8 design tips to take from this classic New England home


Quiet and serene definitely sums up this second home, one of the best homes in the world, on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“They were our second customers,” says Maureen Ursino of Ursino Interiors (opens in a new tab). “It’s always so pleasant to work with clients for the second time. By then, you’ve earned each other’s trust and developed a “design rapport,” so the process becomes smoother, more predictable, and often faster. »

The clients, a young family living in the suburbs of Manhattan, had always wanted to build a second home on Martha’s Vineyard. “The husband spent his summers growing up there, so the area is near and dear,” says Maureen.

“They built a traditional New England style home and wanted it to be a place where they could escape with family and friends to really find peace and recover from their busier lives outside of New England. York. Given the location of the house and the desires of the family, we naturally leaned towards the Shaker philosophy of minimalist beauty and form, focusing on well-executed yet simple details that together would evoke a sense of soothing and serene home.

Maureen shares her tips for creating a classic New England style:

1. Add a built-in storage alcove

living room with cream armchair, gray sofa, coffee table, bench, rattan chair, fireplace, bookshelf and artwork

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Key to the New England look is a clean, well-proportioned scheme and among Maureen’s living room ideas has built in storage either side of the fireplace. Open shelving is used to display a neatly organized display, while cupboards are used for concealed storage.

neutral living room with wood covered ceiling, neutral curtains and white armchair

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

The family’s outdoor space was an important consideration in Maureen’s planning. “The pool and patio are visible from the main living areas, so the outdoor furniture had to sing with the indoor furniture,” she says. Focal Point’s oversized white linen chair provides a relaxed and comfortable place to sit by the fire. It was a local find and Maureen added a swivel to it.

2. Choose dining room furniture with clean lines

cream beamed dining room with glass cabinets, wooden trestle table, ladder chairs and cream round pendant light

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

The light and airy dining room needed some definition and among Maureen’s dining room ideas was a classic dark wood trestle table and ladder dining chairs to evoke the streamlined feel that is an integral part of the New England style. The chairs were sourced from 1stDibs while the table was custom made. A Noguchi lantern above the table injects streamlined beauty. Illustrations via Le Bennett add interest.

cream dining area with wooden table and chair and glass cabinets

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

The glass cabinets are a simple but effective element. “The hutches in the dining area are my favorite part. We spent a lot of time designing the joinery details of this kitchen and I love how they all turned out,” says Maureen.

3. Introduce Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

cream beamed kitchen with cream Shaker style cabinets, cream island and wooden bar stools

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Shaker style kitchen cabinets with their clean lines, edges and details such as tongue and groove and oval cabinet handles are a staple of New England style and are some of the kitchen ideas you can use to create the look.

“Clients wanted a large kitchen in which they could easily and casually entertain,” explains Maureen. An island, with tapered-back bar stools, provides an informal dining area. “Plenty of storage, a large kitchen room and an overall feeling of light were important,” says Maureen.

4. Use a peg rail and shelf in the locker room

mudroom with teal cladding walls and bench with striped cushion

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Maureen incorporated attractive storage in the cloakroom with Shaker peg rails and shelving, then added a streamlined bench with room underneath for shoes. She created a dramatic backdrop by painting the walls in a strong teal hue, Porch Swing by Benjamin Moore.

5. Add a rabbet to the walls

bathroom with wooden sink, mirror and off-white coating

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Shiplap is a mainstay of New England style and Maureen chose shiplap walls in Gray Mist by Benjamin Moore for the powder room, pairing with a custom white oak vanity with white countertop to keep the cool and airy scheme.

6. Create a calm bedroom scheme

neutral bedroom with beams and gray blue bed, striped rug and cream curtains

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Among Maureen’s bedroom ideas was evoking a tranquil scheme with a soft, soft palette and natural fabrics. The custom bed is upholstered in a casual linen fabric.

7. Bring in a classic pattern

cream bedroom with striped bed, rust plaid blanket, rust pillows, mid century bedside tables and wooden bench

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

Plaids and stripes are typical New England style and Maureen incorporated them into the guest bedroom with a custom bed covered in Mark Alexander striped linen and a cozy throw.

8. Inject historic paint colors

bathroom with khaki brown sink, marble counter and twin mirrors

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

One of Maureen’s ideas for the bathroom was to bring an authentic touch to the Shaker-style vanity by painting it in Benjamin Moore’s Norwich Brown, an earthy hue that’s part of their landmark color collection from Benjamin Moore. painting, inspired by the historical monuments of America. Maureen used color to ground the scheme.

Interior Design/ Ursino Interiors (opens in a new tab)

Photographs/ Tim Lenz

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