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Sailor's Delight

A Wickford boathouse gets an all-season transformation

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Chris Bourget enjoys cooking, gathering, gardening, and spending time with kind, open-hearted people. She also loves Rhode Island and the buy local movement. Soon after retiring from years as a retail exec, Chris sought an energizing challenge and opened a gifts and specialty foods store. She named this endeavor The Captain’s Table as a loving tribute to her husband Tony for the beautiful piece of furniture he built to accommodate the couple’s blended family. “He was adamant that we have dinner together every night, no matter how late, and that anyone was welcome at the table. We made many memories around that table,” says Chris.

Not far from the shop, Chris lives in Wickford in a house that she and Tony spotted when looking to retire. “We wanted a place near the water and the marina,” says Chris, recalling being taken with the property at first-sight. The house had a water view, was within walking distance to the village and marina, a post-and-beam boathouse, and, most importantly, boasted a dining room big enough to fit the table.

Soon after taking ownership, Tony added a wraparound deck. Wanting to bring the seaside in, DiStefano Brothers Construction of South Kingstown was called and Eric Perez, project manager, began by completing areas in the main house, followed by transforming the boathouse to accommodate guests. The addition of a second level complete with large windowed dormers, a deck, and exterior stairway allowed designer Marisa Navakauskas and Chris to bring the outdoor feeling indoors with furnishings.

Chris has decorated rooms to be warm and welcoming, accented with artwork from travels, gifts, and photographs of Tony on his boats. Interiors start with a natural palette but Chris states that with the cove and island outside nearly every window, simply framing the setting is a no-brainer. “The repeated use of a calm tonal palette lends a cohesive relaxed vibe, and the use of natural materials and texture gives the serene feeling that complements the ocean view.”

Chris’ favorite place to sit and enjoy the view is with her Wheaton Terrier Phoebe on a slipcover couch, purchased extra-deep for Tony’s height. About her location she muses, “I love the eclectic feel and how close everything is. Sailors, fishermen, artists, chefs, scholars… small businesses, farmers markets, galleries, restaurants, theater, beaches. The amazing history, and water, water everywhere! I feel like I am living a vacation every day, I am so very fortunate.”