Style Watch

On Cape Ann, a summer home to retire to

For now, this cheery house serves as a family’s seasonal retreat, but it’s designed for year-round life, too.

WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT, residents Diane and Kevin Connolly and their two children have been retreating to Annisquam — a small village in Gloucester — during the summer for many years. Until recently, the house where they went to decompress was an “old, lightweight, single-story beach house,” says Tim Thurman of Rockport-based Treehouse Design Inc., the design/build firm the Connollys hired to create a lasting, durable home. Because the Connollys plan to retire to Cape Ann eventually, the house needed to be ready to withstand a wind-whipped North Shore winter, but it also had to be fun and casual enough for summering. So Thurman’s team collaborated with Watertown-based designer Sarah Wainwright to create interiors with a relaxed, beachy feel and to incorporate plenty of local materials.

1 > THE PROPERTY HAS “a narrow-view corridor to Ipswich Bay,” Thurman says, so he staggered the rooms in the 2,800-square-foot house and positioned large windows so that most of the rooms could take advantage of that view.


2 > COLORFUL THROW PILLOWS, upholstered cushions and chairs, and painted furniture add plenty of levity and warmth to the living room’s predominantly neutral palette. 

3 > THE FIREPLACE is large yet unassuming, made from local fieldstone with a hearth of granite from Oak Hill Quarry in Maine. “The color of the granite from that particular quarry matches Cape Ann stone nicely,” says Thurman. “Cape Ann was known as a quarrying community, but no actual stone is being cut today, so we used granite from Maine.” 

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

4 > MAPLE FLOORS from Vermont Plank Flooring are country grade, which means more contrast between light and dark, according to Thurman.

5 > A CAESARSTONE QUARTZ COUNTERTOP that homeowner Diane found and loved in a vivid green shade known as “apple martini” had a big influence on the home’s colors, says Thurman. It’s so bright and cheerful that they needed to balance it judiciously with other hits of intense color around the house.

6 > THE FARROW & BALL “CITRON” PAINT on the kitchen cabinets is a strong but not overwhelming counterpoint to the hot green.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of