Awash in white, the kitchen looks like a Hollywood film set from the 1930s—but it’s the real thing. There’s an old-fashioned butler’s pantry, built-in china cabinets filled with vintage kitchenware, a metal juicer affixed to the wall, and a wire-and-mesh pie safe in the adjoining cold room, which was used to store food during the summer months.
But it’s likely the home’s six bedrooms have left the greatest impression on visitors.
Claire says that on every family trip to Olinda, as the car slowly made its way down the carriage driveway that threads through the porte cochère, she and her siblings would stealthily plot their mad dash into the house to claim their rooms. “We had our favorites,” she says. “Each had its own personality.”
There are two bedrooms on the first floor, four on the second, all furnished with antiques and framed family photos in sepia or black and white. Each bedroom has a kerosene lamp—there are no televisions, computers or modems anywhere. That, too, is a throwback to earlier times: the kitchen was wired for electricity in 1945; it took a quarter of a century more for the rest of house. “We [kids] loved carrying candles around at night, so when we found out the whole house would have electricity, there was a formal protest,” Claire laughs.