Colorful in Provincetown

June 28, 2022

Purple and orange have cameos in this Provincetown cottage, but white might play the biggest role of all.

Text by Bob Curley    Photography by Laura Moss

There is a well-known palette of colors commonly used to evoke themes of shore and sand when designing home interiors in a coastal community like Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Purple, suffice to say, is not among them.

As one might guess from the name, Shor Home Furnishings & Interior Design is no stranger to the sea. When called upon to reimagine the interior of a late-nineteenth-century home built in classic coastal colonial style, however, some piquant purples found a place amid the sand-toned rugs, framed fish and wave art, and blue textured wall-paper reminiscent of rippled water.

“The clients have a modern sensibility,” says interior designer Herbert Acevedo. “They wanted something nautically inspired but not with a heavy hand. They just wanted a place to relax and entertain in an uncomplicated way.”

“Purple,” Acevedo admits, “is not something we normally work with.” But the owners were passionate about the hue, and the ocean isn’t the only inspiration to be found in Provincetown. The community at the northern tip of Cape Cod is famed as America’s oldest continuous art colony; onetime P-town denizen Jackson Pollock would likely approve of Acevedo’s color choices for an East End home that’s closer to the downtown gallery district than the beach.

The refresh mostly leans on what Acevedo calls “modern coastal” furnishings with clean lines and organic fabrics that, yes, are very much at home by the sea: wool, cotton, and sisal. The nautical wall on the second-floor landing features a mostly traditional arrangement of blues and grays, with a pair of oars for accent and a wreath made of model boats by artist Maralyn Menghini for a sense of place. Carpenter Liam McCooe added a new island and coffee bar in the kitchen and built-in cabinetry in several rooms to further customize the space.

But then there’s that admittedly voluptuous purple chair by Vitra that Acevedo placed in the living room, and a plum office desk, also crafted by McCooe, that boldly faces the main living space through a pair of added sliding glass doors. The orange front door sends the message to visitors that this isn’t your usual Cape summer home, though even this attention-grabber can’t
compete with the Sherwin-Williams Loyal Blue kitchen cabinets.

Given all that, Acevedo says the key to the project actually lies in some subtlety. “We’ve never really painted an entire interior all white before, but it’s just fresh and light, and it contrasts anything you put in front of it,” he says.

Project Team
Interior design: Herbert Acevedo, Kevin Miller, Shor Home Furnishings & Interior Design