Text: Lydia Somerville
Photos: Stacy Zarin Goldberg
As head of a design-build firm, Michael Winn was in the unique position to realize the vision he and his wife Melinda had of tearing down their 1950s Cape Cod home and building their dream. With architects, designers, and craftsmen under one roof, he had a team at the ready to create the formal exterior and casual interior he wanted. From the outside, the house presents a French Provincial aspect.
“I wanted a look of permanence,” says Winn, “with a brick exterior, cedar shake roof, and copper gutters. Inside, it’s more contemporary, with white oak beams and floors.” With two children, Jackson, 11, and Mia, 10, and Goldendoodle, Archie, the needs of family life dictated a level of ease and comfort in the choice of furnishings.
To keep things simple, Winn chose Benjamin Moore’s Stone White for the entire house and kept crown moldings to a minimum at the 11-foot ceilings. “I like a cleaner molding profile,” he says. At eight feet tall, French casement windows usher in plenty of sunlight and open to the stone terrace. In the family room, the positioning of the television proved a challenge. “I don’t like the TV over the fireplace,” says Winn. “But we found this wood-framed Samsung screen that looks like a piece of art.”
In the kitchen, the design took direction from the choice of a Lacanche stove. “The range is very French and analog,” says Winn. “There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s a well-built gas stove that is utterly simple. We designed the cabinetry to hide all the high-tech appliances and let the stove set the tone.” In the house’s only departure from Stone White, the cabinets are painted Farrow & Ball’s Lamp Room Gray. Over the island, a simple brass ring fixture appears to hover in midair. “We decided to have fun with the lighting and chose a more modern fixture,” says Winn.
In the owners’ suite, a minimalist mood prevails with streamlined furniture and clean design. “We have a large walk-in closet that allowed us to keep the bedroom uncluttered,” says Winn. “We also don’t have a television in there, so we have a very peaceful, quiet space. Automated blinds are set on a timer to reveal fantastic views of our backyard.” The bathroom indulges in the luxury of space as well, with twin vanities of walnut flanking the soaking tub.
At Christmas, the family sets the dining room table for a Christmas Eve feast with accents of cobalt blue taken from a painting over the sideboard. Gifts at each place setting offer a preview of Christmas morning and delight impatient children. On the long-awaited morning, a casual spread is served at the breakfast room table with its comfortable wicker chairs. Later in the day, the Winns will toast the holidays on the terrace. The outdoor space functions year-round thanks to the stacked stone fireplace, complete with a limestone mantel, rendering it a true outdoor living room. “Melinda and I each chose areas of interest to work on,” says Winn. “And this terrace was certainly mine.”