Provincetown’s Salt House Inn

Once cottages for 19th century salt mine workers, the Salt House Inn opened as a refuge for those escaping from their own version of the salt mines in the city to the beach town of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The project was a collaboration between hotel industry innovator David Bowd and interior designer Kevin O’Shea, who purchased the property in May 2011. David, originally from the English village of Salt, which partly inspired the Inn’s name, has been in the hotel business for 30 years. Kevin studied interior architecture at RISD and then began a career in hotel design and opened his own interior design studio, Kevin O’Shea Designs in 2009. Kevin and David had been vacationing in Provincetown for the last few years and noticed a void for a stylish, yet affordable place to stay. And opening an inn in their favorite vacation destination seemed like the perfect collaboration for a couple who has their hands in the hotel industry. Kevin designed every inch of the inn, from the largest room right down to the privacy signs that hang on the door. The result is a hotel that evokes the feeling of a breezy beach cottage and perfectly captures the history and charm of this seaside destination located at the tip of Cape Cod. –Amy

Image above: “The long shingle style building dates back to the 1850s and was once cottages for salt mine workers,” says interior designer and hotel owner Kevin O’Shea.

Image above: “The components that make up our rooms are very simple, but the details have been carefully considered, for example the glass shades on the wall sconces are different in each room.”

3Loft Bathtub
Image above: “The Loft is our premium suite and is very popular with people celebrating special occasions, especially honeymoons. This space was never part of the inn before the renovations, rather it was the bedroom of the owner’s quarters, we felt it was too spectacular to not be part of the guest experience so with some reconfiguring we were able to add onto the guestroom side of the inn.”

See more of the Salt House Inn after the jump!

4Breakfast Room Overview
Image above: “The breakfast room is where guests congregate in the morning to enjoy our delicious house made breakfasts. The sharing table in the foreground is a popular spot for guests to hang out and get to know each other in the morning, we also have beautiful gardens just off the breakfast room for those who want an al fresco breakfast.”

5Breakfast Room Menu Board Detail
Image above: “Our menu changes daily and we offer up a great selection of house made sweet and savory treats. We use our menu board to not only list what delicious things are available that morning, but also to give recommendations on what to do, the forecast, sunset time and the tides for the day.”

6Deluxe King Sitting Area
Image above: “Our Deluxe King Suite has a separate sitting area that features an installation of vintage red kerosene lanterns, these were mainly sourced through Ebay and Etsy. I think there wasn’t a red lantern left to be had when I got through with both sites.”

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Image above: “With such sparse minimalist interiors I believe the details really count so little touches, like our hand painted room numbers, become really important in finishing off the whole look.”

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Image above: “Each room has the same headboard feature wall of horizontal boards that are reminiscent of the exposed clapboard interiors of many beach cottages on Cape Cod, and above each bed are assemblages of curious and antique objects which make each room unique. The assemblages were collected at antique stores throughout New England, some rooms are more thematic while others are just random, but all of the objects spoke to me in some way and felt appropriate for their Cape Cod setting.”

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Image above:  “The bathrooms are also sparse and white with a grey ‘wainscoting’ painted on the lower half of the walls. David and I both believe that the key to a really great hotel room is a fabulous bed and a great shower, and so we worked hard on the showers to make sure they are spacious, with great water pressure and plenty of coverage from the generous rain shower heads.”

10Lobby Check In
Image above: “The reception desk is the first experience guests have of the aesthetics of the inn. We repeated the same wall treatment that is behind the beds here and capped it off with a beautiful vintage map of Cape Cod.”

11Loft Bed
Image above: “Another view of the Loft, which is really the ultimate in luxury and seclusion. Here is a look at the bed alcove and you also get a peek at the fabulous vintage enamelware desk in the corner.”

12Loft Overview
Image above: “The cast iron tub was added to The Loft in the bedroom to really make this the height of luxury (and it is a little surprising, too!). It’s a great place to kick back and relax after a day at the beach.”

13Standard Double RM12
Image above: “This is our smallest room at the inn, the Standard Double – it’s tiny but really cute and the perfect room for single people visiting. Because of the age of the buildings, rooms are on the smaller side, and this one in particular is a great example of how the all-white interiors help keep them feeling light, bright and airy. The paintings over the bed are paint by numbers that I painted over to isolate only a small portion of the image.”

14Superior Queen RM6
Image above: “Our Superior Queen rooms are a great middle-of-the-road option at the inn in terms of both price and room size. This room features a collection of clipper ships, a theme near and dear to me.”

15Standard King RM8
Image above: “Our Standard King Rooms are by far our most popular room; they offer up space, light and of course our incredibly comfortable beds! The boat oars in the room were found at a fabulous antiques mall in Rockland, Maine.”

Image above: “In addition to the interiors, I also did all the graphics work for the inn – we wanted every piece that guests come in contact with to be special. The clipboards hang in each room and give all the pertinent information and I love our tiny blackboard privacy signs.”

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Image above: “We have many little corners of our garden where guests can relax and hang out; up the stairs is our fabulous sun deck that has many great options for lounging during the day.”

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Image above: “During breakfast this area just off the breakfast room is very popular for those who want to enjoy the outdoors while also enjoying our delicious daily offerings.”

  1. The beautiful New England light. Nothing quite like it.

  2. Tima says:

    Gorgeous! All this white and these beautiful wooden floors! I especially love the room with the high ceilings and the beams.

  3. Pam Ketchum says:

    where are the black shelf brackets in the bathroom from?

  4. Laura Irion says:

    I found this inn a couple months ago and added it to my bucket list immediately! Everything about it is so perfectly done.

  5. emily b says:

    I stayed here for a wedding last year and it was lovely! Delicious bread pudding and coffee on the terrace! Book early if you can. David and Kevin are the best!

  6. Rebecca M says:

    Looks simple and serene. I could definitely relax here.

  7. Ketty says:

    I really love this house and interior is also amazing. love it :-)

  8. Luna17 says:

    Just in Provincetown yesterday and I wish I’d seen this, I’d have done a walk-by! I am so in love with the lantern idea… I have one red lantern and now I’m on a quest.

  9. Hadi says:

    This looks very nice and cosy! I would bring in just a little bit more colour but that’s just me :D


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