I love my house, but when I first visited, I didn’t love it.
In fairness, my immediate reaction was not to the nondescript rooms in the typical modern New England Colonial. It was to the odor of wet wood that came from the fireplace where the damper had been left open and the rain poured in. The odor permeated the house so strongly that I made a dash for the door. Bewildered, the sales agent followed. We drove a block away and I realized I was making a mistake. I asked him to turn around. I wanted to see the house again. An offer followed on the spot.
Even in its sorry state, with its vanilla rooms, I knew it was the right house for the next phase of my life. I knew what I wanted to do to make it suit me, to bring it back to life. So began my ongoing love affair, the endless puttering, and improvements, the unceasing outflow of cash and, at long last, filling up my nest with long loved treasures. Milton, Massachusetts, home to revered Milton Academy, is a bedroom town only a short distance from Boston. It is as close to country living as one can get and yet so conveniently near the city.
I knew early on, too, that I would build something in the rear garden, what I now refer to as a small piece of heaven—a garden studio with high ceilings made of rough, wide, cedar planks that give off that pleasant woody aroma of a log cabin. Tall French doors look onto the garden where I like to putter. I wile away the hours in my studio. Perhaps I am doing nothing or take a snooze, read, sculpt, draw, write.
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY CHARLES SPADA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA
WRITTEN BY CHARLES SPADA
This story appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of MILIEU.