The Most Perfectly Designed Cape Cod Vacation Home
When designer and photographer Jaimie Baird talks about her family beach home in the town of Osterville, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, the word family doesn't just refer to her husband, Chip, and their children, Loch, 12; Blake, 10; and Olive, 8. It also encompasses grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends with kids of their own. "We have seven bedrooms, and we can sleep 26 in the main house and four in the pool house," she says, adding that pullout sofas and deep window seats make excellent extra bunks.
The Bairds, who live most of the year in Lower Manhattan, where Chip works in finance, head to the Cape for holiday weekends during the school year and decamp there for the entire summer. "We live a busy life in the city," says Baird. "I wanted this to be a place to relax and recharge."
She also wanted every detail to be personal and considered: "When I met with our architect, Peter Pometti of Architectural Innovations, who was also our contractor, I handed him an 85-page bound document with room-by-room specifications for how the house would be finished and decorated," she says. "I'd already checked the inventory on everything—even the color of the grout for the bathrooms." It was that attention and diligent legwork that delivered a new and fully furnished 8,000-square-foot home just 10 months later.
Baird's aesthetic is emphatic: She makes bold, calculated, and clever choices. She gravitated to a neutral palette (Benjamin Moore's White 01 for nearly every wall, and Black Beauty for the kitchen cabinets and powder room), with rugs and bed linens providing warm color. The hurricane-proof floor-to-ceiling window walls in the kitchen and great room are collapsible for true indoor-outdoor living. There's even a well-placed six-inch space between the kids' bunk beds and the walls, "which means no wrestling matches with mattresses when you make them," she says. And since she knew she wanted to suspend a stone trough for the sink in the powder room, she had heavy-duty steel brackets built into the framework of the house.
But as practical as she is, Baird is also a softie when it comes to sentimental touches. A desk from the beauty salon her mother ran for 45 years lives on as a night stand in a guest bedroom: "It's where she kept the cash, and it represents all her hard work to raise my sister and me as a single mom." And family photos are a focal point, to put it mildly: Exactly 600 of them in identical IKEA frames line the walls of the home's basement crafts-and-movie space. "It's important that in every room, there are things from your roots that ground you," she says. Mission more than accomplished.
In the great room, seen here, reclaimed-wood beams bring rustic character; vintage chairs from Hollywood at Home, in Los Angeles, have creamy linen cushions that complement the upholstery on the RH sofa. Jaimie Baird stands next to a wrought-iron and mango-wood coffee table from Wisteria; she had the television tucked into a cabinet next to the fireplace.
Escape to the Cape
The mudroom, which leads to an outdoor shower, has shiplap walls, slate-tile floors, copper lights scored at the Brimfield Antique Flea Market in Massachusetts, and closets with perforated doors—"something that's been done in England for years," says Baird. "They're great for stinky sports stuff and provide places for everything, so the house stays super-clean.
A Family-Friendly Kitchen
The gang's all here! From left, Olive, Chip, Jaimie, Blake, and Loch all gather in the kitchen. Though it's a family-friendly space, they often have impromptu parties for 25 in this open space, too. "We grill marinated steak tips and chicken, and have friends bring sides and dessert." The top of the island is lightly veined Bianco Imperial marble sealed with Clearstone ("you can spill red wine on it and swoosh it off"); the reproduction industrial-style light fixtures are from Ann-Morris in New York City; the leather Collins counter stools are from Serena & Lily. And the unlacquered-brass faucet is by Waterworks.
A Serene Study
Baird saw a pocket of "dead space" next to the home's upstairs laundry room as an opportunity. She covered the walls with Imprint Wallpaper vinyl covering from Villa Nova, in Fondant, and turned it into an office where she edits photographs and the kids do homework. The desktop is made of cerused (aka lime-finished) oak; the chairs are vintage, reupholstered in Rebecca Wood fabric; and the globe light is from Roman and Williams Guild.
The nightstand and four-poster bed in the first-floor guest room are from Noir, and the mirror is by RH. The curtains are made of linen from Raoul Textiles, and the rug was spotted at a clearance sale at Anthropologie. "I'll shop everywhere, from flea markets to Roman and Williams Guild," Baird says. "I love the thrill of the hunt."
The home's bathrooms have walk-in showers to accommodate "our parents' getting older," Baird says. The master bath's shower head is from Waterworks, and the black tub is Penhaglion. Baird bought the vintage rug on a trip to Marrakech. On Etsy, she found a small South Carolina company to make muslin café curtains.
The wing chair in Loch's room belonged to Baird's grandfather; she reupholstered it in Zak+Fox fabric.
A Window Seat/Bed
The photos in the children's play space capture "family memories on Cape Cod over the past 12 years," Baird says. "We've been coming to Osterville since my son was born." The stools are from Steven Alan—"their home department is a well-kept secret"—and the stainless-steel-topped table once graced her mom's kitchen.