A cozy cottage, a lush garden and a white picket fence

The historic home at 39 Byfield St. sits on a cozy lot with lush but manageable gardens. The historic home at 39 Byfield St. sits on a cozy lot with lush but manageable gardens.

The historic home at 39 Byfield St. sits on a cozy lot with lush but manageable gardens.

Smack in the middle of Bristol’s downtown historic district sits a street so small and unassuming you could (and many do) drive right by and miss it entirely. Named for one of the town’s original settlers, a Boston investor who purchased the town with partners Walley, Burton and Oliver (who likewise have streets named for them), Byfield’s small scale makes it one of the quietest in the district.
The cottage at 39 Byfield St. is an oasis within this oasis — a space that is at once energizing and calming. Dating to 1880 with two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms over nearly 1,500 square feet, the home is situated in the middle of a lovely garden surrounded by a white fence perfectly scaled to the property. Mature perennials, including a spectacular wysteria vine, hydrangea, a small vegetable garden and shade trees, comprise a garden that is large enough to enjoy, yet small enough to manage.

Inside, the home has been finished with an artist’s sense of joy and color, and a traveler’s eye for unique materials and accents. Exquisite glass tile mosaic is found throughout the home, most notably on the iridescent kitchen backsplash. Natural tile throughout the kitchen, office and dining area, with red glass mosaic wainscoting along one wall, lend a Mediterranean feel to much of the downstairs.

Built-in shelves and cabinets add character, and storage space, to the home.

Creative accents and fixtures, and built-in cabinets and shelving in the main living room, kitchen and office, add visual interest and maximize storage.

Byfield is narrow, but with off-street parking for two cars, that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, you can leave your car parked for days on end as everything you need (including fine kitchens run by two James Beard Award nominees for 2012!) is within a few minutes’ walk. This is a truly unique home in a town that still manages to be as wonderful to visit as it is livable for its residents.

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