Design in Depth: Mother Nature Inspires the View

June 15, 2011

By Stacy Kunstel

There are few things that can overshadow a great house with architectural integrity and beautiful interiors. As the summer season sets in and we at New England Home are out producing and photographing incredible houses, sometimes Mother Nature deserves thanks just as much as a talented design team.

Two examples are our current Cape & Islands cover, featuring a serene bedroom by the team of Brooks & Falotico and Julia Doyle. Not only was Mother Nature cooperating on the day it was shot, but town planners put the Edgartown lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard in just the right spot.

Photo by Michael Partenio (click to see more)

On our upcoming July/August cover we feature the work of Hutker Architects. We were told that the firm had tried to have the home shot twice before, but both times was foiled by rain. Photographer Michael Partenio (who also shot the Cape & Islands cover) often jokes that, for him, “it never rains on New England Home shoot days.†Let’s hope I didn’t jinx it. For this particular shoot Mother Nature lit the skies in blue and made the waves dance long enough for us to capture something spectacular.

Photo by Michael Partenio

I will guiltily admit that, as Homes Editor, I don’t often have to hang out in less-than-pretty places. While the weather wasn’t perfect on the particular day we shot the Martha’s Vineyard home below, Mother Nature posed long enough to let us capture this image. Too bad she also blew vases and umbrellas over on the patio just an hour later.

Photo by Michael Partenio

One of my all-time favorite images captured by photographer Sam Gray became the cover of our first Cape & Islands edition. I think Morehouse MacDonald & Associates, the architects for the project, actually got the best of Mother Nature that day.

Photo by Sam Gray (click to see more)

Mother Nature’s design takes many forms. It is the deep brown of a summer sunflower…

Design by Bartley Johnstone; photo by Matthew Benson

…or the petals of a flower and the color and imitation it inspires.

Design by Nancy Taylor; photo by Laura Moss (click to see more)

Other days we put design aside and just admire the view.

Photo by Michael Partenio