A Hull home gets a designer makeoverBy Marina Davalos | Photography by Kerry Brett
When homeowners Kevin and Jenna Leary purchased their Nantasket Beach vacation home in January of 2015, choosing an interior designer was a no-brainer. Maggie Jerde of Maggie Jerde Design in Norwell is known for her unique client-based approach and she had been the interior designer for the couple’s primary residence. “We worked with Maggie on our home in Cohasset so we already had a really good relationship,” says Jenna Leary, a former special education teacher at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School who is now a stay-at-home mother of three young girls.
Jerde has been in the interior design business for over 15 years and worked for some of the top design firms in New York and London before starting her own business in 2009. Her designs are personalized according to the needs of her clients and the most important step of any project, she says, is getting to know the personality of the homeowners.
“Redecorating can be a stressful process,” says Jerde. “The more I know about my clients, the more I can help to alleviate that stress.” In the case of the Learys, the couple knew that they’d be spending the entire summer at their beach house. “We wanted a space that felt light, bright and comfortable, like being at a beach resort,” says Jenna.
When the beach house project began, the primary goal was to renovate the master bedroom and build a new master bathroom. Remodeled by Mark Loughlin of Loughlin Custom Builders in Cohasset, the new master bathroom was outfitted with five windows overlooking the ocean. This set the tone for the overall bathroom design.
“We chose a beautiful white crackle subway tile with a mother-of-pearl finish for the wall behind the vanity and for the shower,” says Jerde. And then there was the bathtub. The white porcelain tub is a Victoria + Albert Amiata. Situated close to the windows, the tub is bathed in sunlight, creating a spa-like experience.
The bedroom originally had dark blue carpet, which was replaced with hardwood gray maple floors with a high-gloss finish. In keeping with the spirit of the five windows in the new master bathroom, the white bedroom’s sliding glass door was replaced with French doors.
Jerde designed the décor to fit the home’s waterfront location without being overly beachy. “Everything in the bedroom is white, but I wanted to frame it,” says Jerde. “I chose buffalo-check curtains, a pattern which is not traditionally associated with the beach but it fit the space so well.” A Murano blown glass chandelier over the bed is an eye-catching piece.
The children were given a chance to weigh in on the look of their two-room suite and bathroom. Knowing that the girls loved pink, Maggie brought over different styles of curtains and décor pieces so that they could pick out what they liked. In the end, white and pink Serena & Lily sheets were topped with pink and white striped bedspreads, and the curtains feature a stylized sand dollar pattern in a bright orangey-red hue.
Once it was decided to continue the renovations downstairs, the kitchen also got a makeover. “We worked closely with The Cabinetry in Hingham,” says Jerde, who likes to have one decorative showstopper in each room. “We put in this amazing silver hammered hardware. It’s not really considered beachy, but it has attitude.”
The rooms downstairs were painted bright white and feature pops of navy and denim-blue in furnishings like cotton accent rugs and sleek coffee table books. Woven baskets and fringed throw pillows add a texture. The overall look of the home is airy and inviting by design. “I didn’t want it to be too overly nautical,” says Leary. “Maggie did a great job.”
Jerde stresses that just because a design works well for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work well for everyone. “It’s like I have a code for each house, and things have to pass that code,” she says.