Outer Harbor Residence

Edgartown Harbor, MA

The goal for the design of this new house—in a protected wetland conservation area on Edgartown’s Katama Bay—was to create a home that would feel warmly romantic, intimate, and cozy, and at the same time, very much open to the marshland and harbor in the near distance.

A sense of romantic whimsy defines the façade. Its gentle curve swoops down and across from a central storybook-style gable—complete with a pedimented portico and petite bay window—to the carriage-house wing. Opposite, a two-story wing features six-over-six double-hung windows with operable shutters.

The home’s water-facing side makes the most of the seaside setting, meeting the clients’ request for a quintessential beach house designed for indoor-outdoor entertaining. French doors in the kitchen and living room open to a covered porch that serves as an alfresco living and dining area, complete with a working fireplace.

This porch steps down to a large stone patio surrounding a pool with water views. Above the porch, meanwhile, is one of three large decks. Another is above the kitchen and breakfast room, while the third sits atop curving brackets, cantilevering off the rear-facing gable without disturbing the marshland below.

Wetland regulations prevented the home from having a basement, so space was found for a home theater on the first floor. Classic finishes and vintage materials throughout the interior—including vintage floorboards and timber beams salvaged from a mill in Maine—create a traditional but timeless atmosphere.