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The Porch Life

The second floor sleeping porch was tucked onto the original front of the house, an architectural challenge says Nicholaeff, who nevertheless says it was fun to design three porches on a small house with very little extra land or interior space because of the homeowner’s creative spirit. “She is a storyteller,” says Nicholaeff of the homeowner, “and all those stories come across in this house. This is a woman who is well read, well-traveled, who likes to share her experiences with her family. It’s almost like each one of these porches takes you on a magic carpet ride.”

In keeping with the Harry Potter-like feel of the house—which is filled with collections of books, puzzles, puppets, ceramic pottery, chess pieces and more—the entrance to the sleeping porch is through a former window at the top of a curving stairway. The original roofline of the house adorns one wall of the porch, serving as a playful decorative entrance to dreamland. “We thought it would be fun to have people see what used to be here,” says the homeowner.

Smooth teak low-maintenance floors and knotty pine walls beneath a deep blue ceiling create a cozy haven, cooled by afternoon breezes from a wall of windows opening out onto a deck filled with plants and swinging chairs.

There is room on the porch for eight people—and one lucky dog—to sleep, all tucked into antique metal beds with puffy comforters and pillows with cheerful patterns.

On the first floor—replacing the small porch that used to decorate the house when it was the home of stuffy Main Street Ostervillians—is a big wraparound screen porch that is the grandchildren’s magic kingdom. Everywhere you look, there is something fun to see; big canvas swings made out of sturdy, deep blue fabric hang from the ceiling filled with soft pillows in bright colors. There are rocking chairs, iron beds stacked with pillows, craft tables, dollhouses . . . it is a place to play, to relax, and to dream.

“When I first bought this house, I was recovering from a bout with cancer,” says the homeowner. “I had a small bed out on the original tiny front porch and I would lie on that bed and think, ‘When I get better, I will build porches all around this house where we can all live outdoors as much as possible, where we can always have light and air.’ ”

On long summer days, someone is always on one of this storytelling grandmother’s porches, on a magic carpet ride past the screens of everyday living.

For more information, visit, or call Scott Peacock Building and Remodeling at 508-428-7600.

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