DESIGNER ALICIA ORRICK TRANSFORMS A SHINGLED CAPE COD COTTAGE FOR A FAMILY OF EIGHT INTO A SUMMER HOME THAT IS BEAUTIFUL—AND INDESTRUCTIBLE
The instructions were simple: "Make it classic, elegant and as if it's been here since the turn of the century," said the wife of the couple of their 1950s shingled vacation cottage in Cape Cod. "Since we spend two months every summer here with our children and extended family," she added, "make it totally kid–friendly, too."
Alicia Orrick, founder of Orrick & Company, an architectural and design firm in Greenwich, listened intently. The clients, whose six children range in age from nine months to 11 years old, wanted a home dedicated to fun—not fuss—with a high "fabulous" factor.
Orrick immediately went to work. "The home and surrounding property had been purchased and renovated in 1997, when the couple had one child," she says. Family size now dictated more square footage as well as interior design that was practical but sophisticated, kid–proof but elegant—a place where children could ride their bikes through the home without anyone yelling, "STOP!"
Color and materials were key. First, Orrick repainted all of the grayish white walls with cream trim to Decorator White with Benjamin Moore's Super White trim—all of which magnified the light in the house by 25 percent and is, of course, totally washable. The floors, originally yellow pine, were bleached driftwood gray both to mimic the outdoors and to conceal tracked–in sand. Water hyacinth hemp rugs, which are practically impossible to destroy, define seating areas around the house.