The beginning of every season on Nantucket brings change - new restaurants, new shops, and new homes. This is why revisiting the places that are sentimental and nostalgic to us is so important. And there is no place more cherished to the Looms family than 40 Madequecham, otherwise known as “The Shack” - a former bathing house built in the late 1900's. For 30 years, “The Shack” belonged to Nantucket Looms founders, Bill Euler and Andy Oates. With its breathtaking view of the South Shore and rooms filled with eclectic artwork, handmade textiles, and antiques, "The Shack” was the definition of Bill and Andy's simple, yet elegant style - a style that later became recognized as 'Nantucket Cottage Style'. It was the essence of ‘a life well lived' and became the foundation of Nantucket Looms design.
“Simplicity was the cornerstone of 'The Shack'," explains Nantucket Looms Partner, Stephanie Hall. ”It was a unique combination of simplicity and elegance where the design objective was to avoid anything that was over the top or ornate and to have a few key focal pieces that were, in their own basic nature, inherently beautiful”.
Bill and Andy's “Shack" consisted of a balance of contemporary pieces, timeless antiques, and their collection of locally produced crafts, from painters such as Ken Layman to basket makers such as Carol Linquist and weavers like Margaretta Nettles. Liz Winship, who has been with the Looms for 42 years, fondly reminisces on her times at “The Shack”; "You would go to their house and it was like being in a museum. You would have the best venetian blown water glass to have your wine in and you would never use a paper napkin; always handwoven linen." Their careful curation of arts and fine crafts paired with weathered wooden tables and natural fiber rugs, created the understated “Cottage Style” that ended up making a huge impact. Although Bill and Andy’s design aesthetic could be described as eclectic, every object, was deliberately chosen and placed. The location of everything was intentional, which made visiting their home so interesting.
"It was about all of the pieces that curate a way of living,” says Nantucket Looms Partner Bess Clarke, "It's a real kind of attitude and simplicity that is translated to all aspects of your life". Stephanie Hall recalls the little details that made "The Shack" what it was; "You would see a tiny little sand dollar on the edge of a window shelf, placed there with real intention. Every routine moment seemed more special - you could be laying in the bunk room reading a book in bed and there would be the most amazing painting right there. Even just the exercise of going to bed felt like a moment".
As times change, we strive to carry on Bill and Andy's legacy at Nantucket Looms. Their intention remains at the root of everything we do - in the placement of products in the shop to the weaving of a new throw, in the interior design of a client's home to the layout of our website. With such timeless and seemingly effortless beauty, it is no wonder “The Shack” style lives on.