Home Tour: Wakefield

A minimalist approach keeps the focus on the seaside location


There’s something about the allure of the Ocean State that draws most expats back, even if on a part-time basis. The Chans both grew up by the ocean in Westerly and, while they made their home in Wellesley, MA after finishing their medical training, always dreamed of one day owning a home near the ocean. “Once we were in the position to be able to buy a beach house, we really did not seriously consider anywhere other than South County, where we would not only be close to the ocean but also close to family,” says Mrs. Chan.

For their active family of four, the Wakefield location was the main selling point. The property is set back from the ocean on a salt pond, which offers protection from storms as well as opportunities for recreation while still offering views of the water and Block Island in the distance. “The features of the house that appealed to us most were the elevated living space, both for breathtaking views and for protection from storms, as well as the high ceilings, the multitude of south-facing windows, and the large deck,” Chan adds.

The open concept floor plan in the living, dining, and kitchen area required a furniture plan that would allow the space to function for their needs as well as create distinction between the three areas. Defining their decorating style as contemporary coastal, the Chans sought the expertise of Three Sparrows Interior Design, a small residential design firm located across the bay in Warren. “Since this was their beach home, they wanted the interior to reflect their surroundings but still have the essence of their clean minimalistic style,” says Nicole Martel, TSID interior designer.

While furnishings in main living spaces are streamlined and contemporary, livable textures like soft textiles and wood grains make them anything but sterile. A creamy backdrop of shiplap and barely-there – or none at all – window treatments keep the focus on the coveted views outside. A faded shoreline-inspired palette of sand, cloudy gray, and dusty indigo lend a coastal feel that is at once casual and elegant.

“It is calming, clean, inviting, and timeless,” says Chan of her seaside retreat. “From the furniture, to the rugs, to the pillows, to the beach-themed artwork, to the rustic wooden whale wall hanging, to the scent of the sandalwood vanilla candles...we could not be more happy with the way Nicole pulled everything together!”


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