FROM THE OUTSIDE, THIS SECOND home on Martha's Vineyard looks traditional, insofar as its building forms hark back to the agrarian structures that once occupied the land. Inside, however, the design takes some delightful and unexpected turns.

The comfortable open space occupied by the kitchen and dining and living areas maintains an old-fashioned quality, thanks to generous rows of clerestory windows and exposed, whitewashed roof trusses. But these details boldly engage in a playful dialog with contemporary elements, such as full overlay maple and laminate cabinets in sprightly hues that celebrate the colors of the hardy meadow grasses outside. Generous stretches of stainless steel—seen not only in appliances and countertops, but also on an 8-foot backsplash covering the entire back wall—introduce a reflective element that enhances the natural light. Concealed lighting on top of the cabinets shines up and bounces off the ceiling.

One of the kitchen's most playful features appears behind the sink in the center of the stainless wall. What seems to be a translucent window to the outdoors is actually a pocket door that slides open to reveal another interior space. When open, the window creates a bridge to the adjacent “tack room,” which houses storage cubbies and a built-in workstation.

“One of the owners is an artist, so this house is filled with little surprises, plus lots of built-in storage in the walls for her materials,” says architect Phil Regan. “It has been interesting to see how the space has taken on a new personality as she has accessorized it with her art. It's a great complement to the architecture.”

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Entrant/Architect: Hutker Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Primary builder: Johnson Vineyard Builders, Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Kitchen builder: Fletcher Cameron Design, Guilford, Conn.