With its sandy beaches, quaint villages, and historic lighthouses, Cape Cod is the epitome of luxurious living.
However, the most significant appeal of this Edenic peninsula is its distinctive architecture, dating back to Colonial times. Indeed, the houses erected on this coastal stretch reflect a culture long passed.
Notably, the exteriors of Cape Cod-style houses are deceptively simple and free from embellishments. Simplicity is a characteristic feature of Cape Cod charm.
The interiors, of course, are a different story altogether.
The interior designs of Cape Cod houses are based on coastal themes, evoking tranquility, splendor, and bliss. But how do you evoke such sentiments through interior design? Honestly, it’s easier than it sounds, and these eight Cape Cod interior design tips will nudge you in the right direction.
But first, let’s briefly dive into the history of the renowned Cape Cod-style houses.
The history of Cape Cod homes
- A symmetrical and rectangular design
- A low, single-story frame, sometimes with an additional half-story
- Steep-pitched gabled roofs
- A large central chimney
- Posts and beams
- Little ornamentations and embellishments on the exterior
- Low ceilings
- Symmetrical layout with a center hall
- Bedrooms in dormers
- Ample, open-concept living space
The settlers adopted this housing style to the weather of New England, which is cold and prone to heavy rainfall and snowfall. This explains the steep roofs, large chimneys, and multi-paned windows.
But while this earlier style caught on like wildfire, many of the modern Cape Cod houses you see today are a product of a revival project conducted in the 20th century. The credit goes to the renowned architect Royal Barry Wills, who reimagined the colonial Cape Cod houses and presented them as a contemporary choice of housing.
The dominant characteristics of these Revival Cape Cod houses were reticence, the modesty of scale, and conventional proportions, much like the exteriors of a traditional Cape Cod house. However, the interior was adapted into a more modern design.
If you want to retire in beautiful Cape Cod and enjoy its peaceful lifestyle, contact The Caron Group today.
Eight interior design tips for a perfect Cape Cod home
1. Use a pastel color palette
Typically, Cape Cod homes feature a soft pastel color palette with stark accents along the baseboards. These soft hues are in perfect harmony with the serene ambiance of the oceanside.
In contrast, think about tropical towns that feature bright and eccentric colors to complement the vivid scenery surrounding them. Bright yellows, pinks, reds, and greens are compatible with the colorful flora of these regions. However, these colors might clash with an oceanic backdrop.
Furthermore, bright colors are often a very personal choice for homeowners. If you use bright colors while staging a home, you might hinder the buyer’s ability to actually picture themselves living there.
Of course, this is not to say that you can’t employ any bright colors at all. Instead, bright colors can and should be used through furnishing or wall accents but shouldn’t dominate the general color palette.
2. Use coastal colors
According to color psychology, blue colors are associated with tranquility and calmness. They create an atmosphere of comfort and peace, which is perfectly in theme with coastal living.
While soft pastels complement the surroundings, using blue tones will render your home an extension of the outside environment. In other words, your Cape Cod house won’t simply be on the coast but rather a part of it. This is a good strategy for staging as it emphasizes the oceanside appeal of Cape Cod houses.
Furthermore, blue hues pair well with virtually any color. While white accents are most popular, you can experiment with a vibrant orange, red, pink, or green — the possibilities are truly endless.
3. Decorate with nautical accessories
Nautical accessories refer to any decoration or trinket that is reminiscent of the sea. This includes seashells, ships-in-a-bottle, miniature anchors, navigation wheels, starfish — basically, anything that you would see along the cape.
As the proverb dictates, the devil lies in the details. When it comes to staging your Cape Cod home, nautical accessories can be very effective. They bring elements from the surrounding cape into your house, echoing the charm of the coast and beyond.
4. Use rustic or wicker furniture
As such, you should stick with something that is a little more modest, such as wicker furniture. Wicker furniture is made from pliable twigs, woven to create items such as baskets, chairs, and bookshelves, thereby instilling a more “beachy” appeal.
If you want to add a little more flair, you could also use rustic, clean-lined, and handmade wood furniture. This is characteristic of the traditional early American-style furniture from the 17th century when colonizers settled in the New World. By using such furniture, you’ll essentially recreate the interior design of the original Cape Cod houses from the Colonial period.
What better way to showcase a Cape Cod house than by alluding to its rich history?
5. Mix and match
In fact, marrying different styles and aesthetics will bring a more homely appeal to your Cape Cod house. Full furniture sets belong in furniture showrooms; in reality, people accumulate different furniture styles over time, leading to varied yet cohesive furnishing.
For example, you could pair a wicker couch with a rustic table. Or, you could use a statement piece (whether modern or Victorian) and surround it with more simple furniture.
6. Make it cozy
So, what’s the best way to make a home feel more home-like? Here are some tips:
- Don’t use furniture sets; instead, use an amalgamation of different styles of furniture
- Add throw blankets and cushions in the living room
- Accentuate the fireplaces
- Make use of plants and floral decorations
- Lay down a plush rug
7. Keep it roomy and spacious
Open-concept living space is a defining feature of the traditional Cape Cod house. Minimal walls and conjoined living spaces create a more spacious, open, and roomy feel.
As such, try to keep the interior as open as possible so that people can see a true Cape Cod house in all its glory. While staging, keep the following tips in mind to maximize spaciousness:
- Remove all clutter and don’t use too much furniture
- Layer lighting by going dark to light vertically: for example, try a navy rug, blue linens, and sky blue curtains
- Use mirrors to reflect more light and project it across the room
- Use muted colors
8. Pay attention to the foyer
Typically, the foyer will have a statement lighting piece, such as a chandelier or an antique lamp. Make sure that the lighting in the foyer is bright, and replace any dim bulbs.
As far as the colors go, throw in a few specks of color from the house’s color palette, much like a sneak peek into what’s to come. Similarly, you can use other dominant elements from your décor in the foyer to tie everything together.
If you’re ready to stage your Cape Cod home and want to work with an experienced realtor, reach out to The Caron Group, which can meet all your needs.