It was their first house. "Being New York designers, we've done a lot of apartments," says Keren Richter, one half of the husband-wife team behind interiors studio White Arrow. "So it was really interesting to work on a project where there was an architect, and he was, like, putting on a roof." Nevermind that the couple—who just founded their firm in 2014—have already designed the Brooklyn home of Million Dollar Listing agent Ryan Serhant, and are finishing up model condo units for Brooklyn Point, soon to be the tallest building in the borough.
A house was uncharted territory. Located in a place they'd never been.
Said roof tops off a circa-1800 farmhouse on Martha's Vineyard, part of which was once the town of Chilmark's post office. Being a vacation home, it is intentionally worlds away from the bustle of the city: "They're across from a farm, and then beyond the farm, you see the ocean. It's a complete fantasy—there are no houses," Keren says.
There were funky hallways and outdated finishes to reimagine, but from an architectural perspective, it was all about making the most of that highly restorative scene out the windows. Architect Chuck Sullivan of Sullivan + Associates Architects was figuring out a new layout when White Arrow came on board to do the interiors.
"The house was chopped up into a lot of different rooms," he explains. "Where the kitchen is now was a back bedroom, without any views or light, so we opened that up. And there was never really an entryway: You came in the side door directly into the kitchen. That became the living room, since it has the primary views. To take advantage of those views was the main priority."
Bit by bit, the house had been added onto over onto the years, resulting in a rambling architecture that the team would embrace but also update. A new master suite—equipped with double-height ceilings and a soaring canopy bed—was added onto one end of the house as a proper retreat. Mural wallpaper depicting a scene in some faraway land embraces you right when you enter the mudroom. On the whole, the new design scheme is cohesive, even understated, but every room has a distinctive punch.
"When you're driving by the house, it looks like there's a small little village tucked away, all these little houses together," says Keren. "Sometimes I love a large, dramatic room. But I also do think there is something sweet about having a series of rooms that have their own function, and they all kind of relate to each in this story, rather than you see everything all at once."
Sitting Room (Formerly the Post Office)
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