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Other examples of juxtaposing casual with elegant are Aubusson rugs set atop sisal matting, a chinoiserie chest turned into a powder room sink and, in the living room, chenille brown and tan leopard sofas accessorized with hand-embroidered damask pillows.
Unexpected, too, was a last-minute decision to turn a large, formal dining room into a family room and a pine-paneled library into a spot for intimate meals. The latter features 19th-century British china and Meissen porcelain mixed with flotsam and jetsam that the children found while beachcombing.
"We have some precious things, yes, but I always want them interspersed with the ordinary," the homeowner says. "Nothing's off limits; we really live in every room. In fact, there are chocolate stains on just about every sofa I own, but it doesn't bother me in the least."
Though the waterfront house dominates the shoreline, it nonetheless possesses a whimsy that prevents it from being intimidating. In fact, visitors feel so welcomed and beguiled they don't quite want to leave. That includes Cindy Rinfret, who still holds a soft spot in her heart for it.
"There are very few homes where I get a tinge of envy," she admits. "This, however, is one of them."