Greg Premru

When Newton-based designer Heather Vaughan purchased this turn-of-the-20th-century cottage on an isthmus in Scituate, it was a grand disaster. Nevertheless, some redeeming qualities shone through. Case in point: the beadboard paneling on almost every wall and ceiling of the original portion of the house, including the bedrooms in each of the four corners of the second floor. “It was painted hospital green awfulness,” says Vaughan. “I thought, Oh goodness, we have to neutralize this.” A few coats of Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White later, the guest room looks clean and bright. The furnishings reflect Vaughan’s quirky interpretation of beach-house style, which she describes as part chinoiserie, part Victorian, and part Yankee New England. “These things could be brand-new or have been here for 50 years,” says the designer. “They all have a story.” Even her Shih Tzu, Crazy Lou: “She’s a cranky old lady, like the house.”

1 Framed butterfly specimens — Vaughan found these two at the Brimfield Antique Show — hang throughout the house. “These are less colorful than my others, more moth-like and organic,” Vaughan says.


2 The Serena & Lily headboard has a playful profile with the feel of Eastlake furniture, a style popular during the Victorian period. “There’s a vintage Eastlake bureau across the room that I painted white to match,” says Vaughan.

3 The room’s starting point was the trio of vintage picture frames. “I have a thing for tramp art,” says Vaughan, describing items made from layered pieces of wood whittled from cigar boxes.

4 The window wall color is C2 Paint Gull, a subdued blue-green shade a touch lighter than the Greek key trim on the Roman shade. “I used just a little of the color, which reads neutral, so I can change up the room when I feel like it,” says the designer.


5 Rewired hobnail milk-glass sconces from Etsy, with green fabric-wrapped cords and custom shades, inject a dose of grandma chic.

6 The hard-edged chevron on a throw pillow picked up at HomeGoods plays off the curvy chevron on the Serena & Lily duvet. “I bring in a little bit of color, a little bit of pattern,” Vaughan says. “It’s fun and cozy.”

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