Yet another tenet of Shingle-style design is employing colors derived from nature, which led to Due South’s striking silver-blue hue. According to Cummings, “We reviewed all of the natural tones in the area and were inspired by the site’s background of sky and ocean beyond.” With their two daughters grown and no longer living at home (though they visit often with their friends and love it here, notes the wife), the owners focused on their own lifestyle needs during the design’s fine-tuning. Connecting the interior to the views, forgoing a formal dining room for an open-concept main living area, and reserving enough wall space for their art were all prime considerations.
“Most of our time is spent in the open kitchen area. We entertain a lot, and everyone congregates around the island,” note the owners, who worked closely with Cummings Architects designer Chloë Rideout to choose paint colors, fixtures, and lighting. Another favorite hangout spot is the great room, where marine paintings mingle with a formal granite fireplace, its material choice a nod to Gloucester’s granite landscape. The painting over the fireplace was commissioned specially to show the Boston wharf where the husband’s Italian grandfather used to unload fish. Right next door is the piano room, built specifically for the husband’s Bosendorfer grand; the room doubles as a study for working at home.
The wife’s domain is the kitchen, where classic materials—oyster-colored cabinets, white granite countertops, and handmade subway tiles—make for ageless style. A bank of lower cabinets, complete with bar sink and wine fridge and sited on the water-side wall, allows for quick access to drinks and food from the deck. Outdoor living considerations also resulted in an orderly, nautically themed mudroom and powder room off the garage in the finished basement, where owners and guests alike can refresh from the backyard. The couple’s oil paintings, many by famous Cape Ann artists, adorn every room and hallway, from the second-floor master suite to the finished basement. Cummings included picture molding in the millwork scheme for their proper hanging on wires; Rideout mapped out lighting for each one.
“Our goal at every turn was to create a home with timeless detail that would never go out of style,” sums up Cummings, who succeeded in view maximization as well: Every room, besides one bathroom, interacts with the ocean expanse. In practice, the house exceeds the couple’s expectations in every way, and the fact that they nearly didn’t buy it is now a distant memory. “At the beginning, we thought we would find a beach house to enjoy on weekends,” relates the husband. “But then it dawned on us that we could build a year-round home, on the sea but commutable to Boston, and roll everything into one. Now it’s like we’re on vacation every day.”