The New York Times finds our house.

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 in Island House

So just as we were really falling in love, Dunes and I did something completely crazy for a newly formed couple—we purchased real estate. For months we kept it under wraps from friends and parents, holding our breaths, willing it to happen. You see, I simply had to have it. For me, the house was love at first site. It was a neglected heap forgotten in a pile of weeds that I was (and am) determined to save. It also had history. Given this history, it was not unknown to the outside world. Let me explain.

Just a few days after signing a purchase order agreement for the house, Dunes and I found ourselves enjoying a sleepy Sunday morning. We had gone to buy the New York Times at the local gas station and I settled into Page 1 while Dunes toasted English muffins and poached eggs. About fifteen minutes later I let out a scream and a bucket’s load of expletives worthy of any salty sea captain. Dunes thought I’d been stabbed and rushed over to the table.

There, on page A22, soaking up almost an entire page of print, was our house. It looked a little weepy in the photo as if the picture had been taken on a gray day when the house was feeling particularly depressed because of its current state. One of the shutters flanking the front door had drooped on one corner and the shingles were so worn they looked like fringe.

Our little house was famous enough to warrant about 1,000 words on its history and condition. We hadn’t been interviewed for the piece—we hadn’t even bought it yet—but we were mentioned, although not by name. A few months later, there was another piece about the house, this time on National Public Radio. I listened to it while on a photo shoot on Nantucket, knowing my proud little house now knew it had new owners and a future.

An Uncertain Future for a House With a Past—Cornelia Dean, The New York Times


  1. Tweets that mention The New York Times finds our house. – Dunes and Duchess --
    August 4, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by StacyStyle, Duchy. Duchy said: A new Dunes and Duchess blog post: The New York Times Finds our House. […]

  2. amy @ maison decor
    August 5, 2010

    Wow this is so fascinating to me Stacy! My cousin bought an old farmhouse on chappy about 10 years ago. Over the years my dad has been going over there rehabbing it (today with my brother along to help) is near the firehouse off on a dirt road to the left…I too love “saving” old houses, especially ones with romantic histories. And when you are falling in love there is nothing more romantic than making yoru dreams come true together. You sound like you have been swept away by this old house! I look forward to your chronicles of the island house as I know you will do it justice and have your stacy flair in full gear. I hope to bump into you or your old house later this month when I return to the island to see my family and see how dad has been helping Jack ressurect his old farmhouse.

  3. Marcy {pine creek cottage}
    August 5, 2010

    Oh it’s charming! I love the history and want to see how you add your style to it.

  4. Libby
    August 5, 2010

    I remember, so clearly, reading that article in the Times and hoping that the new buyers wouldn’t tear down the house!
    Oh, so glad it’s you! and can’t wait to see the work in progress, and the end result…

  5. Jonathan Legate
    August 7, 2010

    I adore your little treasure.
    It’s a place where happy memories will be made.

  6. Andy
    August 23, 2010

    Amazing story! Looking forward to seeing the wonderful things you do with it.


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