For the past 30 years, designers Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz rented summer cottages on the outer reaches of Cape Cod. This year the design duo took the plunge and bought their own place, applying their pared-down yet welcoming style to a historic cottage and artist’s studio in Truro.
Cheryl and Jeffrey first came across the classic Cape cottage back in the mid-90s. At that time it belonged to local artist Mary Fassett, who moved into her adjacent studio while the young Katz family rented the main house. “I’m not sure if it was the leafy green winding road that connects the ocean to the bay, the art that covered the walls salon style, the narrower than narrow, steeper than steep staircase that led to the second-floor bedroom, or the large kitchen table that seemed to accept many more guests than it should,” Cheryl recalled. “What I know is that it was magical.”
This spring, when a friend told the Katz’s that their old rental was on the market, the couple “responded with our hearts,” Cheryl says. “We weren’t even looking, but the house held so many memories.” They couldn’t resist. Join us for a tour of their new old place.
Photography by Justine Hand for Remodelista.
Above: Cheryl and Jeffrey took over the 1980s post-and-beam structure that had been Mary Fassett’s studio, transforming it into a master suite with living room, bedroom, studio, and kitchenette. Furnished with a high/low mix of pieces from Boston-based Lekker Home and Ikea, the living area is contemporary but relaxed.
Above: The lofty master bedroom is flooded with light (and summer breezes) from windows on three sides.
Above: In the master bedroom, the pine Ikea Tarva Bed ($179 for the queen) is made with linens from West Elm and John Derian, who has a shop in Provincetown during the summer season. A pair of Nelson Ball Lotus Table Lamps from Lekker Home provide bedside illumination.
Above: Details from the new and old buildings include a bar in the studio kitchenette and an old porch door in the original kitchen.
With their structural renovations, Jeffrey and Cheryl used “as light a touch as possible, stripping away drop ceilings and anything that had been added in order to showcase the beautiful bones of both buildings.” To unify the original house with the more modern, barnlike studio, they painted the interiors of both structures Benjamin Moore Snowfall.
Above: In the original summer kitchen (which enjoys light from three sides, plus a skylight), Cheryl and Jeffrey removed a loft and two pantries to open up the space and allow for a large Restoration Hardware Flatiron Table that accommodates 12, surrounded with Ikea chairs. The designers created an instant overhead light fixture by wrapping the rafters with Sekond cord sets from Ikea.
Above: Style on a budget: Cheryl and Jeffrey updated the kitchen using inexpensive appliances and Ikea countertops.
Above: For extra detailing, the Katz’s added a V-groove backsplash to the kitchen walls, which they painted Benjamin Moore Gray.
Above: The kitchen floor was “a mess,” so Jeffrey and Cheryl had it replaced with paint-grade plywood, which they finished in Benjamin Moore Pewter.
Above: In the original house, Cheryl chose updated pieces from Lekker Home that still complemented the more traditional character of the home. These she paired with antique accents such as the rugs and stool. The portrait is by Mary Fassett, the home’s former owner.
Above: In a corner in the guest room is another chair from Lekker Home; a collection of vintage plates that the Katz’s have collected over the years hangs on the wall.
Above: In the main house, Jeffrey and Cheryl converted a front parlor into a guest room for their grown children.
Above: In the opposite corner to the guest bedroom, vintage portraits hung with simple binder clips bridge the gap between traditional and modern.
Above: Appropriately, Cheryl chose Benjamin Moore Martha’s Vineyard for the classic (read: steep, shallow, and narrow) Cape Cod stairs.
Above: Upstairs in the main house, Jeffrey and Cheryl removed a drop ceiling to reveal yet another lofty, beamed space.
Above: Painted bathroom floors are another typical old Cape cottage feature. Here Cheryl applied a coat of Benjamin Moore’s cheerful Whipple Blue.
Tour the couple’s Boston residence here: Improper Bostonians: Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz’s Beacon Hill Home.