Sanctuary in Madaket

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by: Elizabeth Stanek

photography by: Jeff Allen

“There’s no place in the world like Madaket.

It’s untouched,” says interior designer Donna Elle as she briefly pauses on the entranceway window seat.

The natural grasses and wild daisies that rustle behind her are only interrupted by a split-rail fence and a row of rosa rugosa. An old wooden gate leads to Hither Creek, and Nantucket Sound beyond meets an overcast morning sky.

It is hard for Elle to sit still, as she eyes the view through tortoise-shell glasses. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious in the salt air and just moments ago she pulled me up the stone driveway, past the tiger lilies and scrub pines, as though the front door were the portal to another world.

Since then, there’s been excited chatter with her client about patio furniture and a newly-acquired piece of art. But now, for the first and only time during our next two hours together, she crosses her legs and rests among the Dedar fabric shell pillows.

The word “Madaket” stenciled above the windows announces one’s arrival.

“It’s simple. It’s meant to evoke a sense of place,” she says.