Friday, July 8, 2016

(Some) Houses of Nantucket

As promised in my last post (Doors of Nantucket) I thought I would share some of my favorite old houses I saw walking around the historic village of Nantucket last month.
I'm starting with some of the Inns - historic houses you can actually stay in! Above is 76 Main in the heart of Main Street surrounded by some of the most impressive houses on the island.
 Above is Roberts House with it's lovely front porch which is in the heart of historic downtown.
While technically not a house this charming brick Greek Revival structure must have started life as a school or church? It's currently being renovated but seems to be the headquarters for Nantucket Community Sailing according to googlemaps.
This charming shingle style house directly across the street was getting new shingles.  Great Oriel or bay window!
 Main street as I mentioned has some of the biggest and most impressive houses; all immaculately maintained and most of them painted white.
The side streets nearby are equally maintained but have small, although no less impressive, houses. This one appears to be a renovated garage perhaps? Loved the classical detailing to a relatively simple cottage.
While Nantucket is full of gorgeous gardens this one in particular on Main street just beside downtown caught my eye. The lovely tea houses frame the rear of the yard with doors to either side and a central trellis covering seating.
And on the other side of the yard a small private greenhouse.  The owner must really love gardening!
 The pediment front houses of Main street have all sorts of column styles -not sure which one to like best!
 These off center entries always work so well in plan.
 An interesting Gothic attic window, obviously a later addition to an earlier house, adds quirky charm to this simple structure.
 I believe this is actually an addition onto the adjacent Bank of America but notice the asymmetrical treatment of the exuberant windows and bays.
 I love how the shutter of the asymmetrical window above the door completes the shape.
 My favorite house architecturally, hands down, is the Greek Revival Levi Starbuck house from 1838.
 No relation to the coffee magnate (har, har), Levi Starbuck had the house built by William M Andrews and it stayed in the family until 1874. Originally the front entry had 4 Ionic Columns and the stairs faced Orange street instead of the side.  Two columns were removed from the porch at some point and are used inside the house and the stairs were orientated to the parking pad.
Read more about the house and see the restored plaster cornice in this article on the man who restored it in 2002 HERE.
The neighboring house also has a side entrance.  Two houses fronting one another rather than the street, there must be a story there.
 Where Main street meets Gardner and Milk Streets is a beautiful WWI memorial in a traffic circle.
For myself I love simple cottages like this shingle style above I think, if I had to chose one to live in.
Although a large white house on Main street never fails to impress.  Hope you enjoyed this small tour of Nantucket!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The front doors of historic Nantucket

Last month while traveling for my birthday I took a daytrip to historic Nantucket.
Sorting through the many snapshots on my phone I realized I had photographed practically every front door in town (well, not really!)
 As you can see I had a beautiful day for wandering around town pursuing my favorite hobby: looking at old houses!
Everything is immaculately restored (recreated perhaps?) and hours of fun oohing and aweing over the many houses and gardens was a fun way to pass time.
While some vivid color exists the primary colors are black, white, and weathered wood (if that can be called a color).
 The operating shutters on this pair of front door sidelights were fantastic.
 I nearly got caught by the resident enjoying her front yard in this hidden away gem!
My favorite house was the over-the-top fantastic Greek revival Levi Starbuck house seen above; but more on that in a later post.
The historic core of the town is a veritable architectural dictionary of 18th and 19th century housing styles.
Notice the old wavy glass in the sidelights and transom of this  front door.  It was the least 'restored' of them all (and perhaps the most charming) whose resident was taking a nap on the side porch but didn't seem to mind my snooping!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Private tour of John Derian's Cape Cod garden

I spent my birthday on Cape Cod 2 weeks ago and made my yearly pilgrimage to artist John Derian's shop in Provincetown. His summer shop is in the garage behind his house, as many people know, and has been published many times. See the charming interiors here at Martha Stewart Living, My Domaine,  and PopSugar. I never leave without buying SOMETHING.
As luck would have it his garden was open for  tours to benefit the local garden association. I jumped at the chance!
 Most of the properties in town are rather small so I was surprised his  large house right in the center of town had an ample lot. Lets go inside.
 Off the main street one enters the garden through a white picket fence and along a path of ferns.
This charming lower porch is where he and his guests spend all of their mealtimes and lounging. Notice all of the lanterns suspended above the table for romantic nighttime lighting.
The porch is well hidden from the street and this large lilac shields the rest of the garden. Privacy is all important in a small town with the houses cheek by jowl!
 A lovely table to arrange flowers stands guard by the kitchen door.
 And under the stairs to the 2nd story porch is a chaise perfect for catching up on the latest news.
 I loved the use of ground cover in the base of this potted tree.
 Looking back towards the street. Charming right?
 From the porch the path continues past an outdoor shower.
This is a beach town so an outdoor shower is important to keep sand out of the house! I love how here he's used antique shutters to close and open the shower as needed. A great use of space.  The large flagstone becomes the shower floor.
 Even the shower head and fixtures are vintage naturally!
 One last look at the porch.
 Heading back behind the house through another picket fence and through a topiary gateway.
 This part of the backyard is kept relatively private from peering eyes but is also the (car)parking for the house.   A large gravel court is perfect for parties and where all of his housemates park their bikes. The gravel is ringed with planting beds full of peonies, herbs, daises and other pretty plants.
Early June is the perfect time in Cape Cod to catch both peonies and other spring flowers as well as the early roses and summer plants.
 Behind the gravel court is what could be a very formal space - an outdoor 'room' with planted walls at least 10' high. Had these hedges been clipped and groomed it would not look out of place at a French Chateaux. However John has lent his relaxed spirit and things are kept charmingly natural.
The center of the 'room' is a large raised planting bed with a central birdbath. I could spend all day here!
These sunchairs are the perfect private place to catch a tan.  I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of John Derian's gardens as much as me!