We became the owners of “Nancy Grant’s house” aka Laughing Gull Hill last March 31st. She and husband John took up residence in 1973 and so owned it for some 43 years. He passed away in the late 80s. I believe it was soon after that she starting running the place as a B & B.
That is a little hard to imagine, frankly. The very limited upstairs plumbing, duck-your-head ceilings and crazy layout really make one wonder. However, it’s incredible how many folks we know who stayed here (including the groomsmen for my sister’s wedding and friends whose oldest was conceived upstairs) and have only the nicest things to say with nary a complaint, not even a good-natured one. Evidently, Nancy was an incredible hostess and her charms overshadowed any inconveniences that came with the territory.
The house had been unoccupied for almost four years when we took over. But when it was first listed, evidently, it was still furnished as a colonial B&B. So, for your viewing pleasure, below are the pictures from the original listing, presented as “befores” complemented with…I won’t say “afters” because we are still in process. Let’s call the current pictures “durings.”
This is where guests arrived. We’ve completely replaced this and all porches and you can see where we added on the upstairs bath We also added what will be the master bath to the right. Looking forward to some landscaping in the Spring.
Visitors came through a small foyer and then entered the kitchen. Below are a series of then/now shots of the kitchen, the room that has been most dramatically transformed and is the now most complete.
Off the kitchen is the dining room. In an early blog, we talked about the dramatic change to the entrance from the kitchen. We blew out a wall exposing the stair, and dramatically widened the door. But other than that, the changes to the dining room have been only paint induced plus furnishings.
Next stop is the Red Room, though I don’t think Nancy called it that.
And, what we now call the Cocktail Room, the big change being doors out onto the the patio.
The first floor bedroom, which we have adopted (sans musket), is still in progress. The first shot shows when we were covering up one of its then two doors. Actually the room itself is in pretty good shape, we just need to redo the bath and add some much needed closets.
Mostly cosmetic changes in the front hall, and we still need to add some artwork (of which we have plenty, just have to get on with it).
This is the guest room at the top of the stairs. Lowest ceiling in the house. But perfect for cousins Itty and Bitty.
Our upstairs hall could certainly use some decorating too. We’d wondered if they would be able to get that bench out of there; they did, but God knows how.
Charlotte’s bedroom has gone plain white from yellow wallpaper, and we moved the bed.
The bathroom change is a little harder to explain. The previous location of the bathtub was behind the cabinets we since put in. It was two steps up from the toilet and thus one had to stoop up there. That spot now houses the upstairs air handler. We bumped out the wall behind the old toilet to the right about eight feet to accommodate the new bathroom. Same tub though, but black instead of pineapple.
And, Bookie’s bedroom, the biggest in the house. We debated taking that for ourselves but opted for benefits of the first floor.
Interestingly, the rest of the rooms, which were not included in the realtor pics, are the ones we’ve not touched. They comprise an upstairs bedroom, the nursery off that, and the rooms of the guest house. All still like before, in fact worse for being torn up, the step back before two forward.
Things have gotten pretty torn up outside, too. The grass actually held up OK during the dry summer, but things got muddy in the fall. We are hoping we can get the grounds looking as nice as they did in Nancy’s day.
And, finally, a nice little tribute to the love that Nancy and John poured into LGH. We discovered this behind the wallpaper in Charlotte’s room, evidently installed in 1975. Time flies! Love to all in 2017.