You can’t judge a book by its cover. And you shouldn’t really judge a house by its exterior. Northpoint, 1088 East Shore Rd, Jamestown, Rhode Island is a great case in point. It is a perfectly attractive looking house from the outside. It sits rather unassumingly but comfortably within the vernacular of this part of the world where most houses have great charm. Yet few seem to scream for extra special attention. Jamestown is that sort of place. It is all about under-stated and under-large, handsome but restrained shingle or weatherboard clad houses. It’s a look that can’t have changed much since the town was incorporated in 1678 when King James II bestrode the English, Irish and Scottish thrones – not an easy thing to do and ultimately impossible for James as history attests.
But this house is undoubtedly different from most. Behind the shingle exterior is an interior designed to enfold occupants in a glorious sense of serenity. Also most houses, however good, don’t make you feel as though you have just walked into the pages of House & Garden. This one does. I think the owner has a great deal to do with it. It is the personal touches that make the most of the layout, detail and colour palette. This is a sophisticated and refined but ultimately relaxed space. I didn’t meet the owner but this house made me feel that I should very much like to do so.
Of course the location helps. Northpoint backs North East, overlooking the East Passage of beautiful Narraganset Bay over to Prudence Island. Sitting in almost 1.6 acres and with 215 ft of private shore there is a deep-water dock with boatlift, spring mooring and two additional moorings which transform this house into an active marine residence of the highest order. For those who prefer their water of the fresh variety there is a heated swimming pool with waterfall spa.
Good houses make a great first impression. But great houses make a lasting impression. I see a great many fine homes in my line of work. Most are notable and memorable to one degree or another. But the day after I went to Northpoint I had a surprisingly rare thought: how very much I would like to visit this house again.