Classic Cape Cod

The following is an excerpt from the book, “Classic Style: Hand it Down, Dress it Up, Wear it Out,” by Kate Schelter, 256 pages, Grand Central Publishing, $25.

Schelter, who divides her time between Barnstable and New York City, is an artist, illustrator, creative director, stylist and owner of the luxury brand consultancy that bears her name. Her work has been published in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, W and ELLE.

Book and original watercolors by Kate Schelter are available at Design Works, Yarmouth Port.


I have spent every summer on Cape Cod since I was born.
I grew up around New Englanders, surrounded by four seas
(the Atlantic, the canal, the bay, and Nantucket Sound) on the shores of the Cape. Cape Cod, with its sea air, its wide-open sand flats, its flat blue skies and its ’80s radio stations, is an important part of my soul. No matter where I am living, I journey back
each year. It has been a consistent element, like my family, in my life. It’s an automatic reset button for me. It’s where I go to tune
in to myself, my family, nature and sports; and shut off my phone and neglect to check it entirely. (Call the landline if you need to reach me.) Part of me loves the landscape: the charming
architecture of a saltbox house, a modest barn, a stone wall
with no mortar. The rest feeds on nostalgia: my sisters listening
to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” in their bedroom on the pastel
butterfly sheets, strawberry Four Seas ice cream
in Granny’s  porcelain dishes,
painted shells…

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