include is materials that are not only beautiful but that are durable and can hold up to the rough-and-tumble and casual spirit of living by the beach. Lifestyle is important to me. Creating a space that is too precious to enjoy while wearing your bathing suit doesn't make sense for Nantucket.
The living room is located in the center of the home and acts as the heart of the home, connecting the kitchen, entry, and other living spaces together. As a result, it is a space that people tend to gather in. Laying out the living room to have two sofas facing each other with two chairs flanking the sides allows for the large space to still feel intimate, providing lots of comfortable seating for hanging out and good conversation.
I chose the Sullivan for this space because of the duality of its form and function. I like that the clean lines of the sloped arms give it a sophisticated look while the bench cushion allows for the flexibility of squeezing in an extra person or proving a comfortable space for cozying in for a relaxing nap. The Creme Performance Linen was the perfect material choice for a beach-house vibe.
I don’t quite remember how I found Maiden home, but I am very happy that I did! We share an appreciation for good design and the importance of quality and durability. I really loved how easy it was to customize the size of the furniture to ensure that it fit in the space perfectly and that I could trust that the materials offered would hold up to beach house living. The icing on the cake was that every piece fit our budget seamlessly.
Nichole chose two Sullivan sofas in Creme Performance Linen paired with two Hayes chairs with beech frames and white cowhide slings.
Photography by Tom Olcott for Maiden Home.