Resources for Adding the Finishing Touches to your Cape & Islands Home

July 7, 2016

Text by Regina Cole


Creative, talented people are drawn to special places. Perhaps that’s why Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard have more than their fair share of artists, designers, and artisans who create wonderful things for the home. If shopping is America’s favorite pastime, then this is ground zero for it: around every corner, it seems, are studios and shops that offer truly special things. If your idea of bliss is the hunt for one-of-a-kind collectibles or artworks, out-of-the ordinary furniture and fabrics, or carefully selected accessories, then you are in the right place. Here is a short list of some of our favorites.

Our shopping trip starts on Nantucket, where history meets natural beauty and a strong tradition of local craftsmanship. One of the best places to steep in all of these is at Nantucket Looms. In the heart of town, the venerable (since 1968) company provides home furnishings via the work of more than eighty local artisans, including painters, potters, wood carvers, basket weavers, and jewelry makers. And that’s not even mentioning the dreamy namesake blankets, throws, and wraps, soft as Nantucket fog to the touch and to the eye. 51 Main Street, (508) 228-1908,

Bodega mixes vintage pieces with delightful new things and shows them ff in a pretty, lighthearted shop. Owner-proprietor Stephanie Sproule has the eye and the design know-how and, yes, she offers design services. 2 Candle Street, (508) 228-1992,

Coastal is the brainchild of Karen Fisher, who moved to Nantucket from New York City after nineteen years in the fashion business with Calvin Klein. With Kate Bayer, Fisher’s colleague and partner in design, she has created a shop that reflects their calm, beach-y aesthetic. 7 South Beach Street, (508) 228-4662,

For stylish, handcrafted contemporary furniture, find Willy LeMay Custom Woodworking. LeMay uses domestic and imported hardwoods, bamboo, and stainless steel to create one-of-a-kind pieces that show influences of midcentury design, industrial design, and even an occasional hint of Deco. 53 Madaket Road, (508) 633-4244,

A short hop across the water takes us to Martha’s Vineyard, where each village is different and each neighborhood prettier than the last. Edgartown is the “big city” of the island, full of wonderful finds.
One is Krug & Ryan, where John Duryea makes butcher-block cutting boards that are guaranteed for twenty years. Find him, too, at the Vineyard Artisan Festival on Sundays and at the historic Grange Hall in West Tisbury on Thursdays. (508) 847-9999,

Wampum, made from the quahog shell, is a traditional craft still practiced by Frank Rapoza. He makes striking decorative objects that represent local scenes, as well as abstract designs. Studio open by appointment, (508) 693-3530,

Elizabeth Stiving-Nichols is an interior designer and the proprietor of Bespoke Abode, a chic store that carries lines such as Hartmann & Forbes, Horizon, CR Laine, G-Romano, and Mobital. 56 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, (508) 693-0722,

The lively, much-loved part of Cape Cod that most visitors know is a favorite antiquing destination. And one of the best places to look is the Sandwich Antiques Center, which has been offering high-end, carefully curated pieces for twenty years. 131 Route 6A, Sandwich, (508) 833-3600, sandwich,

Among the area’s hidden gems is Ron Dean Pottery. The creator of beautiful turned and hand-built raku stoneware for the home or the garden says he is available by appointment or by chance. 1000 Osterville West Barnstable Rd., Marstons Mills, (508) 776-5308,

Porter & Mags offers a vast variety of customizable home furnishings. For example, a linen awning-striped pillow can be had in seventy different colors. Eclectic and atypical, the selection is perfect for the Cape, but with its own vibe. 665 Main St, West Harwich, (508) 394-0944,

If you can tear yourself away from the beaches and the dunes, Provincetown is a worthy destination for everything else. For an edgy aesthetic, go to Room 68 for home furnishings by cutting-edge designers. Your hipster stock will rise. 377 Commercial Street, (774) 538-6470,

Shor has a large assortment of furniture, lighting, and accessories made by a variety of local and national artisans. There’s also a sprinkling of vintage pieces for an unexpected, fresh take on tradition. 240 Commercial Street, (508) 487-7467,

Yates & Kennedy is a tiny shop that’s loaded with personality and carries a dazzling variety of wonderful things for the home, many of them things you never knew you needed but will find utterly indispensable. 368 Commercial Street, (508) 487-4400,

For thirty-one years, Deborah Paine has been a builder. Now she has added shop owner to her resume, opening IN-HOUSE, a store stocked with fun, fashionable things for the home, including Angela Adams rugs, custom and vintage furniture, funky lighting, accessories, and collectibles. 53 Bradford Street, (774) 538-7927,

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