Island homes are often either informal beach houses or Gatsby-esque grand estates. For this Martha’s Vineyard residence, interior designer Elizabeth Georgantas of GEORGANTAS Design + Development was challenged to come up with the perfect middle ground, something proper yet playful. Her clients, a finance executive and a retired ballerina, set out to create the ultimate playground for their family. The couple met, fell in love, and married on the island and had the opportunity to renovate an existing family house that was part of a compound set one pathway away from her parents. Drawing upon theatre and fantasy, they wanted to make every childhood dream come true for their two school-aged kids.
On the day of this photo shoot, there were a pair of pants at the bottom of the pool. No one knew who the pants belonged to, but Jackie Smith, a real estate mega-agent and the matriarch of the house, has a lead on which kid launched them there. “This is truly the house where everybody comes,” says her husband, Dennis, a designer and builder. “On a Friday night, there will be about 13 kids of all different ages over here.” Plus three dogs, two cats, and a male hamster named Susan.
The words summer home conjure sun-soaked days and beach breezes—basically an indoor-outdoor disconnect from the world. Before the design and architectural firm Kureck Jones got to work on this Martha’s Vineyard house, built in the early 2000s, it was the opposite of a breezy vacation home. “It was a dated warren of rooms, really dark and internal,” says John Kureck.