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About Nantucket

11 Lily Street

by Rebecca Nimerfroh
architecture by Emeritus, ltd.
interior design by Audrey Sterk Design
photography by Cary Hazlegrove, Liz Nemeth and Wendy Mills

As the old bridal adage describes “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” the same could be said about the beautifully curated interior of 11 Lily Street, a careful blend of old meets new that creates a feeling of heavenly matrimony. “We wanted the fixtures and furniture to feel familiar,” says designer Audrey Sterk, who was hired by the homeowner for this project. “Keeping with the home in this historic location, we wanted it to feel reminiscent of the past.”

Located just across from the pedestrian access to Lily Pond Park, and just behind the old school house of Academy Hill, walking the wood floors of 11 Lily Street, one can only imagine the stories these walls could tell. “There is a beautiful harmony,” Audrey explains, “the modern details mimic historic detailing.”

Matthew R. MacEachern, Assoc. AIA, and the team at Emeritus, Ltd. were tasked with the master planning of the project. They collaborated closely with the homeowner to produce a contemporary layout while still preserving the home’s historic character.

In the open floor plan living room, dining room and kitchen space, easy sight lines make visible windows looking out to the park in the front and to the hardscaped yard in the back. A warm and comfortable mix of creams is supported with a splash of deep value greens and charcoal colors throughout the rooms. “The vision was to have a collected look,” Audrey explains, pointing out various antiques mixed with new furniture. “These are one-of-a-kind finds and I enjoyed looking for some of these antique pieces because we wanted it to be special.”

Audrey explains that her design process begins when she fully understands the vernacular of the space she is working with and the goals of her client, and then inspiration can come from seemingly anywhere. Audrey reveals a floral fabric that upholsters the seat cushions of two antique woven cane chairs in the living room, a pattern that served as inspiration for the rest of the interior. “It feels like a reminiscent pattern, but the colors are updated, and that language really threaded through the entire project.”

A study at the end of the hall is warm and inviting, and across the way is a stunning bedroom and attached bath. Built-in storage surrounds the bed, and Audrey notes the architect worked with the existing square footage of the historic home to maximize ease of usage. The architectural firm Emeritus paid tribute to the interior details of this historic home.

From the open living area, a hallway leads to a half bath adorned in a daring and moody colored lacquered wallpaper, something similar to looking inside the colors of a rare stone. “Powder rooms are spaces where you can try something a little different, I like to treat them like little gift boxes,” Audrey explains, these colors a nod to the repeats of charcoal, light blues, and hunter greens. “This space continues the character and personality of the house, but a bit more amplified.”

Stairs in the home lead down to an additional gathering space complete with wet bar, and more guest bedrooms. Upstairs, a children’s room is wallpapered in real nautical charts of Nantucket’s surrounding waters. “You could use these to chart the course from Manhattan to the island,” Audrey says with a smile. A repeat of soft blues and creams, mixed with antique furnishings give off a playful vibe. “The inspiration for this room is reminiscent of a Jacques Cousteau story, an underwater, sea diver experience.”

In the master, a hand-loomed Turkish rug anchors the light and airy space. “The rugs are hand-loomed and have a vintage quality to them, and the patterning is so beautiful, they give you an immediate warm and inviting visceral feeling.

A guest cottage complete with a round, nautical window on its front door sits just across the brick and flagstone patio from the main house. Boasting its own kitchenette, dining and seating area, Audrey maximized on space with smaller than standard stainless steel appliances, while exposed shelving makes it easy for overnight guests to quickly locate kitchen items. Just in front of the kitchenette, the designer created a dining area complete with a vintage tulip table made from marble, and around it placed chairs upholstered in a complementary sky blue. Another seating area complements the front entry of this cottage, with a tan leather couch that warms the room. From here, a stairwell leads up to a guest bedroom, adorned with a vintage light fixture Audrey created from a vintage shop.

Across the patio again is yet another structure, again with its front door adorned with a nautical window. Here is a small yet perfectly quaint studio complete with its own sitting area and kitchenette. Within this space, Audrey treated a daybed to a shade of dark navy colored paint and topped it with an upholstered pillow in a custom fabric. Blue continues throughout the space, with the vintage-inspired refrigerator in its own shade, as well as throw pillows on vintage chairs.

A statement chandelier gives height and dimension to the room. “It’s a special little space,” Audrey says, showing the focal wall herringbone detail that was designed with patina in mind, being that the wood used to create the design will separate and expand over time. These are the subtle details that create a mindful project.

In terms of how to design your own home, Audrey advises on “finding something that inspires you. Every home has its own voice and then we create a story that supports it,” and while also not getting too overwhelmed with the picture as a whole, try to focus on something simple to start with. “Even just hanging a piece of artwork completely changes the space,” the designer says. “It is after the artwork is hung that the space feels like a home. And we have so many amazing artists on the island to choose from. In this home hangs work from Joanna Kane as well as Julija Mostykanova and Joan Albaugh.”

For Audrey, who was born in Ohio and now celebrating her 25th year in business on the island, the designer continues to work from her interior design studio on Broad Street and says, “I love getting to know, understand and produce something that’s meaningful to the individual that I’m working for, collaborating with this inspiring island we share and appreciate.”

For more information on Audrey Sterk, visit her Website at To view this property contact Philip Bloom Centre Street Realty at 973.580.5393

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