A North Shore Condo with Views Inside and Out
November 15, 2022
One couple’s new Swampscott condo ticks all the boxes.
Text by Robert Kiener Photography by Michael J. Lee Produced by Karin Lidbeck Brent
After living for more than three decades in a multistoried townhouse in Swampscott, Massachusetts, Bob and Marie, both recently retired, were ready for a change. “We’d had it with the stairs and hoped to find a single-story residence that could help us age in place,” says Bob. They both also longed for a home with an ocean view. “I’ve had a boat and fished here for years and love these waters,” he continues. “We had lived close to the ocean but never right on it.”
They didn’t have to look far. A new twenty-unit oceanside project in Swampscott, built on the grounds of President Calvin Coolidge’s former summer residence and the former Marian Court College campus, went on the market just when the couple began their search. They were among the development’s first buyers and purchased a 2,513-square-foot three-bedroom top-floor unit. “It ticked all our boxes,” says Bob. “It has an elevator—no stairs!—it’s spacious, and, best of all, the unobstructed ocean views are out of this world.” All they needed to make their dream a reality was an interior designer.
Enter Anita Clark, who oversaw the project throughout the building process and imagined the entirety of the interior, choosing everything from custom-made furniture to light fixtures and wallcoverings. “Bob and Marie stressed they didn’t want anything to detract from the amazing ocean views and wanted to keep the unit open, light, and airy,” says Clark, who was referred to the couple by one of the building’s developers. The owners didn’t plan to reuse any of their former furniture, either. Everything would be new.
Clark opted for what she describes as a soothing color palette of taupes, soft blues, and whites. “We took our cue from the ocean and even chose low-backed couches and chairs that didn’t block or obscure the panoramic views,” she explains. Clark also used a variety of wallpapers throughout the unit for a relaxed, soft-yet-elegant, fabric-like look. Furniture and fixtures are transitional rather than contemporary, at the request of Bob and Marie.
When it came to emphasizing the vistas, it was all about details. The television is recessed into a niche in the fireplace’s gray porcelain tile so it doesn’t distract. And the floor-to-ceiling windows’ motorized shades disappear into hidden ceiling compartments when not in use.
As Bob looks out over the ocean from one of the unit’s two spacious decks, he observes, “We have the best of both worlds: drop-dead-gorgeous views outside and an elegant decor inside. We made a great choice!”
Interior design: Anita Clark Design
Builder: Paradise Construction