Good Bones: A Martha’s Vineyard Getaway

March 12, 2020

Text by Robert Kiener    Photography by Brian Vanden Brink

“Easy, free, and welcoming.” These were some of the most important briefs from Michael and Paula Price for the design of their getaway house on Martha’s Vineyard. The couple, both busy executives, had recently bought the island home, but they weren’t pleased with its closed-in feeling and the way it failed to take full advantage of the sloping lot’s dramatic water views.  “We decided to replace it with a house that was more sympathetic to the topography, more open and, well, more fun,” says Paula. “We wanted a home that would make us breathe a sigh of relief when we walked into it; a place that would let us feel we could leave all our cares behind us.”

“We were all on the same page,” remembers Darran Reubens, architectural associate at the Vineyard’s Breese Architects. “We worked to give the Prices a home that elicits a ‘Wow’ from anyone who walks into it but whose design is also clean, simple, and elegant.”

For that wow factor, the team designed an entryway that framed and made the most of the home’s impressive water views. The drama was increased even more with the living room’s sixteen-foot cathedral ceiling that helps fill the home with light and also invite the outside in, another desire on the Price’s wish list.

Taking their cue from other Vineyard homes and the island’s vernacular, the architects opted for white-cedar shingle siding and a roof of Alaskan yellow cedar, all of which will turn silver-gray over time.  Inside they used a warm and earthy color palette and kept things simple with, as Reubens explains, “no unnecessary details.” For example, walls are devoid of trim or molding, and the floors throughout the four-bedroom house, except for the ones in the bathrooms, are clear-stained white oak. “We didn’t want anything to compete with the exterior views,” says Reubens. “The house reflects everything that we love about Martha’s Vineyard,” says Paula Price. “It’s relaxing, has a strong sense of community and family and, most of all, it’s just so much fun.”

Project Team
Peter Breese and Darran Reubens, Breese Architects
Interior design: Kristen Ellsworth, Interiors Studio, Martha’s Vineyard
Builder: Bob Stafford and Mark Ellis, Carpenters & Company
Landscape design: Rhonda Conley, Blooming Gardeners

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