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Stylish Cape Cod Home
A charming Cape Cod retreat blends SoHo panache with local art and history
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Anyone who has ever visited Flair New York, the richly appointed home store in SoHo with sister shops in Florence and Rome, knows the pleasure of a beautifully designed emporium. Warm lighting bathes the soaring whitewashed loft, making it seem dipped in gold. The arrangement of objects and furniture is reminiscent of an Art Deco Manhattan apartment in prewar times, with a color scheme to fit. Lacquered black elements, white plaster, and brass-trimmed shagreen abound, exuding urban sophistication.
So when Flair New York co-owner Jon Maroto purchased a shingled 1880 fisherman’s house in Provincetown, Massachusetts, he asked his friend and the shop’s other owner, George Nunno, to collaborate on decorating the idyllic Cape Cod getaway. “We thought to ourselves—‘What is Flair at the beach? How do we infuse that aesthetic into this house, which is in a totally different environment?’ ” Nunno says, explaining the design challenge they faced.
The house, situated on a quiet street several blocks from the heart of the village, is a more basic version of a Greek Revival. While the home was in disrepair, Nunno was attracted to its original bones and its large yard, a rarity in central Provincetown. The resort town’s popularity as a summer destination has resulted in an increase in subdivisions and a scarcity of available plots of land. While Nunno and Jon wanted to bring Flair style to the retreat, maintaining the home’s historical and architectural integrity was of paramount importance, and ultimately the focus of the revamp.
“We renovated the house only after meticulous research,” Nunno says of the process, which included hiring local architect Neal Kimball. “From sourcing antique woods to installing copper flashing, we even built a bathroom vanity using beams from the house to keep the spirit of the original structure.”
The restoration process included small details as well as large ones. “We were able to keep the original door knocker, too, which somehow felt important,” Jon says.
Bold “Royal Blue” from Fine Paints of Europe gives the front door Cape Cod color.
Photography: Eric Roth
Produced by Tori Mellott
Interior designers: George Nunno and Jon Maroto, Flair New York, 88 Grand St., New York, NY 10013; 212/274-1750, flairhomecollection.com.
After a two-year renovation of the structure, the men tackled the interior design in the same focused manner. A mix of antiques, imports, local art, and some furnishings from Flair created an understated haven with a relaxed Cape Cod vibe. Nunno strayed from the black-and-white color scheme that is so well-known in his store and embraced signature Cape Cod blue and white throughout.
Antique mounted red coral is displayed on a Directoire-style chest from Flair Florence.
Chest (Directoire-style from Flair Florence); lamp (Architect’s lamp from Flair Florence: vintage.
Tray (black lacquer): Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Coral (antique mounted red coral): The Antique & Artisan Gallery, 203/327-6022.
Art (untitled abstract, by William Freed, 1965): Julie Heller Gallery, juliehellergallery.com.
The charming living room with oversize fireplace reveals what Nunno and Jon do so well—mix eras to create something familiar yet original and fresh. A Chippendale sofa sits harmoniously next to a pair of 1950s Italian lounge chairs purchased in Florence and upholstered in a graphic blue-and-white fabric. A custom area rug from France in the same hues unites the color scheme. Abstract wave patterns swirl on velvet pillows atop the sofa, echoing the nearby sea. Artwork on the walls hails exclusively from the Provincetown area.
Wall paint (“Distant Gray” #OC-68): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
Area rug (by David Hicks, France): custom.
Sofa by window (custom roll-arm sofa): MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
Sofa fabric (“Forfar”/Anil, discontinued): Rogers & Goffigon, rogersandgoffigon.com.
Velvet pillows on sofa (“Alto Velvet/China Blue #8012141.5): Brunschwig & Fils, brunschwig.com.
Geometric-patterned pillows (“Crosstown Weave”/Navy #67101): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
Blinds (“Caracas”/Teak #758, Manh Truc Woven Shades by Lafayette Shutters): through MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
Art between windows (untitled abstract oil on paper, by Budd Hopkins, 1961); art to right of sofa (Back Shore, oil on canvas, by Phillip Malicoat); art to right of sofa at bottom (untitled abstract ink on paper, by Nanno DeGroot, 1963); table to right of sofa: owner’s collection.
Floor lamp (1970s chrome floor lamp); table lamp (“Testa Chinese Lamp”): Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Candle holders (antique English); coffee table (vintage faux bamboo): Balsamo Antiques, balsamoantiques.com.
Spiky sculpture on coffee table (vintage Curtis Jere “Asteroide” sculpture): Flair. Silver shell (“Nautilus”); pair of folding stools (“X-File”/Zebra): Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Love seat facing window (Chippendale-style): vintage.
Love-seat fabric (“Forfar”/Anil, discontinued): Rogers & Goffigon, rogersandgoffigon.com.
Geometric-patterned pillow on love seat (“Hobart”/Sailor #1881): Pindler & Pindler, pindler.com.
Table beside love seat (from David Hicks): owner’s collection.
Floor lamp beside love seat (vintage Koch & Lowy reading lamp): The Antique & Artisan Gallery, 203/327-6022.
Fire screen (“Pimlico Fire Screen Panel” #FT200): Charles Edwards, charlesedwards.com.
Planter beside mantel (vintage, Chinese); tiered table to right of mantel (1970s Italian 2-tier chrome table from Flair Florence): owner’s collection.
Art above tiered table (untitled abstract oil on board, by William Wood, 2011): Albert Merola Gallery, albertmerolagallery.com.
Art above mantel (untitled abstract oil on canvas, by Vivian DePinna, 1953); vase in front of fire screen (vintage blue-and-white Chinese planter); vase on mantel, left (vintage German); vase on mantel, right (Nick Munro Black Jasper Spiral Vase for Wedgwood, discontinued); pair of chairs facing mantel (1950s Italian armchairs, from Flair Florence): owner’s collection.
Chair fabric (“Aptos”/Indigo #P9088, colorway discontinued): Pindler & Pindler, pindler.com.
Pillows on chairs (custom): MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
A nautical motif surfaces here and there throughout the house. In the open and breezy kitchen, marine hardware was used for the pulls and knobs on the cabinets, which exhibit the clean, minimal lines you might find in a ship’s galley. “Everything on a boat has to be functional, and that was our guiding ethos,” Nunno says.
A black AGA S-series oven and classic subway tiles create a minimalist feel. Oversize hurricanes frame a vintage Flair mirror.
Backsplash tile: ceramic subway tile.
Cabinetry (custom, ebonized): Cape Associates Inc., capeassociates.com.
Cabinetry hardware (brass flush-mount ring pull): House of Antique Hardware, houseofantiquehardware.com.
Countertop: Vermont soapstone.
Sink: Blanco America, blancoamerica.com.
Range (“S-Series Six Four Gas Hob”/Black): AGA, agaliving.com.
Mirror above range (vintage, Chinoiserie-style): Flair.
Hurricanes flanking mirror: for similar, Williams-Sonoma Home, williams-sonoma.com.
Copper pot for utensils (“Mauviel 1830 Hammered Copper Champagne Bucket”): Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com.
While preserving the past was a major objective in the renovation, so was opening the home to create space for entertaining in a convivial atmosphere. “We wanted it to feel airy. We chose a big dining table that seats 10 people, and more often than not, every seat is filled,” Jon says. Dining chairs with a Chinese fret design on the backs surround a large Napoleon III dining table. A custom braided blue-and-white rug anchors the room. The grand statement piece, though, is the china cabinet, a vintage Parisian vitrine found in a French flea market. It shows off a large collection of blue-and-white dishes and serveware that Jon uses when he has guests.
Wall paint (“Distant Gray” #OC-68): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
Dining table (antique Napoleon III): Bourgeois Boheme, 323/936-7507.
Dining chairs (custom “Chinese Fret”): Flair.
Chair cushions (“Flair”/Navy): Dedar, dedar.com.
Chandelier (“Five Arm Shaded Chandelier”): Paul Marra Design, paulmarradesign.com.
Hurricanes on table: Flair.
China cabinet (vintage French shop cabinet): owner’s collection.
Area rug (custom): Cape Cod Braided Rug, capecodbraidedrug.com.
Hinson’s “Spatter” wallpaper and vintage Fontana Arte mirror make for a playful bath. Stool, faucet, and sink all from Waterworks.
Wallcovering (“Spatter”/Navy #HP-0153-N, by Hinson): Donghia, donghia.com.
Paint (“Super White”): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
Mirror (vintage Fontana Arte mirror): Flair.
Wall sconces (1950s French silver shell sconces from Galerie Canavese, Paris): vintage.
Sink (“Exeter”); faucet (“Beacon Cross Handle”); toilet (“Exeter”): Waterworks, waterworks.com.
Blue-and-white jar (vintage Chinese wine jar): owner’s collection.
Floor tile (“Octagon and Dot”/Matte White with 01 White Matte Dot #6501): DalTile, daltile.com.
Nunno and Jon decided to fill the entire house with works produced solely by artists from throughout the Cape Cod region. “We made a specific choice that it be affiliated with Provincetown, as it was always an artists’ colony,” Nunno says. “A lot of incredible midcentury art came out of this town.” He adds that the former summer home and studio of American abstract expressionist Franz Kline is directly across the street. “We wanted to keep the heritage alive but allow the house to feel modern in a way that was correct, not forced,” he says. The collection they acquired includes the works of well-known artists like Robert Motherwell and Hans Hofmann, who exemplified the modern movement, but it also contains many pieces that don’t fit that genre, chosen simply because they resonated with Nunno and Jon.
Original paintings from regional artists Joseph Kaplan, Ada Bradley, B. Hatch, Libbian Trynz, Anne Brigadier, Gerrit Hondius, John Hare, and Louise Eleanor Zaring grace the walls in the upper hallway.
Area rug (custom braided rug): Cape Cod Braided Rug Co., capecodbraidedrugco.com.
Bench (“Filo” stool): Flair.
Bench-cushion fabric (“Oxford”/Indigo #1612/31): Dedar, dedar.com.
Painting above doorway (East End View-Provincetown, by Joseph Kaplan, oil on canvas): owner’s collection.
ART left of doorway, row closest to doorway, from top: Black-and-white painting (untitled watercolor, by Joseph Kaplan); landscape with tree (untitled landscape, by unknown artist); water scene in gold frame (Boat Club Sloop, by Ada Bradley, oil on canvas); two small images of boats (watercolors of fishing boats, by B. Hatch); landscape in black frame (abstract watercolor by Joseph Kaplan); sailboat (Schooner in Harbor-Provincetown, by unknown artist, oil on canvas): owner’s collection.
ART, middle row, from top: Abstract painting (untitled abstract, by Libbian Trynz, oil on canvas); art in black frame (Provincetown, by Joseph Kaplan, oil on board, ); abstract art (untitled abstract oil on canvas, by Anne Brigadier); landscape painting (untitled landscape by Gerrit Hondius, oil on paper): owner’s collection.
ART, far left row, from top: Small painting of boats (Morning Mist-Cape Cod, by John Hare, watercolor): Swann Austion Galleries, swanngalleries.com.
Large painting of wharf (Old Wharf, Provincetown, by Louise Eleanor Zaring, oil on canvas): owner’s collection.
Schumacher’s “Chevron Print” covers shades and pillows. A Greek key-patterned pillow adds another dose of pattern.
Chandelier (vintage faux bamboo chandelier):The Antique & Artisan Gallery, 203/327-6022.
Window-shade and pillow fabric (“Chevron Print”/Navy #2644031): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
Greek key-patterned pillow: Yates & Kennedy, 508/487-4400.
Bookshelves frame the blue bed in one of the bedrooms. The blue-and-white palette continues here as well.
Wall paint (“Pure White” #OC-64): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
Bed (custom design by Flair): fabrication by MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
Bed fabric (“Trama”/Marine #2213/01): Dedar, dedar.com.
Bed cover and pillow shams: Williams-Sonoma Home, williams-sonoma.com.
Greek key pillow; table lamps; art behind bed (anonymous mid-century abstract painting): Yates & Kennedy, 508/487-4400.
Bedside tables (“Donna”): Flair.
The art collection continues on a bedroom desk.
Desk (“Mason Wood-Top Desk”/Ebony): Williams-Sonoma Home, williams-sonoma.com.
Lamp on desk (vintage Architect’s lamp from Flair Florence): owner’s collection.
Art on desk, left (untitled abstract, by Fritz Bultman): Albert Merola Gallery, albertmerolagallery.com.
Art on desk, center (Red Halo/White Ground, by Adolph Gottlieb, print): Wright, wright20.com.
Photo on desk, right: by Marcus Leatherdale, marcusleatherdale.com.
Desk chair (Queen Anne-style, from estate sale): owner’s collection.
Chair-seat fabric (velvet): Pindler & Pindler, pindler.com.
Custom built-in shelving by Cape Associates creates an alcove for the bed, topped with a Calvin Klein Home navy blue cover and a vintage Hermès anchor blanket.
Wall paint (“Chalk White” #2126-70): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
Built-in shelving unit; bed (custom built-in); shutters; vanity in bathroom: Cape Assoc. Inc., capeassociates.com.
Navy bed cover: Calvin Klein Home, calvinkleinhome.com.
Anchor blanket (vintage Hermès): owner’s collection.
Striped pillow (custom from vintage fabric): similar available from Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Abstract painting (Abstract #9, by Steven Johanknecht from Flair): similar available from Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Area rug (vintage Moroccan rug fromFlair): similar available from Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Faucet in bathroom (“Beacon Cross Handles”): Waterworks, waterworks.com.
Mirror above vanity (vintage 1950s brass mirror): Flair.
A Directoire-style secretary came from a Paris flea market and the “Pyramide” lamp is from Flair. Untitled art is by Alexander Liberman.
Secretary (Directoire-style chest, vintage): Paris flea market.
Lamp (“Pyramide”): Flair.
Blue chair (custom, “Torino” chair); pillow on chair (custom); throw (“Liverpool Cashmere Throw”); floor lamp (“Lisbon”); area rug (vintage, Moroccan); pedestal by door (teak): Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Chair fabric (“Oxford”/Blue, color 038): Dedar, dedar.com.
Art behind secretary (untitled print, by Alexander Liberman, 1961): Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery, amy-nyc.com.
Magazine holder (vintage brass); bust on pedestal: owner’s collection.
The home’s outside deck, covered by a wisteria-laced pergola, is modeled after a Texas deck, the uppermost deck on a steamer or riverboat. “It’s like being on a boat,” Jon says. But rather than overlooking water, the view includes his garden, a series of three room-like areas. Situated off Jon’s bedroom, the deck lends itself to quiet moments, with a wide, inviting chaise longue covered in black and white. “That chaise with a stack of books—I could spend all day there,” Jon says “There’s nowhere I feel happier.”
Ralph Lauren’s “Racing Stripe” outdoor fabric makes a graphic statement.
Chaise lounge (double chaise, painted white): Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com.
Stripe cushion fabric (“Racing Stripe”/Black, White #LFY29603F): Ralph Lauren Home, ralphlaurenhome.com.
Fabrication: MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
Planters: Garden Renovations Nursery, gardenrenovationsnursery.com.
The outdoor spaces, all planted in green and white, start formally with the first featuring boxed hedges and white roses. Next comes a romantic area planted in annuals, leading to a grove of apple and pear trees, a nod to the property’s original 19th-century orchard.
Relaxation is easy on vintage faux bamboo chairs topped with black Sunbrella cushions and a custom long bench. Fossil stone planter is from Flair.
Wall light (“Onion Wall Lantern”): The Nauset Lantern Shop, nausetlanternshop.com.
Long bench (custom sectional bench): Cape Assoc. Inc., capeassociates.com.
Striped cushions on bench (“Racing Stripe”/Black, White #LFY29603F); white pillows (“Sundeck Solid”/White #LFY66668F): Ralph Lauren Home, ralphlaurenhome.com.
Fabrication: MFM Interiors, mfminteriorstruro.com.
Pillows with swirl pattern (“Sonriza Print”/Black #174243): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
Throw on bench (“Clermont” cashmere throw): Flair, flairhomecollection.com.
Pair of cocktail tables (vintage); bamboo-style lounge chair (vintage, faux bamboo); barrel-back chairs (vintage, faux bamboo): owner’s collection.
Black cushions on chairs: Sunbrella, sunbrella.com.
Trim (“Sundeck Solid”/White #LFY66668F): Ralph Lauren Home, ralphlaurenhome.com.
Hourglass tables (ceramic): Yates & Kennedy, 508/487-4400.
Barrel planter (fossil stone “Polyhedral Planter”): Flair.
Homeowner Jon Maroto in his garden.