an oceanfront house he saw as a child. The idea was to recast the lack-
luster dwelling into a colorful and welcoming cottage by the sea. “We
wanted,” says the husband, “to add lightness and sparkle.”
“It had good bones, but it was a plain Jane, with technical prob-
lems,” says Poore. “The most challenging was the foundation. A river
ran under it,” he says, referring to water that flowed between the house
and its stone pier-and-rubble foundation. The solution was to pains-
takingly lift the building and install a new foundation and basement,
then return it to its original footprint, at its original height, to comply
with local building codes. Insulation, heat, and wiring were modern-
ized, the kitchen was enlarged, and a first-floor master suite was added.
“We were lucky to work with a team that was as passionate about
the project as we were,” says the husband. “You see the workmanship,
and you don’t lose sight of the human hand that made it.” He calls
woodworker Robert Frontiero, of RPF Woodworking in Gloucester, a
“Renaissance man” for his interior and exterior craftsmanship.
Inside, the look is airy and uncluttered. Throughout, garden and
beach views are carefully orchestrated and framed by windows. In the
living room, unstuffy natural wicker furnishings surround the revamped
fireplace, and glass sailboats scud across the mantel. The dining room
pays homage to period style with Victorian-patterned wallpaper and a
period chandelier hanging above the table and chairs — now stripped of
layers of black paint — that the owners had purchased with the house.
Although the kitchen looks as if it could have been the original, with
its farmhouse sink, oak cabinetry, and gray marble countertops, it was
enlarged and remodeled during the renovation.
Poore says, “I call this cottage a confection — and the wraparound
porch is the frosting on the cake, the iconic expression of summer living.” It is rich with sweet details, most memorably the highly ornamental woodwork Poore associate John Hornecker designed, at the
husband’s request, to reference sunshine, sea foam, and waves. It is
furnished with overflowing pots of flowers, hanging baskets of plants,
and a table and chairs, all waiting to entice family and friends to partake of the old-fashioned pleasures of outdoor living.
The porch overlooks the verdant tapestry of garden created by
Kate Wiggin of KW Landscapes in Gloucester to connect the house
with its surroundings and the ocean beyond.
The couple now happily live year-round in their storybook cottage
by the sea. They agree that their home’s metamorphosis is not the only
one that occurred. “The process, the people we worked with,” begins
the husband. His wife completes the sentence, “transformed us more
than we transformed the house.”
clouds float across pale
sky-blue walls in a whimsical,
aerie-like third-floor bedroom,
which was painted by faux
finish specialist Lena Fransioli
of Zoë Design in Wenham,
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