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Spielberg slept here

This Martha's Vineyard vacation home stands where the 'Jaws' director camped out decades ago.

By Jaci Conry
July 31, 2011

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There's perhaps no more perfect setting for a summer home than on the tranquil outskirts of Edgartown, perched high on a hill with an unimpeded view of Nantucket Sound. One Boston area couple found just such a parcel in 2006, and this particular place had somewhat storied origins: Steven Spielberg had called a cabin on the property home during the 1974 production of Jaws. But the new owners have two children and were looking for a haven tailor-made for them.

The new house they had built on the site, conceived by Hutker Architects Inc. of Falmouth, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, has one clever nod to the structure it replaced, though: One hallway has walls made of logs salvaged from the old cabin. That feature is perfectly in keeping with the relaxed vibe of the home’s interior, a combination of open living spaces and cozy niches. Bright colors, bold geometric shapes, and varied textures – stone, hemp, cashmere, suede, Lucite – abound.

“The homeowners wanted a house that was inviting, mellow, and simple,” says Liz McCabe, the Dedham-based designer they hired for the project. “They also wanted the interiors to be fun and practical.”

Selected for its simplicity, much of the furniture is modern. “We kept to a budget,” says McCabe. “Some pieces were very reasonable, and others were more expensive.” The porch room, which opens to the pool, contains a pale green Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair – scored at a bargain price on eBay – along with a more expensive Wegner piece, the Shell Chair, made of bent-walnut veneers, bought at Design Within Reach in Cambridge. An end table was a yard sale find, spruced up by McCabe with a can of marine varnish. In the living room, a tree trunk from a local flower market serves as a table between two Wassily chairs, designed by modernist Marcel Breuer.

In the dining room, a marble-topped pedestal Eero Saarinen table is paired with Philippe Starck chairs made of clear polycarbonate. The chairs were chosen for their durability, as was the room’s octagonal carpet, made of Bolon woven vinyl, a product that’s typically used in commercial spaces and can be hosed off.

The home has many window seats, ideal for curling up with a book. Some were upholstered with resilient outdoor fabrics and then dressed up with vibrant throw pillows –?a number custom-made, others from IKEA.

“The owners have kids. They have dogs. They expect the house to get messy,” says McCabe. “It’s a summer house meant for casual living.”

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