coastal style

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Upon his first visit to Nantucket several decades ago, Donald Burns knew he would one day own a home there. He fell in love with the remote feeling and detachment of a community reachable only by ferry or plane.

He created a beautiful island retreat, designed by noted architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen, that masterfully blends Nantucket's historic fabric with a nod toward modernism. Although the home has tall, pitched roofs with dormers, it is only a single story. The result is a brilliantly bright and open interior with dramatic spatial impact.
nautical living room

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Block Island, Rhode Island

Chuck and Jill Townsend were enjoying an afternoon aboard their boat Island Girl in Block Island's Great Salt Pond when they noticed a classified advertisement in the Block Island Times for a small house on the pond's northern shore. Chuck had been visiting Block Island for over thirty years and was quickly able to identify the home from their boat. They called the broker immediately, and the rest is history.

The sitting room furniture is adorned with nautical code flag pillows. The coffee table is stacked with books about sailing and the sea.
coastal dining room

Photo: Douglas Friedman

The seating area in the kitchen features a banquette and Lister Teak chairs from a previous yacht that the couple had owned.
coastal decor

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Greenport, New York

The home has a comfortable, easy feel, with white-washed walls and painted wooden floors. To decorate her home, Designer Elena Colombo was inspired by items that wash up on the beach and the colors from her garden. She likes things simple and unpretentious, and in fact has a rule of not spending more than one hundred dollars on any object or furnishing for the home.

A small bench features a driftwood lamp that the owner found at the Cutchogue recycling center, a collection of porcupine quills, and a vintage wine demijohn. The hearth basket below stores kindling. The silhouette on the wall was purchased at a local flea market.
nautical decorating ideas

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown is a meeting ground for creative types, which is precisely what attracted the owners of this waterfront cabin to the charming seaside town. Decades earlier, they had visited Captain Jacks' Wharf and took notice of the quaint fishing station that was converted into residences on a long pier. So when the opportunity came to purchase one of the cabins, they were ready.

The wharf and its small cabins were built in the late 1800s for fishermen to store their tackle and sell fish. The soaring open ceilings remains as it was over one hundred years ago. And the large rope-and-pulley operated window, which was designed for selling fish, now is used to open up the cabin to the sea that surrounds it.

A 1930s sofa from L.A. and worn 1940s French leather club chairs anchor the living room. To the left is the large window originally used for selling fish, and above the kitchen is the guest loft.
americana decorating style

Photo: Douglas Friedman

A nineteenth-century American flag hangs on the wood-paneled wall of the master bedroom. Flanking the king-size bed are contemporary side tables made from reclaimed driftwood.
antique dining room

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Shelter Island, New York

Built in 1874, the house was one of the original summer cottages of the Manhanset Hotel, which was destroyed by a fire in 1910. Used only in the summer, the home sat upon locust posts without a foundation and was never winterized. Through the years the owners added a proper foundation, a cellar, a heating system, and insulation, as well as a dock.

Vintage privacy shutters in the dining room diffuse the bright sun when needed. The antique chandelier and ship's lantern on the table were originally oil lamps.

Excerpted from The Seaside House: Living on the Water by Nick Voulgaris III. Text copyright © 2017 by Nick Voulgaris, III. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Douglas Friedman. Reprinted with permission by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

Want more stories like this delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Home & Decorating Newsletter!