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Nantucket New Build : Island Staging Style

Creating a staging plan for a quintessential Nantucket new build on a budget is not an easy endeavor. In addition, having 3 months until install makes it even more exciting. That's the thing about most staging projects, timelines and budgets are tight, and logistics are everything. We can design the best space ever, but if the furniture doesn't arrive, we have a problem. That's where the rubber meets the road. And most of our clients have a budget, even for a 6 million dollar home.

When perusing through the gazillion projects on social medial, I rarely see design concepts with how things play out. That's why I thought it might be fun to do a (very long) post about the adventures in staging a home on Nantucket. This project was a dream client and I am so grateful for such a magical opportunity.

Nantucket, as many know, is an island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Many vendors (Pottery Barn) don't realize that it is an actual island, and they will have Nantucket as a shipping option when in fact they do not ship furniture there. Vendors that are known for order delays or problematic quality, are not recommended. Keep in mind, damaged furniture cannot be easily returned when return shipping includes a ferry and can cost hundreds of dollars. When shipping to an island, things can get very complex if you don't have the right contacts to orchestrate the logistics. Ideally, you want to ship all things to one shipper that can ferry everything over in one trip. Each group furniture shipment can average 2-3k in cost. So, obviously it helps to consolidate those big deliveries.

Also, getting a car to the island needs to be booked at least 6 months in advance, otherwise you get on the waitlist which can be "iffy". Good news is that there are always a few spots reserved, bad news is that there may be 10k people on the list. You can rent cars and I think it's absolutely worth having a car there. The cost to ferry the car was $600, plus ferry tickets for the team.

Once you're on the island, home decor shopping is limited to luxury shopping. The "go to" shop for basic housewares is Marine Home Center. Here you'll find most things you would need for a home. The catch is that for staging a home or an AirBnb, the options are very costly. They have a fabulous collection of linens by Matouk, Sferra, John Robshaw and Peacock Alley. A Matouk flat sheet starts at about $135. Yes, these are gorgeous linens and for functional living in my opinion, not typically in the necessary budget for staging. However, keep in mind, a rental home on Nantucket can go for 50k per week so it is necessary to give those luxury guests what they are accustomed to at home.

Our team stayed at the Nantucket Inn , the least expensive hotel at $700 per night at the time.(early Aug) The hotel was under renovation but the rooms were nice and updated. We liked that the rooms were separated from the lobby. They had a few snacks available but we were not really into those. There was no restaurant or bar so we ended up eating at the airport diner for 6am breakfasts and it was walking distance across the street. It's really great there for early risers who like to mingle with town folk.

On the way to the house, we would stop at

Born and Bread for their berry scones which are TO DIE FOR!!! We brought a bag of them home because they are simply the best scones we've ever had. Get them early bc they sell out! And buy extras because sharing is not part of the scone plan.

Onto the house...

The design vibe I had in mind was like, if Ralph Lauren married Serena & Lily and had an artsy child. (haha) I wanted to capture the essence of Nantucket with an organic newness. There is an old school, unpretentiousness in the people that actually live there. Luxury is not always implied but certainly a sense of wealth is in the air. Wealth in the state of being there with family, experiencing the nature of the island. Experiencing the community and the history of such a special place.

The Family Room Concept

In the family room, I wanted to design a quirky Captain's chair so I worked with Matt at Vetere Custom Woodworks. a local New Englander, whom I worked with on the Cape Cod Idea House staging. The organic shape of the root console table is a nod to the island vibe.

Accessories from Brimfield Antique Market, Ralph Lauren, an Ashley Stark animal print rug, and subtle stripes in deep navy accent the large space.

Powder Room Details: Grenada wallpaper, Art by Chelsea Fly, an artist I discovered while in Memphis TN. (Her studio is so cool.) Acrylic frame on an acrylic stand. Mirror from Uttermost.

Dining Room Concept

Custom drapes by Pepper Home, green leather Burano slingback counter stools, and Serena & Lily cane dining set which did not end up shipping, was replaced by Arhaus Kroy Cane dining set which actually turned out looking better because of the black, cerused, wood finish. I wanted to use the Verellen counter stools that looked like whale tails (below photo) however, they were out of budget at 3k each. Instead, the green leather worked out perfectly though and highlighted the green throughout. Sadly, those green stools are no longer available and they are so fabulous.

Mudroom concept

Framed prints from historic plans of buildings like the Wharf Rat Club, and the Greek Revival,1827 Trinity Church on Centre Street.

Primary Bedroom Concept: Indigo grasscloth wallpaper, a painted four post bed from Kelly Hoppen's Sonder Living collection.

Twin Bedroom concept: Thibaut Anna French fabrics and wallpaper.

The rug didn't make the shipment but we ended up adding later. Handmade wooden whale by local New Englander Plum Island Drift. An antique door stop from one of my fave antique shops on the Cape called, Antique Center of Yarmouth. (go there before getting on the ferry to ACK)

2nd Bedroom Concept

The Pottery Barn dresser never arrived. The desk situation was rearranged because the closet had a large room that was a lovely area for dressing or lounging. And look how much brighter blue the bed looks in person. The adjacent wall was wood paneled and looks so beautiful. Also loved this rug from Etsy.

Flex Room Concept

My concept was to print large on acrylic, a photo I personally took of a lobster shack menu in Maine. The other artwork piece is from Nantucket Photographer, Lauren Martilla called "Hesitation. Unfortunately the art piece was not in place at the time the listing photos were taken and I would have styled that shot differently (like below right) if I had been there. But I'm sure it looks great now that the art has changed. The room has wood ceiling beams that provide a nice contrast to the beautiful light. The Builder added many beautiful wood accents throughout the home.

Office Concept: As a nod to Nantucket's art culture, I wanted this room to be an artist space.

We incorporated some antique watercolors from an unknown painter's portfolio found at a NH antique market.

Lower Level Lounge Concept

This area has a bar and gym area as well as a lounging area for watching tv or gaming. I wanted to use a textural art piece with nautical rope and this one by Lauren Williams was perfect.

Lower Level Guest Bedroom Concept

Ended up using the trunk in place of the dresser and no art except the antique, hand carved, wood ship sign I found online at auction. It's actually quite large but my iphone photos are not great.

Backyard Outdoor Concepts

Custom hanging bed in the Pool House. I don't have pics of the finished spaces because the weather was pretty crazy at the time of install.

Here are a few other shots from bathrooms and the exterior. One of the bathroom mirrors was shattered when delivered so we used Nantucket Glass to replace the mirrored glass.

Thanks for visiting our blog and taking a peek into our Nantucket project. We have a new Nantucket project in the works and we're excited to incorporate the lessons learned with our latest design ideas, historical references, and vintage finds from local New England sources.

Stay Tuned!


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