In the beginning we buy, and then we nest. And that can all be part of this long process of wrestling chaos to the ground. Getting organized, getting renovated, making space - they are all really important steps. But sometimes, we can try so desperately to create a place for everything and have everything in its place that we may miss out on a little bit of magic.
This pretty red house currently owned by conscientious house stewards Nancy and Don Halgren was built c. 1796. There are stories that it may have been moved from Essex, however, there is no evidence of such. Noted historian and researcher Robert Booth concludes it was likely built onsite in the post-colonial Georgian style.
I recently had some family over for dinner, COVID and all. I thought we’d eat in the living room, and had our socially distanced chairs all set up. But my guests came in as a group and while I was busy with the bustle and the greetings and the coats, they had all plopped themselves around my dining room table. It was so organic and so perfect that I just quietly swapped the buffet setup for place settings, and took a seat myself.
I had the pleasure of spending last weekend with three of my four grown children. Over breakfast we were laughing about some of their old Halloween costumes, and I was asked which one I thought was my biggest flop.
There are precious few things we can say are "benefits" of social distancing. One of them is a micro-group tour at Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House on Eastern Point. The Historic New England property has long been a pilgrimage for award-winning interior designers seeking inspiration and history.
Amesbury born Samuel O. Boardman was apprenticed to become a shipwright around 1816. In 1823 he moved to Manchester to begin work in Manchester’s thriving furniture making center as a cabinetmaker for John Perry Allen.
Why is it a she-shed and not a he-shed? Because us women have given you your man caves. And we also know that even if we had a basement woman-cave… we would still be found. There needs to be wet grass and gravel between you and someone wondering where the mustard is. And even then, there are no guarantees.
When, in 1819, John Allen bought a parcel of land fronting on what was then “High Street,” his $500 purchase bought him an elevated view to the south that was little more than marsh and cove a distant view of the ocean, where he had spent much of his life.
Sexy headline aside, today we are talking about screens. I hear you, boring, boring, boring you say. But I am championing them anyway! They are under-acknowledged, under-understood, and under-appreciated.
“Simple and True” are key design themes here. Don’t buy a cheap glass vase that is trying to be fine crystal with its scalloped rim and fluted body. Just save up and buy the fine crystal if that’s your thing. But, if you are buying cheap, do buy the one that has one idea.
The historic yellow colonial house at 13 School Street was witness to the birth of our nation. When Captain Daniel Leach built his house in 1786, the American Revolutionary War had just ended two years before (January 1784) and the new United States of America was trying to figure out how to govern itself. George Washington was not yet President and the Constitution of the United States had not yet been drafted.
I’ve designed many kitchens - and I always label and identify the junk drawer. It’s usually a pretty big one in a central location. Because our lives are filled with buttons, and pressure gauges, and rubber bands, and sharpie markers, and mystery keys.
Here we are about three months into living with our new neighbor, COVID-19. And, in some ways, we are at one of those turning points because COVID-19 will have forever changed us. Will we ever go back to giving bear hugs and kisses to those we love? (I hope so.) Will we ever go back to thinking that world events won’t affect us personally? (I hope not.) And have we forever changed the definition of "I'm at work"? (Yes, we definitely have!) So, let’s take a look at those at-home workspaces and see if they actually are where we want to work because the home office, in some form, looks like it’s here to stay.
The Queen Anne style house at 12 Bridge Street, designed by well-known architect Cornelius Russell of Roxbury, was built for Frederick J. Merrill and his wife, Mary Sayre Merrill, in 1896. Its completion was mentioned in the January 30, 1897 Cricket, which describes it as “one of the handsomest and most convenient private residences in Manchester.”
I started writing these articles right when COVID-19 first hit, and I was all freaked out because I thought my kids might miss a week of school and my yoga studio might let fewer people into class. Turns out those may have been the good old days. What do I do to clear my head, feel my sorrow, and gain my strength? I gather with friends… outside… six feet apart… in small groups only… but still. So, let’s talk about some good ways to set up the outside of your home so it feels just as warm and welcoming as the inside.
Windows are intimately connected with the complements we offer houses like “wonderful natural light,” or “good bones,” or “so much character.” They are one of the most important design features in your home. They must look beautiful inside and out, operate perfectly, and be dressed for both a party and for bedroom time. (Much like a 1950s housewife, I fear.) So, let’s offer them some respect.
It’s a new reality for real estate, and as local real estate agents in Manchester and Essex have adapted to a very new way of selling homes they’re finding that home buyers are meeting them at the “new normal” and making it work.
The pretty yellow house just before the bridge on Harbor Street was built in 1771. In 1725 the land belonged to shoreman Nathaniel Marsters. His family is traced back in town to the early 1650s. Nathaniel granted the town a path past his house to what we know as Tuck’s Point.
Mother's Day is just behind us. And I had a nice little cup of coﬀee with myself that morning, hours before my quarantined children got up (they are honestly like bats - how will they ever get back on track?) But I was thinking about mothering, and being mothered, and mother ﬁgures in my li…
Nothing like a good quarantine to get your mind wandering into the philosophic. Some of you are probably pondering the very meaning of life itself. Others are maybe wondering what on earth a TikTok is. And then there’s me asking the big questions like, “What is that magic ingredient that makes a home feel so warm and welcoming?"
This is the first of a series about historic homes and families of Manchester-by-the-Sea who helped to shape our community and nation. The Federal-style house at 39 Central Street has an interesting history, starting with its construction in 1805 as a home for Capt. William Hooper Jr., 34, and his family.
Today I’m not going to ask you to do a thing! Grab a cup of tea and a celery stick (these weeks have been tough on the waistline, no?) - and I’ll answer all the questions about home design that you think you shouldn’t ask - but that you really should.
The new reality right now is a lot of time at home and in this Part II edition of her "At Home Now" column, this professional home designer and mother of four who lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea writes that this new home-based reality can be an opportunity.