Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Don't Try This at Home: One Too Many

For your delectation, I present a handsome 1848 house for sale in Westford, Massachusetts, a town I've never seen, northwest of Boston. It's $928,500, but it's been on the market for 112 days, so you can negotiate. It's offered by Team Suzanne and Company of Keller Williams Realty Boston Northwest. I'm crediting them for all of the photos below.

As historic houses go, this one is pretty lucky. It still has a lot of lovely historic detail, including ten restored Count Rumford fireplaces, pine floors, woodwork, Indian shutters, ceiling medallions, a door bell that's really a bell, and a sleeping porch.

It's a classic Greek Revival:

How welcoming it looks when it's lit up at night:

If you click the link in my first sentence, you can see 30 photos of this 3800+ sf house and the "virtual tour" on that page has even more details, but I've got the highlights here. 

There's a perfectly nice living room with a five-window bay with a windowseat and one of the many fireplaces. To me, there is no such thing as too many fireplaces; I love decorating mantels more than anything. (And, hmm, mine are overdue for a refresh.)

If you prefer more breathing room, there's another perfectly nice living room:

Here's the dining room, with old-fashioned wallpaper and a pretty light fixture:

Don't care for it? Here's another dining room, done in toile:

This one has a butler's pantry (below) and a handy coffee station that you can see (above) through the doorway. 

With two living and dining rooms, plus five bedrooms, I'd imagine this would be a great house for, say,  a big, politically divided family or a warring couple. It seems like many people could comfortably occupy this house without getting in each other's way.

However there is only one kitchen and just two baths and one powder room, and all of those rooms are kind of boring. I've seen several houses and multi-level condos that have two kitchens, so I was expecting another one. (And many little two-bedroom apartments have two-and-a-half baths carved out of spaces that were crying to be closets or living areas. Oh, well. I'm content to have one kitchen and one bath.)

This kitchen has a great fireplace, though:

I won't show you all the bedrooms but here are two examples, which illustrate the "colorful accent wall" decorating technique, which was cool in the '60s and periodically returns to smack us in the eye from time to time.

That is not a taxidermy sheepdog but I wish it was.

You've probably noticed how airy and sparely furnished these rooms are. Most of us don't live like this although it's always an appealing idea until we consider that it means getting rid of most of our books, art, clothing, linens, dishes, and other stuff we love.

Do you think the owners of this house are minimalists, or was their house staged? If it was staged, how much stuff do you think disappeared? When you make up your mind, hold that thought while we go outside.

The grounds are expansive, woodsy, and lovely. We are in the country. Westford is north of Acton and Littleton, and people probably have horses. This house has a little red barn/stable as well as a two-car garage and parking for ten more cars.

Now, if you know me, you know that I tend not to feature perfectly nice houses here.

The houses that interest me need an extra something to make it onto this blog.

And I generally do not post houses I really love.

So you are probably wondering why I just dragged you all around this charming but ordinary historic house.

Fasten your seat belt.

You haven't seen the Pub Room.

Can you imagine being in here when you've been drinking? It's a pub, after all. It strikes me as a bad idea to be even mildly incapacitated in this setting. But it might be just as bad to be sober.

This is the craziest ceiling I have ever seen. It scares me so much that I have trouble looking at it. But I forced myself, so I can tell you it's covered with a vast collection of musical instruments, mounted in such a way that they look like trophies, or the spoils of war.

I can only surmise that this family goes to lots of concerts and recitals. Afterwards, they hang around the stage door to surreptitiously wrestle instruments away from musicians they've judged to be too inadequate to perform in public. 

At least that's what I hope they do — I'm often tempted to do it myself as a public service. I just don't have a ceiling to hold all of the homeless instruments. And I wonder: what they do about the singers?

It's also possible that they abducted and did away with an entire marching band in one fell swoop, and no one minded.


  1. Am hoping that being in that pubroom in person wouldn't be so overwhelming! Truly, I got dizzy looking at the first photo of it! Had to squint my eyes to look at the 2nd one. I think we could afford to live in the outbuilding...hehehe!

  2. I kind of love everything about this house, but especially that pub room! And I hate clutter!

  3. The pub room is where you could put your books, art, clothing, linens, dishes, and other stuff.

    LOVE that house, I could totally live there. but geeze, only one kitchen?


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