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Inside a sprawling New England estate geared to multi-generational living

A shift in lifestyle and location sees a young family investing in a waterside home to last a lifetime

By House & Garden South Africa | July 12, 2022 | Interiors

The project, in collaboration with designer Nicole Hogarty, saw the birth of a sprawling New England estate geared to multi-generational living.

When it comes to fantasies of escape, private islands rank highly as a dream destination in which to get away from it all. Although the average mind might conjure a more tropical scenario for an escape, a Nantucket destination proves that cosy New England can offer just as dreamy a respite from the comings and goings of modern life.

Favouring rich textures over colour, Nicole Hogarty used leather, metal, wood, linen, boucles, dark marble, soft white and taupe. Photographed by Douglas Friedman

To be clear, these aren’t holidaymakers: they’re here to stay. When Henry Helgeson set a public record for selling his credit card processing company Cayan for over $1b, he and his wife Savannah made the decision to pour time and effort into their real estate portfolio and make the move to what they intend to be a multigenerational, forever home for their young family. For Nicole Hogarty of Nicole Hogarty designs, it was essential that the uniquely striking setting of the Hogartys’ 63-acre coastal Nantucket estate was highlighted from every aspect of the house, while its interiors achieved a distinctive look to set the house apart from the average seaside abode.

‘We were mindful of keeping the focus on the water view while designing the space,’ says Nicole. ‘We designed double-sided custom sectionals to ensure everyone had their favourite spot to take in the view. We favoured rich textures over colour.’ This included the incorporation of leather, metal, wood, linen, plushy boucles, textured walls, dark marble, soft white and taupe.

The kitchen and family room incorporates materials such as striking marble and tile, while a custom banquette encourages guests to linger after dinner. Photographed by Douglas Friedman
The home celebrates the work of local craftsmen, artisans and artists. Photographed by Douglas Friedman

Loyal to their locale even as they intentionally distanced their property from the region’s design clichés, the owners and designer ensured that details of the home drew on New England for inspiration and the creation of key pieces. ‘From day one, they approached this project with a sense of community,’ says Nicole of the owners, who have unquestionably adopted Nantucket as their home.

They enlisted the expertise of a sought-after builder with deep roots in the region, who has lived and worked in Nantucket for 20 years. ‘When it came time to procure art, sculpture or a few of the smaller furniture pieces, we were able to call on local shops and artisans,’ says Nicole. ‘The home was a true celebration of local talent.’ On the topic of celebration, another key consideration for Nicole and the homeowners was creating a space in which all manner of occasions could be marked with time spent in good company.

With no shortage of room or views, the home has numerous pause areas created for moments of quiet. Photographed by Douglas Friedman
With its texture-forward, colour-neutral approach, the bedroom has a sanctuary feel. Photographed by Douglas Friedman

Wherever they are in the world, Henry and Savannah maintain an open-door policy for friends and family who might want to drop by, and it went without saying that this would go for their new family home. The main structure of the gambrel, shingle-style house spans nearly 930 square metres over two levels with five bedrooms, five and-a-half baths, wine cellar, loft and wraparound porch, while the outdoor living space includes a cabana, pool and boat house.

With a large property encompassing numerous areas for recreation and relaxation, the opportunities for fun were endless, but designing with an eye to cohesion and flow was key. ‘We were excited to furnish the home in a way that visually blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor living,’ explains Nicole. ‘It was important for us to design a space that would allow our clients to enjoy the entire property. Everyone can travel from the main house to the pool, cabana, tennis court and beyond with ease. You will see and feel touches of the main house throughout the property, but each structure still carries its own identity. It’s more of an energy that connects each of the spaces.’

The bathroom might be the most striking example of the home’s departure from traditional New England coastal style, unconventional materials and clean lines make for a modern approach. Photographed by Douglas Friedman

Words by Cayleigh Bright