Briar Patch -September/October 2007

Touring a gorgeous Quidnet home

by: Elizabeth Stankek

photography by: Terry Pommett

If the whitewashed tongue-and-groove paneling of Briar Patch could talk, perhaps it would whisper of summer dinner parties, and the magical glow of lanterns hung from a pergola climbing with wisteria and trumpet vines.

It might mention the bees, once raised out back in hives bordering the lush conservation land and Eat Fire Spring, or the way the birds, viewed from the upstairs screened-in porch, make their flight from Sesachacha Pond to the harbor.

Yet it would probably mostly whisper about the abundance of beloved cottontails that find their home among the dense tangle of vegetation on the property – rabbits that were both an inspiration for Briar Patch’s name, and also its muse.

While Nantucket is brimming with gorgeous homes, it’s imperative to grasp, and obvious once experienced, that this Quidnet home has a spirit – a welcome spirit.

“We loved it immediately,” says the owner. “You knew it had been a happy home, a well-loved home.” This spirit was created and tended by the original owner who adored nature, her bees and bunnies, and it continues to linger like the calm before an afternoon shower.

“There are a lot of happy coincidences in this house,” says the owner, who deems the purchase of Briar Patch “meant to be.” Lunch at Even Keel on the closing day of the sale seemed rather serendipitous when she saw a little boy with something wrapped up in his arms. That something, on closer inspection, was none other than a rabbit.

Yet there was no coincidence when it came down to selecting an interior designer to help the owners infuse their own sense of selves into this house born of good bones that encapsulates an essence of blissful summers past. When asked for a recommendation, the one name that immediately crossed everyone’s lips was Trudy Dujardin of Dujardin Design Associates, Inc. based in Westport, Conn. and Nantucket.

“Whenever a client buys a house furnished and brings in a designer, the challenge is melding our own ideas and the vision that we see fit for the new owners,” says Dujardin, who has graced numerous island homes with her fine detailing and elegant designs. “We wanted to keep the spirit of Briar Patch alive, make it special, and speak of Nantucket. In this case, it worked like a dream.”

A dreamlike aura does in fact emanate from Briar Patch, where soft classical music occasionally flows through the front screen door, past the porch swing and abundance of pink and blue hydrangea. Antique wood floors that the original owner had brought from an old inn, coupled with the whitewashed tongue-and groove-paneling, dates Briar Patch in the mind much older than its early 1990s construction. And as first impressions go, the lofty soaring ceilings are not at all off-putting, but instead create a welcoming open feel akin to nothing other than the perfect summer house.

Latest issue...

To view the magazine full size, click the image above.