Following last week’s Amazing Federal post, I wanted to share another property (also on the market) that I have a connection to in Duxbury, MA. This house, dating to 1780, is an example of late Georgian style. It’s simpler and more austere than the Federal home I showcased last week, which was built in 1807. This is the front of the house (obviously) which sits on a side street off of one of the main streets in town. No one ever comes and goes through this door, I don’t think, as the driveway is in the back.
The porch above faces the main street, Washington Street. We always came and went through the back of the house off the driveway. As a matter of fact, it was years later before I noticed that the front of the house was on the opposite side. (see how in tune I was to architecture at that time!)
The aerial shots show how close this home is to Duxbury Bay and the ocean. It is, in fact, in one of the prime real estate locations in town.
A town like Duxbury has little industry and not that many stores or restaurants. Summer jobs weren’t easy to come by, especially for a girl who didn’t have her license until she was 19. I spent my summers babysitting, playing “mother’s helper” and doing light house cleaning (and the occasional gardening) for various families around town. For two or three summers when I was in high school, I spent one morning a week cleaning this beautiful house. The family were “summer people” who lived closer to Boston during the year. It was a very easy job, actually, as all I really had to do was vacuum all the floors (mostly they were wood with few area rugs) and clean the 5 bathrooms. I also did some babysitting for them as well. The woman I worked for was lovely. She picked me up and drove me home, it took about three hours and I was usually done by noon. She always offered to make me lunch before she drove me home and I was paid $25, which is still more than minimum wage is today.
And so, here’s the kitchen, which has clearly been updated since I worked there in the 70’s. I recall the kitchen as being kind of dark and old, but otherwise, it’s a blur. I didn’t have to clean it, so I didn’t pay too much attention. The door in the middle of the image above leads to the front part of the house.
I have to say that I do not understand why the quality of these photos is so poor. I could do a better job on my iPhone. When I sold my parents house last year, I required that my realtor bring in a professional real estate photographer (which is not that expensive) and that house was maybe a quarter of the sale price as this one. Of note, it also sold in one day after the buyers saw it online.
Anyway, I’m not sure that this kitchen is how I would have gone with this house. The cabinetry seems a bit too formal for what is really actually a fairly laid back house (despite location and size). The opening to the left of the fireplace is to the entry space from the back of the house, which they’ve turned into a home office/mudroom below. I think I would have preferred all the cabinets finished in the natural honey color, versus the painted cabinets. I also don’t love the mixed finishes – there’s so much already in the architecture (beams, exposed bricks, wide pine floors) that less would have been more.
Off the back of the house is a big open space family room. As I recall, it was used as a casual playroom for the kids I babysat for.
Below is part of the main house, where you enter from the other side of the kitchen. I believe this was the dining room when I worked there. It’s kind of an awkward space as it’s a pass thru from the kitchen to the front of the house and the stair case (which is behind where the photographer would have been standing when taking this photo.) The fireplace is gorgeous. And the floors – to die for! Clearly refinished since I dragged the Electrolux over them all those years ago. The door leads to the screen porch.
The porch has been painted white, as I recall it was natural shingles and wood framing. It was always cool and comfy out there, however.
Lordy but these photos are atrocious! I never would have shown this listing at all had I not had a personal connection to the house.
Walking around to the front of the house is the dining room. (It was a sitting room “in my day”). I think the wall was opened up back then as well, though I’m not entirely sure.
Those are some seriously wide pine floors – gorgeous. Another beautiful old detail is the depth of the front windows.
Below is the front hall, which is really quite unassuming. The chimney is located in the center of the house, which means there’s no big front hall available. I like the basket of badminton rackets – a cute little detail. The house has quite a nice lawn and tennis court, so this is a detail that is cute and also functional!
This truly terrible photo below shows the front stairwell, which is quite tiny. I lifted the photo from the Virtual Tour of the house as the image doesn’t appear on the listing.
Below is the front parlor. Love the color palette. The windows with original shutters are gorgeous. So much decorating potential here! I seem to recall that this was a bedroom when I worked here, but I could be confusing it with another house.
And the bedrooms. The listing says there are five bedrooms, but there are only four images with beds.
And the bathrooms. There are 4-1/2 bathrooms, though only four have photos.
This is an attic space, probably over the family room in the rear portion of the house. I don’t recall ever seeing this room.
And the back yard with tennis court.
It’s a beautiful house with a great location. So much decorating potential, though I do believe simpler is better. Why hide the beauty of the original details like the floors and beams?
From the listing:
“Historic colonial, just a short stroll to the Blue Fish River Bridge on a private lane on the corner of Washington Street. This beautifully decorated 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath home presents a delicate balance of Duxbury’s ship building history with today’s amenities. Throughout the home are high ceilings, original wide pine floors and stunning period details. Designer dream kitchen with exposed beams, Sub Zero and Viking appliances, striking cabinetry, computer nook and fireplace. Adjacent to the kitchen is a 24′ x 27′ family room filled with windows and gas fireplace along with a mudroom with tons of storage. The white cottage style three-season porch, brick patio and red clay tennis court ensures easy entertaining and recreation. Add a charming authentic sail loft and two-story barn on a level .84 acre and you have a premiere Duxbury property close to schools, beach and Snug Harbor! Start planning your party for the July 4th Parade!”
The house is listed at $1,275,000 and the listing company is Portside Real Estate. The images are slightly better full screen, though not much. I’ll say it again, this listing could benefit tremendously from professional photography. I’ll never understand why this isn’t standard procedure for any property, but especially one where the brokers stand to make tens of thousands of dollars when it sells.
You may also enjoy:
Amazing Antique Duxbury Federal House
2 thoughts on “Washington Street Antique”
I loved this post, Linda! Most especially because I used to clean a big, old house in Duxbury in my youth too so this took me back. 🙂 Loved your commentary and I agree about the photos!
Linda what a beautiful historic home and most lovely setting. I love the Chinoiserie wallcovering in the stairway. It sounds like your teen years were spent like mine!
The Arts by Karena