The island of Nantucket is known for its beautiful beaches, unspoiled nature, whaling history, stunning historic buildings, and spectacular weathered gray shingle-style homes.
Many people fall in love with the unique Nantucket architectural style, its perfectly manicured gardens, and the nautical style. They make the exterior and interior of the buildings and homes on the island so unique.
If you have spent your vacation in one of these fantastic houses or vacation rentals, you may want to know how to add some of this unique Nantucket-style charm to your home and outdoors.
Here are some outdoor and garden decorating ideas which will bring some of that coastal upscale New England appeal to your home.
The colors are fundamental
One of the reasons why all houses and buildings on the island look so charming and perfect is that there are stringent rules and regulations for renovating and building new homes there.
Shingle-style houses with weathered gray cedar shakes have become symbols of the island, coastal New England, and the East Coast.
The local authorities have created these rules to ensure this tradition continues and the landscape remains unscathed.
There are stringent rules for the height and shape of the roofs, the materials used for siding, windows, doors, and others, and many more.
One of the requirements is for the colors used when a new house is built, or an old one is being renovated.
Ever since its first settlers arrived, the island of Nantucket has been popular with its subdued house and building colors. The idea of the weathered shingles was to protect the houses and their inhabitants from the sometimes unfavorable weather conditions, especially in the winter.
After a few months of exposure to the ocean breeze, the rain, and the weather, these cedar wood shakes turn gray. This allows them to blend into the natural panorama of the island and the ocean.
Today, there is a standard for the size, type, and color of these cedar shakes for all homes built on the island.
There are standard colors that can be used for the houses and buildings on the island. They include white and light gray for the window and door frames, step railings, trims, and other elements.
White or light gray is the standard for wooden gates and fences. White, dark green, light gray, or Brewster green are accepted for the shutters. White and light gray are required for the foundations of the houses.
Natural brick and cement parged chimneys and white, Brewster green, dark green, black, barn red, beige, yellow, or gray-blue doors.
All colors need to be approved by the local commission before being applied.
Overall, if you want to remodel your house to remind you of the unique Nantucket style, you should choose more natural and muted colors. Ones that blend with the nature surrounding it.
So, choose colors like off-white, gray, blue, or beige, closer to the colors of the sea, sand, and the ocean.
The signature flowers
The crawling roses covering the charming gray-weathered cottages of Siasconset and the blooming hydrangeas in all colors are among the most recognizable flowers on the island.
But there are many signature flowers that residents grow in their gorgeous gardens. You can see flowers in planters, window boxes, and just about anywhere in town and in all neighborhoods too.
With the goal of preserving the natural ecosystem and the distinctive natural look of their small island, the local Garden Club promotes the planting and growing of traditional native annuals and perennials.
Another reason for this initiative is to limit the use of pesticides and chemicals. The explanation is that the native species have already evolved to fight off diseases, insects, and pests found in Nantucket.
So, if you want to create a Nantucket-inspired garden, you may want to follow their philosophy and grow an organic garden with only local native plants and flowers.
Or, if you want your outdoor space to look like one of those pretty Nantucket gardens, then choose annuals and perennials typical for the island as well.
These are the hydrangeas in all possible colors and asters, geraniums, primroses, lilies, milkweeds, bonesets, and others.
Local residents of Nantucket also prefer more natural gardens with turf rather than lawns. They grow a lot of pollinators and plant and design their outdoor spaces with fewer rigid lines and shapes.
The sorts of climbing roses that cover the seaside cottages to the roofs in the picturesque village Siasconset in Nantucket are American Pillar, New Dawn, Eden, Blaze, Sally Holmes, Golden Showers, Climbing Iceberg, and Zepherine Drouhin.
Add window boxes
Adding flower boxes on your windows is the easiest way to add some of that Nantucket charm to your home.
You can add any window box or some outdoor planters to adorn your exterior.
Feel free to experiment with the color and flower and plant combinations.
You can easily change them next spring, so try out new mixes and flower combos each year.
Even if you have a very tight outdoor space, you can still create a small spot for outdoor relaxation. Some elements that will make it resemble the unique backyards and gardens of Nantucket include natural wood or rattan garden furniture. You can adorn it with linen, pastel-colored natural fabric upholstery, or cushions.
Don’t forget to install an iconic white trellis on your porch or on the façade of your house, where your climbing roses can grow and climb up high decorating it.
Or, if you prefer, you can choose a white wood arch instead. It, too, can be used for climbing roses and as an accent to your beautiful Nantucket-inspired outdoor space.
As a finishing touch, you can install a white picket fence. It is not only the symbol of the perfect and peaceful suburban middle-class life but is something that can be seen in Siasconset and in all neighborhoods in Nantucket.