Before & After: A Nearly 400-Year-Old Cape Near Plymouth Rock
“Old homes are, at best, a little scary,” says Anna Allen, and she’s not talking about the potential resident ghosts. “They can have confusing, choppy floor plans, hazardous materials, and some pretty serious issues, depending on their age.”
Perhaps that’s precisely why Broad Oak Farm—a nearly 400-year-old six-bedroom Cape in Hanover, Massachusetts—had gone on- and off-market a total of eight times before Anna and her husband finally took up the torch as its newest stewards in late 2020. “We felt like we’d won the lottery. The previous owners had taken such good care; really, all it needed was some paint,” Anna says.
The home—a humble portion of which was constructed in the 1640’s, before America was even declared a country—was decorated in the theme of classic Americana design, each room bearing its own garish shade of near-primary color. As the couple brushed and rolled their serene white-, taupe-, and slate-hued palette over every wall and cupboard, they paused over areas where chips in the walls offered a kaleidoscope-like glimpse into the past. “This home surprisingly hasn’t had that many owners, but each one has left their mark,” Anna says. “It’s almost comforting knowing that our version of Broad Oak Farm is impermanent, too. It’s like we’re giving the house a pause, letting it breathe, so that the architecture—the history—can speak for itself.”
Let’s take a tour.
Photography by Anna Allen.