On the Market: A Whimsical Work of Art in Newport
Handcrafted fixtures fill this Rhode Island cottage, artfully redesigned by the head of a local school's art department.
5 Third St., Newport, RI
Size: 1,098 square feet
All of us have been picking up new hobbies this year, and for those who are getting crafty, how about upping the ante and building a house? If you’re game but seeking some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, look no further than this unbearably charming cottage in Newport. When he took possession of the property in 2002, Ted Sturtevant set out to completely reconfigure the interior, drawing inspiration from a house his architect grandmother had redesigned in the 1930s.
That vision, in combination with Sturtevant’s natural inventiveness as head of the art department at a local school, harmonized to produce the cheerful, beautifully antiqued home that you can walk around today. As far as the original 1857-built structure goes, the longleaf yellow pine floors and wood pegged framing are all that remain. He had the electrical systems, plumbing, windows, and roof all replaced to bring the abode up to tip-top shape. The most compelling parts, though, are the artful details he crafted himself. Look in the first floor bedroom for a hint of his handiwork—deep blue built-ins bedeck the walls, constructed on site. The paint throughout the house was a project of its own. Save the primary bedroom, all of the hues are milk paints from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., and the washy blue in the bathroom, says Sturtevant, “was done by uneven mixing of the paint and dry brushing. It took forever!”
The labor of love persists into the long galley kitchen, where the counters are all concrete he cast himself. The base of the built-in bench in front of a small breakfast bar is also cast concrete, with a back made from a piece of wood he found in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and metalwork he forged in his Newport workshop. Other kitchen fixtures, such as the retro Big Chill fridge, shelves outfitted with handy plate racks, a cast iron sink from New England Demolition and Salvage, and teak spice cabinets all help the cookery add up to a warm, welcoming room you won’t be willing to leave all winter. Happy baking!
For information, contact Michelle Kirby, Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, gustavewhite.com.
The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including architects, builders, kitchen and bath experts, lighting designers, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.