Home Tour: A Narragansett Vacation Home Gets a Summer-Ready Redesign

A shoreline palette and plenty of windows connect with the Great Island location

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“I grew up coming to Narragansett every summer,” Kathy Beam recollects. “My aunt lived on Great Island and I always hoped I could bring my own family there each summer someday.” For those who aren’t familiar with this remote spot, it’s a small island accessed by turning onto Great Island Road off the fittingly named Galilee Escape Road. Streets in this sleepy seaside community have names like Periwinkle Road, Starfish Drive, and Sandpiper Road. Little Comfort Island is connected and there are views of Potato Island, Goose Island, perhaps even Block Island on a clear day, and the ferry terminal is just a bike ride away.

When Kathy and Kevin Beam first spotted the house it was a modest cottage, built in 1955. “The original house was completely remodeled and only around 1,000 square feet but it was the perfect summer cottage for our small family of four.” The Beams signed the papers and the very next month discovered Kathy was pregnant with their third child. To accommodate, they added on to the house, which now stands at 4,500 square feet with three bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Fast-forward: There’s now a household of young adults and the Beams love to host family and friends, so it was time to rethink a couple of rooms; Kim Peterson of KEP Interior Designs in East Greenwich was enlisted. “The home had a tiny kitchen and all summer they like to entertain, so they needed more space. They reached out to me to also help with colors,” says Peterson, who then worked with the pair on the powder room, master bed and bath, and stairwell to the master bedroom. “The Beams wanted a casual elegant coastal feeling without being ‘typical beachy’,” Peterson explains.

During this year, Peterson has found a niche doing remodels while homeowners are out of state at their primary residence. “I so enjoy working by the water and it’s fun to be the eyes and ears of clients while they’re not in person for all aspects of the project. It’s also fun to have them visit on occasion during the process and to see their excitement as things come together!”

Looking out the kitchen window, Kathy says, “I think living at the beach, you want very soft colors and again furniture that is fun for entertaining and socializing. We have a very big dining room table that seats twelve and many fun celebrations have taken place around this table.” Smiling, she adds, “Our house is a very fun house.”

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