water view dining room in Manchester TV project house
Photo: Pascal Blancon
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Water-Front View

From Return to Splendor, July/August 2002

Park me in the breakfast nook beside the kitchen in the TV show's Manchester project house, and I'd never want to leave. I could sit at this little round table for hours, mesmerized by the ever-changing face of the bay, and the boats making their way across it. In the summer, I'd open the sliding door to enjoy the salt-air breeze with a fresh croissant. In the winter, nursing a hot mug of mulled cider, I'd just bask in the sun's rays coming through the east-facing windows, hoping for a glimpse of a hardy seal or a raft of diving eider ducks.

If I ever got tired of the view, which I sincerely doubt, I could always turn north to admire the eight-sided alcove with its handsome blue built-ins and its beautiful compass rose, made with inlays of maple and mahogany, walnut, wenge and Brazilian Cherry. With one of those in the floor, I'd always chart a course back to that nook.

—Thomas Baker, building and technology editor
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