89 Year Old Woman Shares Her Seaside Cottage with AT!

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This house tour is definitely a departure from the modern, hipster, or minimalist homes we often see on Apartment Therapy. We happened upon this irresistible Gloucester, MA cottage yesterday while visiting a new client of our design business. We rarely experience we'd-trade-homes-with-you-in-a-heartbeat envy but let's just say we awoke this morning daydreaming about this cottage. Peek inside at this quintessentially New England seaside home that blends amazing sunlight, spirit-easing vistas, and an eclectic, unintentionally hip, lived-in style built over 89 years of life...

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As memories of summer start to fade, consider this tour a last hurrah, as you browse through the sun-drenched rooms and the porch that has hosted countless family gatherings, overlooking the water. Our homeowner (who prefers to remain nameless) was generous enough to share her home with AT readers, a younger generation. We present this cottage not for reader critiques on amount of stuff, style, etc. but to offer you a rare glimpse into a seaside home inhabited by an inspiring woman and her lifetime of objects, photographs, and mementos. Not to mention her original Design Research sofa, Marimekko pillows, Rolling Stone Magazine bin, and refreshingly unpredictable arrangement of objects...

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The homeowner, who lives here year-round, said that residents of this incredible neighborhood never stop appreciating its magic. And it's apparent that she feels the same about her particular home. When asked about her favorite sources she mentioned a love of thrifting (a woman after our own hearts), with a particular nod to a secondhand shop ironically named "The Stock Exchange" located in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

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Besides the obvious elements of abundant natural light and amazing views, we were enamored with the low ceilings with exposed beams, slanted rooflines upstairs, incredible number of windows, and our host's fabulous sense of arrangement that would make the editors of Domino Magazine coo. There was nothing predictable about how she placed her decorations, from the way she hung things on the walls in unusual clusters to the string of glass ornaments that lined the fireplace mantel. And everywhere we looked there were surprising touches - the maps used as wallpaper in the upstairs office, the tinkertoy sculpture hanging in the kitchen, the recipe permanently scribed on a kitchen cabinet. This is the kind of place where we wanted to spend days soaking up the lifetime of collected objects and memories.

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This is perhaps one of the most accidentally hip homes we've ever been in, made all the more delightful by the fact that the owner has been relishing life for 89 years. She doesn't have an email address so we'll be calling her when her house tour goes up to guide her through the process of checking out the tour! Our visit ended with an invitation to return for lobster rolls and a visit to the beach. We'll be taking her up on that...

Thank you so much for sharing your home.

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