scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Building their Martha’s Vineyard dream home

They bought the land in West Tisbury in 2001. Now the cool, casual getaway they envisioned has come to life.

The homeowners’ daughter Caitie enjoys quiet moment on the living room deck of this West Tisbury getaway.Ken Richardson

With enviable foresight, Peter and Anne Standish bought land in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard back in 2001 with a plan to build the exact house they wanted when they could afford it. That time came about five years later, and the Concord couple — Peter is in real estate and Anne is a preschool teacher — hired Hutker Architects to design a vacation home for them and their three children, now in their teens and 20s.

"We told them we wanted something a little bit funky and laid-back, with an open floor plan, and asked that they maximize the views," says Anne. "They nailed it right away."


Over a five-year period, with a pause during the recession, the home came together. In the end, the Hutker team — principal Phil Regan, architect Jim Cappuccino, and interior designer Courtney Fadness —translated the couple's general directives into an architecturally interesting 3,174-square-foot four-bedroom home with incredible views, multiple decks, and crisp, inviting interiors.

In developing the layout, Cappuccino created gathering spaces for family and friends, along with areas of retreat. To the right of the simple cork-tiled entry hall, a double-story structure holds a pair of rooms for the kids, each with two twin beds for maximum flexibility, a shared bath, and corner windows that embrace the landscape. On the second floor, the guest suite, which looks toward Vineyard Sound, is accessed by a private stairway that allows visitors to come and go with minimum fanfare.

To the left of the entry, a second wing contains the living and dining areas, kitchen, and deck. Occupying an 18-by-36-foot gabled space with vaulted ceiling, the stylish living and dining areas form the heart of the home.

To meet the decor budget, Fadness used a high-low strategy. She advised the Standishes to invest in some unique long-term items, from tables and rugs to seating, then fill in with accent pieces from mid-priced retailers. She was careful to allow breathing room for meaningful additions the couple could incorporate over time.


The family's sense of fun shines in the living room, with its layers of pattern and pops of color. Here, Fadness played with scale, shape, and texture, mixing organic forms and materials with geometrics and primary hues. "Because the house is nestled in the trees, which are rich and rugged," she says, "we can use a more saturated palette than we would if tied to the ocean."

Graphic paper by Madison and Grow covers one wall, while walls flanking the fireplace are painted teal. A sculptural linen-covered sofa by Vioski, which looks beautiful from all angles, was the big splurge, while a pair of orange tables from West Elm adds color at modest cost. Danish modern side chairs can be turned to face either of two defined areas in the living room, and thanks to their spindle backs, look great from behind. In the second seating area, Fadness kept colors neutral and lines simple, so that all attention is focused on the expansive view toward Woods Hole.

In the dining room, simple metal and wood-slat indoor/outdoor chairs surround a one-of-a-kind live-edge wood table, discovered online at 1st Dibs. A curvy rope-wrapped iron chandelier by Currey & Co. hangs above. The rope "is a nod to the beach and keeps things from seeming too serious," Fadness says.


Next to the dining room, a mostly black and white kitchen opens onto a screen porch, which connects to the deck that runs along the living room. The flow is ideal, providing extra space when the family cooks and entertains. Behind the kitchen is a den that the Standishes weren't initially sure they needed. Anne says they've found it comes in handy as a place for the kids to hang out or watch television.

A private stairway ascends to the master bedroom with a large deck overlooking Vineyard Sound. It's a light and airy space to which Anne and Peter can retreat. The entire room, including the ceiling, is painted a light blue, meant to blend with the sky above the tree line. "It's like sleeping in a treehouse," Anne says. "But, really, the whole house is a wonderful, relaxing escape."

Send comments to