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Features > Summer Homes > Period Homes > 1950's New England House
CR032: 1950's New England House
Photos: Claire Richardson / Narratives
Text & Styling: Rachel Leedham / Narratives

Restoring a 1950s New England house a Massachusetts house has been lovingly brought back to life by a London couple. Little did Clare and Richard Proctor know when they first visited the Berkshires, western Massachusetts, in 1996, that it would be the beginning of a love affair with the region that would see them not only buying a house there and closing their London marketing business, but also renovating and
running a 1960s motel. ‘The very first time we visited the area, we were struck not only by its beauty but also by how cosmopolitan it feels,’ Richard says. ‘It’s home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the summer months, so it attracts a lot of creative people, and it has an infrastructure that reflects this.’ It was this
cultural buzz that drew Clare and Richard back to the region time and again, and over the years they made friends with locals, one of whom showed them the house they would eventually buy.
‘She had just got her real-estate licence and suggested we go and look at some places for fun – we had no intention of buying,’ Clare says. It was 2005. ‘We were about to commit to adding a glass extension to our house in west London, but the costs were spiralling. It suddenly seemed like a good idea to buy this instead.’ The house, in the small town of Lee, was built in 1951 in the classic Cape style: a low, broad-framed building with a steep pitched roof that Clare likens to a Monopoly house. On the ground floor the kitchen, dining area and living room flow into each other, providing a sense of light and openness that the couple instantly loved. ‘Our London home was a classic Edwardian semi. I was editing Period Living magazine at the time, and we had decorated it quite traditionally,’ Clare says. They wanted their new home to be different, and to embrace the fact that it was a 1950s American house.

USA, America, United States, British, Business, Cape Style, 1950's, 50's, Fifties, Massachusetts, New England, Stylish, Timber House, Wooden House, Traditional, Summer
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