Seaside Dream

Ocean views abound in a designer’s new Manomet home

By Scott Nicholls
Photography by Yorgos Efthymiadis and Tom Sheehan

Sitting on the roof of a tiny cottage perched atop a seaside bluff in Manomet, interior designer Kate Mogul and her husband, Jonathan, gazed out at the miles of open ocean before them and instantly knew that they would one day build their “forever home” at that very spot.

“We were always leaving Rhode Island on the weekends to come to Plymouth,” says Mogul, who purchased the coastal cottage with her husband and looked forward to the day they would be able to move to the South Shore. “It always felt like home. I loved the area and how much Plymouth had to offer families. There was also a Montessori school that my husband went to in Duxbury that I always dreamed of sending our children to.”

The original cottage, built in 1947, was deemed too small (788 square feet) for the young family of four. Structurally, the building was not sound enough for a second level to be built, so Mogul’s construction team decided to tear the building down and start from scratch.

For a while, the dream of living in Plymouth was just that—a dream. But when Mogul’s husband landed a new job at an oceanographic company in Falmouth, the couple decided the time was right to relocate. Mogul set to work drawing up plans for a new family-friendly home and gathered a team of local builders and designers, including Jamie Carpenter of J.F. Carpenter Construction, Gordon Noseworthy of Noseworthy Architecture, and Mark Flaherty of Flaherty and Stefani of Plymouth to help make her dreams a reality.

“I took all of our furniture measurements before we put it in storage so I was able to plan where each piece of furniture would go,” says Mogul, who worked closely with the architect and builders to ensure that each room fit the needs of her family while taking full advantage of the amazing water views.

The newly constructed home provides 2,172 square feet of living space and features a clean, Nantucket-style design with nautical touches to tie into the seaside locale. The outside of the home features a wave shingle pattern near the peak of the roof that draws eyes upward, and a round window that resembles a boat’s porthole. Mogul selected roof shingles the color of driftwood. “A lot of people don’t know that designers can pick those kinds of things,” she says.

The main level of the home features an open floorplan that makes it possible to see the steely blue Atlantic from the living room, kitchen or dining room. Nine-foot ceilings give the space an airy feel and large windows fill the home with sunlight, and French doors lead out to a wrap-around Mahogany deck.

Mogul worked with Gail O’Rourke at White Wood Kitchens when planning out the layout of the home’s kitchen, making sure to maximize the functionality of the space while maintaining clear sight lines to the water. The tile Mogul chose for the backsplash is reminiscent of the inside of a mussel shell and is complemented perfectly by black granite countertops with a “leathered” finish. With limited wall space for cabinets, Mogul chose to increase the size and depth of her kitchen island. This allowed her to gain additional storage beneath the counters and space for bar seating. She kept the kitchen counter height low (as opposed to bar height) to avoid blocking the view and maintain an airy feel.

The house has a seamless flow, due largely to the fact that nearly every design detail, from the light fixtures to the brushed nickel faucets and door knobs, was personally selected by Mogul. She chose, for example, to bring the bead board in the front hallway up to the middle of the double hung windows but ran it beneath the windows in the half-bath and mudroom. She also selected unique lighting, such as a hanging light with a compass rose star detail for the entryway and a classic bell jar-shaped fixture with etched stars through which light reflects on the stairway walls at night.

Mogul’s judicious use of nautical décor contributes coastal character and dimension to the home without making it feel overly beachy. A large framed print of a coastal map hanging in the living room and serves as the perfect nautical accent piece. The image, which dates to 1857, depicts the coastline of Cape Cod, Plymouth and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Mogul had the print custom colored to match the deep shade of blue paint used on the hallway walls. The same shade of blue is echoed in decorative pillows and curtains, while the cream-colored living room walls ensure that the ocean view remains front and center.

Since her husband is an avid boater and all-around maritime enthusiast, Mogul also had a weather station from Cape Cod Wind and Weather installed on the living room wall. With its dark navy face and nickel frame, the weather station coordinates with the rest of the home’s décor while gauges on the home’s roof measure the wind speed, tides and barometric pressure.

Upstairs, light green walls in the kids’ rooms coordinate with the Ming green marble in the adjoining bathroom. The master bathroom features grey Calacatta marble, a temperature-controlled shower and a rain showerhead. The walls inside the master bedroom were painted a soothing shade of golden yellow that is accented by the gray and yellow block pattern on the bedroom curtains. The fact that the couple’s king-size bed was positioned prominently in the center of the room was no accident—you can’t beat the dreamy water views.

“The color of the water and sky is different every day and we’ve even seen a right whale swim by a few times,” says Mogul. “There isn’t a day we don’t say ‘wow, we are so lucky to be here and enjoy this’. It’s like waking up on vacation every day.”

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