Seeing Provincetown in Style

July 17, 2014

By Kyle Hoepner

Last week I spent a few days—for the first time in many, many years—in the delightful environs of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Why so long since my last overnight visit? Who knows—maybe I was unconsciously resisting the tiny town’s innate charm because it is sooo popular and sooo expected as a summer destination. Or perhaps I was still channeling the Ptown of my youth, which struck me then as an endless succession of t-shirt shops, driftwood craft items, and overpriced buckets of steamers.

As it turns out, although some things remain very much the same (the Edwige is once more queen of the weekend breakfast scene; the line for Tea Dance at the Boatslip appears to be as long and decorative as ever), other aspects of life at the Cape’s tip have indeed changed.

The world of high style is increasingly evident. A few clues: the arrival on Commercial street of destinations like Room 68, Yates & Kennedy (yes, they sell t-shirts, but that’s not what you’ll remember about the place), and the just-opened, pleasingly non-quaint Joon Bar & Kitchen. This is not to mention a gradually growing constellation of art galleries whose offerings extend well beyond the realm of brushy, post-Impressionist beach scenes or pictures of muscular young men not overly encumbered by clothing. (Designers Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz shared a few of their own favorite retail destinations on the outer Cape in our Summer 2014 New England Home Cape & Islands issue: take a look here for more shopping tips.)

I shouldn’t have been surprised, really. Several local dwellings have popped up in the design press over the past few years. For instance, here’s a view from the home of local painter John Dowd, as seen in the pages of Elle Decor.

Photo by William Waldron, from

And here’s a bedroom from Robert Duffy’s Provincetown house, also featured in Elle Decor.

Photo by William Waldron via The Daily Beast

John Derian’s old sea captain’s house in the East End, sporting his signature version of ratty chic, has been photographed and published several times, in Vogue Living and Martha Stewart Living, among others.

Photo by Julia Cumes for The Boston Globe

We, too, have shared Ptown spaces with our readers, including this condo belonging to architects Tom Huth and Bruce Danzer.

Photo by Greg Premru for New England Home; click to see more of this home.

And the occasion leading to my own recent trip was a photo shoot at another lovely residence, a snug cottage tucked away in the town’s West End and extensively renovated by Herbert Acevedo and Kevin Miller of Shor. Most of the photos won’t be made public until the story runs in our Cape & Islands issue next year, but I can give you a little preview glimpse of the dining room:

Photo by Keller + Keller for New England Home.

So, all told, my excursion has to count as having been a complete success—despite the fact that I didn’t manage a single bite of salt-water taffy.


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