A family gets to know the island they love with some help from their spacious new house designed for family and friends.
by Courtney Goodrich
Photographs by Angel Tucker
When it comes to interior design, no detail is too small. Sure, the day-to-day of running your own firm means having a lot on your plate, constantly switching between the more creative components of the job — space planning, furniture layouts, color theory — and the actual business side of things. But nothing can slip through the cracks. Every detail has to come together simultaneously to create a home that’s at once comfortable, personal, and whole. And if it’s carried out with superb customer service that makes it all seem easy, then all the better.
This is what designer Angela Hamwey does best. Her Hyannis-based interior design studio, Mackenzie + Company, plans an entire house design with such precision that all furnishings arrive at the same time and can be installed by her team in one or two days. When homeowners, Nicole and Steve, bought an almost- finished new construction spec house in Edgartown in 2017, they hired Hamwey to make it feel fun and family friendly, but they also trusted she would successfully get everything to the island (which is tricky with weather and ferry schedules) while they weren’t there. “They’re both busy people and wanted it handled correctly,” says Hamwey.
Since the family wanted to add some color to the house, designer Angela Hamwey chose kelly green chairs for the kitchen island, which is painted light blue with light blue light fixtures above. In the dining area, royal blue chairs surround the table.
In the living area of this Martha’s Vineyard home, there are plenty of seats for people to lounge and large french doors that lead to the yard.
And so in June 2018, one week after Nicole and Steve and their two daughters spent the weekend at the empty house, sleeping on air mattresses on the floor, “we came back and it was fully furnished,” says Nicole. “It was one of the most special things we have ever experienced. There were family photos in frames and artwork hung on the walls. She even had art supplies for my kids.”
The 3,100-square-foot house has a coastal feel that welcomes them warmly every time they arrive. On the first floor is the main gathering room — an open-concept living, kitchen, and dining space with large doors that look out to the backyard. On one side is a mudroom, while a master suite is on the other. Since most of the finish work had been completed by the time Nicole and Steve bought the house, all that was left to do was choose the wall colors, the cabinet hardware, and the gray herringbone kitchen backsplash tile, though Hamwey also expertly advised swapping out some light fixtures. As for furnishings, “I’m dedicated to taking a journey with the clients,” she says, “in which they lead the way and we provide the navigation.” Since the family wanted fun pops of color, Hamwey chose kelly green chairs for the kitchen island and royal blue chairs for the dining table. A navy rug pulls together the living area, which with two sofas and two chairs has plenty of room for everyone to lounge.
On the second floor, there’s another master suite, a small living space at the top of the stairs, and a guest bedroom connected to a bunk room for the girls (with fun lifejacket wallpaper by Maine artist Sara Fitz) by a Jack-and-Jill bath.
As a way to make Nicole and Steve’s bedroom (the second-floor master) extra special, Hamway suggested a custom bed from The Beautiful Bed Company. Not only did they say yes, but they used the company for all the beds in the house. “They will be heirloom beds for their family,” says Hamwey. Topped with crisp white linens and custom bolsters by Sugar Feather, the beds are luxurious spots to rest after a long day exploring the island.
The daughters’ bedroom is a fun space with an art station, a teepee, lifejacket wallpaper, and a custom bunk bed.
A spacious entry is just inside the front door, and it leads to the open-concept living, kitchen, and dining space, with a staircase that leads upstairs.
Like all the beds in the house, the second-floor master suite has a custom black spindle bed from The Beautiful Bed Company.
Having visited Martha’s Vineyard for years, the family is now happy to have a house that is both spacious enough to host family and friends as well as flexible and low-maintenance to be able to accommodate renters. “It’s definitely primarily a family residence,” says Nicole, “but we do rent it out for four or five weeks between May and September.” They make sure to reserve the entire month of July and a handful of other weeks for themselves, and they enjoy visiting in the off season as well. “We’re learning whole new sides of the island being able to do that,” she says.
If they had decided to furnish the house themselves, “we would have only had time to go to one furniture store and order everything from there,” admits Nicole. Instead, Hamwey understood who they were and what they needed out of the house. “She made it very comfortable and at the same time very, very beautiful,” says Nicole.
A small vignette of Hamwey’s final touches includes artwork also by Fitz.
The mudroom is decorated with fish wallpaper by Maine artist Sara Fitz.