Home of the Week: In Scituate, a home that love built and a designer preserved

Buying Home of the Week
The back of 84 Branch St. in Scituate has myriad windows and patios. David L. Ryan/Globe staff

84 Branch St., Scituate

Style: Dutch Gambrel Cape
Year built: 1902
Square feet: 5,842 (main house)
Bedrooms: 4 (main house)/1 (carriage house)
Baths: 3 full, 1 half (main house)/1 full (carriage house)
Sewer/water: Private (title V not done)/public
Taxes: $15,213 (2019)

Every homeowner makes an imprint, and interior designer Gale Michaud is leaving a revitalized and expanded home — one that millionaire stockbroker and author Thomas W. Lawson built in 1902 for his wife, Jeannie, a woman so beloved that he once paid a florist $30,000 for a carnation bearing her name. The Lawsons dubbed the house “The Nest,’’ a name that persists even though the home has been in Michaud’s husband’s family for 60 years.

“The Nest’’ was once part of the Lawsons’ sprawling 210-acre Dreamwold estate and also served as a temporary resting place for the couple until 1925, when they were moved to Fairview Cemetery, the Globe has reported. Thomas Lawson died penniless, and his Dreamwold estate was put up for sale to cover his losses, according to state records.

The property, now 2.58 acres, includes a “carriage house’’ that Michaud designed 12 years ago — she runs her business from the two-story stand-alone building — that was so true to the architectural history of the “The Nest,’’ she said, that history buffs applauded her for preserving the past. The first floor has a large living room, a cooktop, and a shower-only bath. The second level houses Michaud’s office but is considered the property’s fifth bedroom.

The driveway travels past the carriage house and underneath mature copper beech trees. A Japanese maple stands sentry in an island filled with pachysandra. The front door with two bulls-eye glass windows is original to the house.

The foyer, with its original cypress flooring, reflects the home’s past and Michaud’s design. She commissioned scenic murals by Hingham artist Joan Brancale to fashion a welcoming spot, one that features the original wood-burning brick fireplace flanked by seats and built-in cabinetry. The entry is one of six rooms in the original house with cypress flooring — Michaud has restored it to a natural appearance — and one of seven with a working fireplace.

The foyer. —David L. Ryan/Globe staff

To the right is the formal dining room, which features a candle-like chandelier, French doors to a bluestone patio with brick edges, crown molding, wainscot, cypress floors, and built-in cabinetry with glass doors.

The living room, found to the left off the foyer, runs front to back and has several nine-over nine windows, cypress flooring, thin crown molding, and a fireplace.

A hallway connects a 1999 addition to the main house. An expansive butler’s pantry, found off that hallway, offers a full-size washer and dryer. The 1902 section includes a half bath with the original pedestal porcelain sink. The flooring is quartersawn oak.

The flooring switches to quartersawn oak in the kitchen, part of an earlier addition to “The Nest’’ that is essentially a four-room suite that also houses the family room, a dining area, and a three-season porch.

The stove is propane-fueled stainless steel and flanked by granite counters and solid maple cabinets painted white. The backsplash is hexagonal Calacatta Thassos marble. An island offers seating for four. The kitchen looks into a family room with valance lighting, multiple windows, and a gas fireplace framed by built-in cabinetry. A French door leads to the three-season porch, which boasts a painted fir floor, a bead-board ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling windows with curved tops that overlook the beautifully landscaped backyard and a koi pond that is original to the house.

Sunshine also fills the dining area, which has a barrel ceiling, French doors, and a myriad of windows on three walls, including a a cathedral-style beauty with curved muntins. French doors lead to a bluestone patio.

This level also features a mudroom that has slate flooring with radiant heat and a full bath with a tub-shower combination and the original white porcelain sink. From the mudroom, a carpeted stairway leads to a great room so large that the full-size pool table needs company. There is recessed lighting, a sound system built into the ceiling, and, in a windowed alcove, a mahogany wet bar with a granite top and a wine chiller.

A hallway connects the great room and the oldest section of the house, which holds the home’s four bedrooms. The master is nearly 300 square feet and features a fireplace with a wooden mantel, a quiet nook in one corner, and cypress floors. The dressing room used to be a bedroom. The en-suite bath offers a double vanity with marble counters, a limestone floor, a soaking tub, a separate steam shower, a porthole window, and a water closet.

One of the other three bedrooms is a suite. Its bath features Carrara marble on the vanity and in the shower. The flooring is hexagonal porcelain tile. The bath also has a door to the hallway, making it the main bath for the other two bedrooms, the smallest of which is 108 square feet.

The basement is unfinished, but it has a workshop area and a wine cellar. The three-car garage is attached.

Jodi Neagle, Jill Caffrey, and Courtney Durkin of the Neagle Caffrey Durkin Group at William Raveis Real Estate in Scituate are the listing agents.

See more photos of the home below:

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