Come Sail Away

written by:
photos by:
May 16, 2011
Originally published in Beach Houses We Love

On a quest to create a weekend house for herself and her husband, Nancy Church scaled back her design fantasies and discovered creative ways to build on a budget.

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  The home’s metal cladding is Pac-Clad, a material typically used for roofs.
    The home’s metal cladding is Pac-Clad, a material typically used for roofs.
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  To create a sense of luxury on a budget, the architect ran a thin concrete border along either side of the fireplace flue and flanked it with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The second story has two lofts joined by a steel bridge.
    To create a sense of luxury on a budget, the architect ran a thin concrete border along either side of the fireplace flue and flanked it with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The second story has two lofts joined by a steel bridge.
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  Church wanted a steel staircase inspired by a Jean Nouvel design. Her architect and contractor collaborated on an economical version that is used both inside and out.
    Church wanted a steel staircase inspired by a Jean Nouvel design. Her architect and contractor collaborated on an economical version that is used both inside and out.
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  Sleek frosted glass sliding doors partition off the back sleeping loft for privacy without impeding light. They also lend the space an ethereal demeanor, which is echoed in the translucent curtains made of parachute fabric from ParaGear.
    Sleek frosted glass sliding doors partition off the back sleeping loft for privacy without impeding light. They also lend the space an ethereal demeanor, which is echoed in the translucent curtains made of parachute fabric from ParaGear.
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  A close-up of the bookshelves made of MDF clad in bamboo veneer.
    A close-up of the bookshelves made of MDF clad in bamboo veneer.
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  Church and Jett use the front loft for both work and play, thanks to a vintage mid-century desk that converts to a game table.
    Church and Jett use the front loft for both work and play, thanks to a vintage mid-century desk that converts to a game table.
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  Mermet sun sails inspired by the nearby harbor shield Church and Jett from harsh sunlight, while practical, man-made planks by Veranda simulate wood but offer low maintenance and longevity. Bright orange Butterfly chairs from Circa50 add a pop of color.
    Mermet sun sails inspired by the nearby harbor shield Church and Jett from harsh sunlight, while practical, man-made planks by Veranda simulate wood but offer low maintenance and longevity. Bright orange Butterfly chairs from Circa50 add a pop of color.
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  Frosted TipChurch wanted open shelving above the kitchen counters, but DeSalvo convinced her to go with Ikea cabinets with frosted-glass doors to ensure a uniform look. He installed inexpensive strip LED lights by Zilotek on the top inside edge of the cabinets to provide ambient illumination and silhouette the contents inside.
    Frosted TipChurch wanted open shelving above the kitchen counters, but DeSalvo convinced her to go with Ikea cabinets with frosted-glass doors to ensure a uniform look. He installed inexpensive strip LED lights by Zilotek on the top inside edge of the cabinets to provide ambient illumination and silhouette the contents inside.
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  Extra FrostingDeSalvo designed a dramatically long, lean light fixture to hang over Church’s dining table out of simple off-the-shelf components from Menards. Four halogen pendant fixtures by Quantus hang in a row over a large, rectangular frosted-glass panel, which in turn is suspended from the ceiling on cables held in place with shelving brackets. Total cost: less than $200. menards.com
    Extra FrostingDeSalvo designed a dramatically long, lean light fixture to hang over Church’s dining table out of simple off-the-shelf components from Menards. Four halogen pendant fixtures by Quantus hang in a row over a large, rectangular frosted-glass panel, which in turn is suspended from the ceiling on cables held in place with shelving brackets. Total cost: less than $200. menards.com
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  Nouvel Approach 
When the Nouvel staircase proved too costly to copy, DeSalvo designed an affordable version. The treads are perforated bent steel plates that appear to float on a support tube, while the railings are made from tension cables and galvanized handrails and posts. It offers a similar level of architectural impact and sense of transparency at relatively low cost (both stairways, plus a matching catwalk, came in at $6,000).
    Nouvel Approach When the Nouvel staircase proved too costly to copy, DeSalvo designed an affordable version. The treads are perforated bent steel plates that appear to float on a support tube, while the railings are made from tension cables and galvanized handrails and posts. It offers a similar level of architectural impact and sense of transparency at relatively low cost (both stairways, plus a matching catwalk, came in at $6,000).
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  Epic SailTo reduce heat load and provide shade, DeSalvo initially tracked down a sail system from Sun Shade Australia. But the $6,000 price tag had the architect and contractor designing their own version out of Mermet solar screen fabric. It was fabricated by Covers Unlimited for $1,800. coversunlimitedinc.com
    Epic SailTo reduce heat load and provide shade, DeSalvo initially tracked down a sail system from Sun Shade Australia. But the $6,000 price tag had the architect and contractor designing their own version out of Mermet solar screen fabric. It was fabricated by Covers Unlimited for $1,800. coversunlimitedinc.com
  • 
  The architect covered the exterior in Pac-Clad, a metal roofing material, because it's "cost-effective, durable, maintenance-free, and comes in various colors," says Church.
    The architect covered the exterior in Pac-Clad, a metal roofing material, because it's "cost-effective, durable, maintenance-free, and comes in various colors," says Church.
  • 
  A view of Church and Jett's lush yard.
    A view of Church and Jett's lush yard.
  • 
  Jett seeks cell phone reception.
    Jett seeks cell phone reception.
  • 
  Church prepares a healthy lunch.
    Church prepares a healthy lunch.
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  In addition to a desk that doubles as a game table, the front upstairs loft houses a weathered leather Corbusier daybed.
    In addition to a desk that doubles as a game table, the front upstairs loft houses a weathered leather Corbusier daybed.
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  A pair of black leather butterfly chairs face off with Corbusier ottomans in front of the concrete-edged fireplace.
    A pair of black leather butterfly chairs face off with Corbusier ottomans in front of the concrete-edged fireplace.
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  Church, who specializes in robotic assisted surgery, is also a skilled knitter.
    Church, who specializes in robotic assisted surgery, is also a skilled knitter.
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  Jett rolls dough on a butcher block-topped storage unit that slides under the countertop to save space.
    Jett rolls dough on a butcher block-topped storage unit that slides under the countertop to save space.
  • 
  A closer look at the dining table and bench joinery.
    A closer look at the dining table and bench joinery.
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  A padded steel-and-metal bench runs the width of the living room, crossing below the television and in front of a ten-foot-high window. Despite the many design compromises Church had to make to accommodate her limited budget, "windows were the only items not up for discussion... they were the most costly items in the house."
    A padded steel-and-metal bench runs the width of the living room, crossing below the television and in front of a ten-foot-high window. Despite the many design compromises Church had to make to accommodate her limited budget, "windows were the only items not up for discussion... they were the most costly items in the house."
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  Early on in the design process, Church had to forgo her fantasy of concrete floors with radiant heat and a cast-concrete sink. But her gray-tiled bathroom satisfies her concrete-loving aesthetic at a much lower price point.
    Early on in the design process, Church had to forgo her fantasy of concrete floors with radiant heat and a cast-concrete sink. But her gray-tiled bathroom satisfies her concrete-loving aesthetic at a much lower price point.
  • 
  Church and Jett's bed is splashed with eclectic textiles and linens.
    Church and Jett's bed is splashed with eclectic textiles and linens.
  • 
  The second Jean Nouvel-inspired staircase lives outside, clinging to the side of the house and leading up to the roof deck, where there's a hot tub shaded by sun sails.
    The second Jean Nouvel-inspired staircase lives outside, clinging to the side of the house and leading up to the roof deck, where there's a hot tub shaded by sun sails.
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