If you know Ken Fulk, chances are you know his dogs, a trio of English cream golden retrievers (better known, perhaps, as #polarbearsofptown) and a wire-haired dachshund that populate the wire Interior designer Instagram AD100. So it’s perhaps no surprise that the story of this home — a newly built shingle number on Nantucket — begins with a trip to the vet. When Fulk, who has a home in Provincetown, Mass., took the dogs for a checkup, he never guessed that local P-Town vet Dr. Stephen DeVincent would become a future client.
“I met Ken’s dogs before I met Ken,” jokes DeVincent. That was around 2007. Fast forward over a decade. DeVincent, who now does conservation work in Kenya with the Karen Blixen Camp Trust, had married Ambassador Rufus Gifford, U.S. chief of protocol and former ambassador to Denmark, and they were building a house in Nantucket. Gifford’s family had a long history on the island, where he grew up spending summers and vacations, and the couple were willing to create their own place on a property lot overlooking the beach. “Nantucket has always felt like home,” DeVincent explains, “Provincetown has always felt like home.” So when it came time to hire a designer, they immediately thought of Fulk – who better to merge these two coastal identities? An added bonus: over the years, they had become close friends.
“It was a new home, but we wanted it to feel rooted in its place and its history,” says Fulk, who was inspired by coastal New England whaling towns (including Provincetown, of course). ), toying with the idea of what a Nantucket beachfront home might look like. They paired the typical (in many cases mandatory) shingles with dark trim and a moody palette that had a more historic feel than was typical in the area. “He has an almost masculine character and we leaned into that.”
Building something from the ground up is no small feat in a place like Nantucket where the location of a window or the slope of a roof can draw scrutiny from the historical commission. Eventually, after working closely with Connecticut-based architectural firm Shope Reno Wharton, they landed on a classic shingle-style structure — a kind of gable-roofed sandwich — that felt both comfortable and seaside and most importantly, in DeVincent’s words, “like it’s been there a long time.”
For the interiors, Fulk worked his magic, cultivating a mix of New England antiques, heirlooms, and Scandinavian design references that gave the home personality and soul. “We were really aware that it didn’t feel like a new home,” he explains. “We wanted him to feel collected. And in a house surrounded by water, we wanted everything to have a natural patina. Vintage and antique furniture scavenged from online marketplaces 1stDibs and Chairish as well as LA emporium Obsolete was mixed with classics from Ralph Lauren Home, Design Within Reach and RH. Phillip Jeffries’ textured wallpapers and unexpected Farrow & Ball hues, like the office’s dark brown mahogany, made for a cozy spot, which DeVincent and Gifford planned to use year-round.