This Perfect New England Farmhouse Was Once a Post Office

10/10 would send this house a love letter.

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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.

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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There were funky hallways and outdated finishes to reimagine, but from an architectural perspective, it was all about making the most of that highly restorative scene out the windows.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."

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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."

Mud Room

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The new entryway doubles as a mudroom, thanks to a bench and cabinets (just out of sight). Floor tile: slate in a herringbone pattern. Paint: Cloud White, Benjamin Moore.
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We try to have something be sort of an unexpected surprise, like the Ananbo wall mural in the powder room," says Keren. Sink console and faucet: Waterworks.
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Living Room

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Before: What was formerly a kitchen didn't do much to maximize the views.
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Being so near to the entryway, it was reimagined as a place for the whole family to collapse and relax upon arrival. Sofa: Indigo-dyed canvas, Stephen Kenn x Simon Miller. Rug: vintage Moroccan Toureg. Coffee table: Mark Tuckey. Chair: Sol y Luna.
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A mini-bar tucked into one corner stashes cocktail ingredients at the ready. Reclaimed wood from the original house were used for the shelves.
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Kitchen

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Before: The home's former living room (slash office?) was a bit more tucked away, better for use as a kitchen.
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Keren credits Sullivan's new window scheme with the home's excess of natural light, but also went with a warm white paint—Benjamin Moore's Cloud White—to brighten it further. A butternut wood countertop takes the place of more typical butcher block. Faucet: Perrin & Rowe.
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"We really wanted this space to pick up on the coastal location, but not have it read as nautical," Keren explains. "If there's blue, it's through something like the blue Lacanche oven. So it's not overly wrought with seashells everywhere—nothing against seashells. Potfiller: Rohl.
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Master Bedroom

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A master suite was added onto the far end of the house: "So when you pass through the kitchen, you go up a few tiny stairs, and then on the right is the office, on the left is their dressing room, and then you go into this grand master bedroom," Keren explains. Floor finish: white Rubio.
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Keren selected the Mark Tuckey canopy bed to create a sense of intimacy in the double-height room. Ottoman: vintage Franco Albini. Accordion shades: Kaare Klint.
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Study

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"This house definitely has different moods depending on where you are," Keren explains. "Their office is more like this cozy space and they can also watch movies in there." Paint: Portola. Coffee table and velvet couch: Popp and Scott. Desk: Hedge House. Desk chair: Jens Risom.
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Staircase

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Before: Dark and blue.
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Sullivan deemed an old staircase to be in working order, so Keren painted it to match the rest of the house and topped it with a Merida runner.
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Dining Room

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Before: French doors opened up from a living room to what was formerly the town post office.
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"This house in the evening is just spectacular when the sun hits. Everything just kind of glows," Keren says. During the holidays, the family can fit up to eight guests at the extendable table. Pendant: Bert and Frank. Dining chairs: DWR."
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Sitting Room (Formerly the Post Office)

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Before: The Richters removed the shelving and ceiling fan from the original room, and then painted it white.
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They decided against insulating this room to preserve its rustic nature, but the fireplace keeps it toasty in a New England winter. "We talk a lot about sun porches and screened-in porches, these seasonal rooms that are really summer oriented, but this is more of a winter concept that also happens to work in the summer," says Keren. "It's really a magical kind of bonus room for winter." Coffee table: vintage George Nakashima (t=he owner's father picked out its wood topper with the designer in the 60s). Chairs: vintage Marcel Breuer.
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