April 13, 2021
A small space with a big personality maximizes summer fun.
Text by Meaghan O'Neill Photography by Read McKendree Produced by Karin Lidbeck Brent
Ricardo Rodriguez and Michael Kelley had been visiting Provincetown for decades when they decided it was time to invest in a property of their own. That property turned out to be the first one they toured. “It was love at first sight,” says Rodriguez of the approximately 1,000-square-foot condominium that sits right on the beach. “It has a beautiful relationship to the water—it’s like you’re on a boat.”
Rodriguez, who works in real estate, says he instinctually began considering ways they could remodel the condo. But the Boston-based couple closed on the purchase during summer and quickly realized they didn’t want to waste any time on renovations. They also liked that the existing space captured Provincetown’s artsy, casual vibe.
Still, the home needed a solid refresh. So instead of a whole-house overhaul, the couple collaborated with friend and interior designer Alina Wolhardt to enliven indoor and outdoor spaces with furnishings and art. “It looked worn out and needed love again,” says Wolhardt, founder of Boston-based Wolf in Sheep Design and one of New England Home’s 2020 5 Under 40 winners. The trio decided to refinish floors and revive rooms with paint, but some quirky touches, such as the bathroom’s pink tile and the kitchen’s cobalt-blue countertops, were left intact as much for utility as they were an homage to the history of the place.
Rodriguez had commissioned a painting of the living room’s wall of windows, which became the inspiration for the interior decor. Art—the couple collects—and furnishings add color, flair, and function throughout. The living area flows seamlessly to the deck, where at high tide the water rises halfway up the stairs leading to the beach.
During the process of creating a getaway purpose-built for appreciating family, friends, and fun, the home earned an apt moniker, the Love Shack. “It’s beautiful,
but it’s not precious,” says Rodriguez, who describes the retreat as a place for “wet bathing suits, sand on the floor, and seashells everywhere.”
“They didn’t want a fancy house. They wanted a place that was quintessentially P-town,” says Wolhardt. “We didn’t want to lose that essence of what makes this place special.”
Alina Wolhardt, Wolf in Sheep Design