Mel's Home

Designer Melanie Martin and her husband Mike built this beautiful home on Ono Island. This truly was the most all encompassing project she had ever undertaken and for her hardest client...herself. It dramatically sits on 4 acres at the tip of Ono Harbor surrounded by over 1500 feet of totally private beach. The house was designed for pure pleasure with places shielded from the wind, places to recline in the sun, places to eat in the shade or under a full moon, and best of all, places to entertain while watching the spectacular sunset.

"My overriding concern was to imbue the house with serenity. Even though the house was built 15 years ago it basically remains the same. I know some people feel you have to change a house like you change clothes. I'm not that kind of designer. I think if you get it right you leave it alone. If something was beautiful 15 or even 20 years ago it is still beautiful. It might even be more beautiful because it has faded and become worn."

For Mel, continuity is an essential part of the calm serenity that she seeks in design. Her home is comfortable and easy to live in. The colors are metamorphic. They pose a question with the light. Is it pale sea-grey or celedon? Is it beige or grey? Most of the items were purchased on Melanie's travels from flea markets and antique shops in Italy and France and in little shops around the country.

The entrance is through 20 foot mahogany doors and fulfills one of her essential requirements, a view through the house. You look up three floors to the tower, east through the long gallery to the water, north to the bay and south to the harbor. Standing on the threshold to the living room is a three story tower sky light that brings in sun or moon light. Custom designed copper stair railings lead to the guest quarters . The table is 18th century Italian craftsmanship and the hand painted silk screen, Mel's son found at a junk store in foley and is one of her favorite things.

"In order to make a large room feel inviting I have found that it is critically important to divide the room into distinct areas. It is not good if your guest stand in awe of the room and don't know where to sit. I therefore placed a large antique carpet in front of the fireplace to form an island to contain all of the soft furnishings. The coctail table was originally gold leaf and I had it stripped to its natural wood to keep the easy comfortable feel to the room. The other sitting area to the living room consist of four large comfortable chairs and a center round ottoman. The entire room is arranged so that all enjoy the specular views."