Homes & Gardens|June 2020

Preserving the authentic character of this Cape Cod house was a priority for its owner, designer John Derian


An easel board in the entrance to John’s home is reminiscent of the Mixed Tones Canvas fabric he created for Designers Guild (used here as a background)

John Derian is a man driven by gut instincts. His emotive pull towards antiques, ceramics and theatrical kitsch has been the basis for his successful homewares business, beloved from New York to London. So when he felt strongly drawn towards a shingle-clad house listed for sale in Provincetown, Cape Cod, he made a quick bid for ownership. ‘I hadn’t visited Provincetown in over five years, but I used to come here most summers as a child. In 2006, I was visiting a friend and saw the house listed for sale and it really struck me,’ recalls John.

He was disappointed to learn that the house was already under offer and, in fact, off the market. Returning to regular life in New York City, John tried to put the property out of his mind but his efforts were thwarted, somewhat bizarrely, by a technical glitch on his phone. ‘I’d taken a video of the house when I viewed it and strangely, through some fault of my phone, it kept playing whenever I put the phone down. It seemed as if the house was calling me,’ he says. Phoning back his broker in the autumn, John was delighted to find the sale had fallen through and the house was back on the market. By March 2007, he was the new owner.


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June 2020