A designer outfits a waterfront cabin with a trove of lost and found objects
When designer Tim Pfeiffer and his partner, Matt Carvalho, stumbled upon this 1890s house after years of searching for a vacation home on the island, the place had become, in Pfeiffer’s words, a “barnacle colony”: A hodgepodge of decorative eras, with peeling linoleum flooring, shag carpeting, multiple roofs, chipped paint, and pink plywood walls.
But over the course of a year, Pfeiffer spearheaded a gut renovation of the roughly 1,900-square-foot home. The result is a design that’s timeless and—at last—cohesive. White cedar-paneled walls, Douglas fir floors, and salvaged doors and fixtures form the design’s backbone. “We’re giving the place back its historic character that’s been stripped away,” notes Pfeiffer.
That character comes through in the pieces Pfeiffer chose for the spaces too—a mix of primitive nautical objects and well-loved antiques that are casual enough for sandy feet. “I’ve always been a treasure hunter,” says Pfeiffer, who grew up in Tacoma antiquing with his grandmother and later spent years scouting Europe’s flea markets as the vice president of store design at Ralph Lauren. “I learned to dig for the good stuff, to appreciate the craftsmanship of things.”
Follow along to see how to achieve the look.