coming home

May 7, 2013

Salt Timber cottage looking into the butler’s pantry

Every year, as soon as the first hint of green breaks through the frosty ground, the kids ask me, “When are we going to the cottage?!” I can hardly blame them, since I share their impatient sentiments to arrive at the place that more than any other feels like home. Finally, after an unseasonably cold spring, that much anticipate event happened this past weekend.

Salt Timber is really a humble, little Cape with a bit of a water view. It has few modern amenities – no dishwasher or AC, and resting almost directly on the ground, it is prone to mildew and all kinds of creepy crawlies. The paint begins to peal right after you apply it, and there isn’t a straight line anywhere. But still, Salt Timber is magic.

Mostly it’s the light, Salt Timber’s rooms are bathed in it. Her small stature means that the rays from the morning, as well as the setting, sun pour through the windows and doors throughout the day. The intimate rooms are so cozy they seem to cradle you, especially the dining room and Solvi’s room, which have curved ceilings, or my bedroom where we sleep tucked under the eaves. Full of historic detail: paneling, fire place mantels, and claw foot tubs, as well as regional accents like splatter painted floors, Salt Timber’s Cape Cod character is palpable. And then there is the kitchen: yellow as a sunflower with black beams, it opens on all sides to let the sea air pass through. Especially when the roses cover the front porch, Salt Timber feels like a doll house, a faerie realm.

Clearly, I love this house. It is full of tradition: picking berries out back and making raspberry pancakes with the kids, Al’s pasta and cocktails, Chad’s guac, and annual visits from friends. Every day it inspires me with its light or details or the company within its walls. I photograph it (like these few I shot this weekend), and festoon it with garden flowers. I rearrange it constantly as the summer’s souvenirs – robin eggs, beach stones, yard sale finds – trickle in. Salt Timber is my muse. It is an integral part of my family’s history. It is me.

And remember how I disappeared last summer because I was preparing for a big photo shoot? Salt Timber was indeed included in Remodelista‘s upcoming book. So look for the full tour of Salt Timber, as well as other amazing houses (like my Aunt Sheila’s), on bookstands next fall.

Solvi playing in front of the fire in the dining room.

From opening week until we say goodnight to Salt Timber in the fall, this corner of the downstairs bathroom is never without garden flowers. Quince is blooming now. You can see more of my bouquets here, here, and here

Ahead of the apple by a couple weeks, the pear tree is starting to bloom.

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