Style Watch

White-on-white decor

The cleanest of color schemes in this Chilmark home right on the beach puts the emphasis on the loveliness outside the window.

Eric Roth
“The room is a retreat for the family,” says designer Liz Stiving-Nichols. “Here on the beach, everything is monochromatic, quiet, and very peaceful.”
Eric Roth

FEW PARCELS IN CHILMARK, on Martha’s Vineyard, are more coveted than the site of this home on Stonewall Beach. Wanting the stunning view to take center stage, Vineyard Haven designer Liz Stiving-Nichols and her clients settled on a white color scheme for the living and dining areas. “We used varied tones of white, from cool to warm, which sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty tricky to get whites to blend that aren’t the same value,” says Stiving-Nichols. “The key is to surround yourself with a thousand different paint chips in the space and see how they look at different times of day.” The refreshed space is calm and soothing, an idyllic spot from which to observe the beach.

1 > A MODULAR CREDENZA by Brix provides storage for platters and silverware, along with display space for sea-themed knicknacks. “We wanted to put something interesting behind the sofa,” says Stiving-Nichols, “and this piece was perfect because it has a low profile.”

2 > AN OFF-WHITE SECTIONAL by Flexform with a hint of gray was bought off the floor at Showroom in Boston. “We were sure we’d need to have one custom made,” Stiving-Nichols says, “but this was the perfect color and fit.”


3 > VERSATILE, EASY-TO-MOVE FURNISHINGS, a smart choice for frequent entertaining, include a pair of Gisele lounge chairs — made of maple and woven nautical rope — from Design Within Reach.

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4 > THE EXPANSIVE WINDOWS were left unadorned to ensure unimpeded vistas.

5 > AN ALUMINUM TABLE from Stiving-Nichol’s Vineyard Haven store, Bespoke Abode, has a removable top that doubles as a serving tray.

6 > A WIRE MIRROR AND TALL METAL TABLE with an aged green finish, both from Bespoke Abode, provide subtle texture. “The high gloss of the floors can feel cold, so adding in other textures and materials warms up the space,” says Stiving-Nichols.

7 > IN THE DINING AREA, pieces with rustic and weathered finishes — like an antique bench acquired at the Brimfield Fair — contrast nicely with the living area’s sleek furnishings.


8 > FLOORS ARE COATED with high-gloss white paint. Though easily scuffed, says Stiving-Nichols, “they have such a clean, refreshing look, the extra maintenance is worth it.”