Rochelle & Rob's Country Cottage

House Call

Name: Rochelle & Rob - Meredith (8), Isaac (5), Chuck & Lyle (cats)
Location: Harvard, Massachusetts (rural town outside of Boston)

After 4 years of living in a tiny flat in London, England, the six acre plot with a 2,200 square foot house in Harvard, Massachusetts seemed palatial. At the time there were only three of us (if you don't count Chuck and Lyle). But now, six years later, and with the addition of a little brother, two turkeys, 8 chickens and a huge garden, we have made this 1940's bungalow our own version of a gentleman's farm.

Our style is a mix of antique and used furniture store finds, inherited treasures and an occasional true treasure. It's hard to justify spending much on furniture when you have small children; things tend to get wrecked. We have however, tried to be clever in our reuse. For example, our coffee table (which isn't competed yet, but you can see just a corner of it in one of the images) is a re-work of the crib and mattress that was nearly impossible to get rid of after our son out grew it.

Plants also play a big role in our home decor. This winter we are babysitting a whole variety of orchids, clivias, succulents and a few other random things for older neighbors who go south for the season. I fear the house will look terribly empty when many of them go back to their owners later this spring!

When we bought the place, we fell in love with the land as much as the quirky house that is full of un-square corners. The couple we bought it from thought it might sell as a tear down lot (We still think that is crazy!). But after driving by house after house with the realtor and rejecting many options without even going inside (because we felt the houses did not sit right on the land) this one had our attention before we even crossed the threshold. The house sits at the end of a long drive and is purported to have been referred to as "The Pinnacle House" by local old timers. It is supposedly built on the highest point in all the area between it and Boston. As we have carved out a garden from the surrounding forest, we have discovered that on clear winter days we have views of the city to the east and Mount Wachusett to the west.

After living here and maintaining and evolving the outdoors, we have come to discover why our house has a couple of big picture windows and lots of other smaller ones besides. They point to views that once existed — before trees got big and the forest overgrew. We are working to reclaim some of the obvious original design intent by opening things up a bit and working the land so that through the windows, we can be closer to the gardens outside.

Images: Rochelle Greayer

-Rochelle

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