House Tour

Former Elite Rowers Find Their Niche in a Friendly Falmouth Neighborhood

“A sophisticated beach vibe” prevails in their circa-1900 cottage.

TEXT BY SARA ANNE DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIAN RICHARDS
Gavin and Carly Blackmore, their son, Lawson, daughter, Maeve, and Boston terrier, Tux, in their Falmouth living room.

ABOVE Gavin and Carly Blackmore, their son, Lawson, daughter, Maeve, and Boston terrier, Tux, perch on an Article sectional in their Falmouth living room. A pair of stainless-steel Thayer Coggin coffee tables reflects a rug they purchased in Marrakech.

Three years ago, Carly and Gavin Blackmore were finishing a renovation of an 18th-century Falmouth farmhouse when they brought their two children to the annual Halloween Walk in the nearby Foreside neighborhood. The parade of families took its time winding through dead-end streets lined with eerily decorated historic cottages whose owners greeted the kids by name. Down the hill, Casco Bay glimmered in the moonlight through the spare autumn foliage. The couple, who’d recently moved from Massachusetts, wanted in.

“There are ocean people and there are mountain people,” Carly says. The Blackmores are former professional rowers — she for the Australian national team, he for the United States national team — so you can probably guess their camp. Gavin surfs, and the whole family, including 9-year-old Maeve and 5-year-old Lawson, swims, kayaks, and sails. So finding a welcoming neighborhood with a shared dock they can swim or launch from was “a lucky break,” Gavin says.

In February 2020, the Blackmores put the farmhouse up for sale and closed on a circa 1900 cottage fringed with winterberry bushes on one of the streets they’d traversed on Halloween. It had the mix of old and new the couple wanted — an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings, thanks to a 1990s renovation, as well as aged elements like an ornate painted-brick living room fireplace and crooked white-oak floors. Carly, owner of the interiors firm Habitat Design, saw a canvas she could work with.

RIGHT 1) The circa 1900 cottage sports Jet Black paint by Benjamin Moore. 2) A nearby dock, owned by the neighborhood association, doubles as a racetrack. 3) A Mariah Robertson photograph and Serena & Lily rattan bench flank the living room’s original brick fireplace. 4) A West Elm LED lamp spotlights a living room corner with velvet-and-rattan chairs from All Modern, thrift-shop abstracts, and a letterpress print by Eve Fowler.

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ABOVE 1) Shepard Fairey’s Andre the Giant triptych watches over the dining room, furnished with a vintage rosewood table, an industrial brass chandelier, and vintage steel chairs from Carly’s native Sydney, Australia. 2) In the guest room, pink and ruddy hues in HomeGoods art, an Anthropologie lumbar pillow, and an antique Chinese vase Carly had converted into a lamp — one of several ceramics similarly repurposed in the home — provide a counterpoint to the traditional beach house navy in a pair of vintage crewel pillows. 3) In the owners’ bedroom, an Anthropologie inlay dresser, matched with West Elm bedding and a lumbar pillow, also from Anthropologie, provides one more strong black-and-white moment.

“It feels like we’ve settled,” she said recently, relaxing on a linen sofa before a stretch of water-facing windows in the living room. “There’s a low-key energy here that fits our groove.” As if on cue, Maeve ambles down from her room, where she’d been doing homework, leading their calico cat, Coco, on a neon-orange leash. Plopping down on a rattan chair in front of a print with the words “Pray For Surf” in block letters, she gathers Coco onto her lap and works her feet into a thick black-and-white Moroccan rug whose diamond motif is as bright as the cat’s leash. On a recent family trip to Marrakech, Carly went to a vendor’s home to peruse his inventory and spotted the rug drying on a rooftop clothesline five stories up.

After they haggled out a deal, he threw the rug from the roof to a courtyard below. “I was like, the rug’s never going to survive! But it did, and it’s here.”

ABOVE 1) A maze-like Juju Papers print, Kravet fabric on a mid-century chair, and a slender Ikea desk pick up the Fairey prints in the dining room. The brass mirror is from CB2 and the vintage lidded basket is from Maine Wicked Goods Mercantile in Freeport. 2) In the family room, a print by Kimberley Dhollander from Urban Outfitters and pair of eye-popping throw pillows punch up a CB2 linen sofa. 3) In Maeve’s room, an Ikea desk, sheepskin-draped Eames-style rocker, shag rug from All Modern, and Target neon sign form a chic homeschool setup.

Carly aimed to create “a sophisticated beach vibe” in the home, “an eclectic mix of the places we’ve traveled and taking a bit from Australian and West Coast styles as well.” (She hails from Sydney and Gavin spent part of his childhood in California.) Sand-colored seagrass rugs, low-slung rattan furniture, and natural woods mingle with chic, modern touches, like a sculptural LED floor lamp and mirrored-steel drum coffee tables in the living room and a Calder-esque brass dining room chandelier that hangs so low it nearly grazes the vintage rosewood table. The house presents this dialogue of casual and contemporary against a backdrop of White Diamond by Benjamin Moore. Stripped-pine doors inject historic patina, while inky notes on wallpapered accent walls and Moroccan-inspired patterns anchor the rooms with nods to the family’s latest far-flung adventure.

After a while, Maeve sighs and stands up, carrying Coco to the stairs, where she sits again, apparently ambivalent about returning to schoolwork. Later, Carly will have to retrieve Lawson from wherever he and his friends ended up outside. She might just stand on the deck and holler his name, the neighborhood’s that small. “It doesn’t sound like terribly good parenting,” she says. “But it’s kind of an old-fashioned, quintessential neighborhood that way.”

Former Elite Rowers Find Their Niche in a Friendly Falmouth Neighborhood

“A sophisticated beach vibe” prevails in their circa-1900 cottage.

Gavin and Carly Blackmore, their son, Lawson, daughter, Maeve, and Boston terrier, Tux, in their Falmouth living room.

ABOVE Gavin and Carly Blackmore, their son, Lawson, daughter, Maeve, and Boston terrier, Tux, perch on an Article sectional in their Falmouth living room. A pair of stainless-steel Thayer Coggin coffee tables reflects a rug they purchased in Marrakech.

TEXT BY SARA ANNE DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIAN RICHARDS

Three years ago, Carly and Gavin Blackmore were finishing a renovation of an 18th-century Falmouth farmhouse when they brought their two children to the annual Halloween Walk in the nearby Foreside neighborhood. The parade of families took its time winding through dead-end streets lined with eerily decorated historic cottages whose owners greeted the kids by name. Down the hill, Casco Bay glimmered in the moonlight through the spare autumn foliage. The couple, who’d recently moved from Massachusetts, wanted in.

“There are ocean people and there are mountain people,” Carly says. The Blackmores are former professional rowers — she for the Australian national team, he for the United States national team — so you can probably guess their camp. Gavin surfs, and the whole family, including 9-year-old Maeve and 5-year-old Lawson, swims, kayaks, and sails. So finding a welcoming neighborhood with a shared dock they can swim or launch from was “a lucky break,” Gavin says.

In February 2020, the Blackmores put the farmhouse up for sale and closed on a circa 1900 cottage fringed with winterberry bushes on one of the streets they’d traversed on Halloween. It had the mix of old and new the couple wanted — an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings, thanks to a 1990s renovation, as well as aged elements like an ornate painted-brick living room fireplace and crooked white-oak floors. Carly, owner of the interiors firm Habitat Design, saw a canvas she could work with.

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ABOVE 1) The circa 1900 cottage sports Jet Black paint by Benjamin Moore. 2) A nearby dock, owned by the neighborhood association, doubles as a racetrack. 3) A Mariah Robertson photograph and Serena & Lily rattan bench flank the living room’s original brick fireplace. 4) A West Elm LED lamp spotlights a living room corner with velvet-and-rattan chairs from All Modern, thrift-shop abstracts, and a letterpress print by Eve Fowler.

“It feels like we’ve settled,” she said recently, relaxing on a linen sofa before a stretch of water-facing windows in the living room. “There’s a low-key energy here that fits our groove.” As if on cue, Maeve ambles down from her room, where she’d been doing homework, leading their calico cat, Coco, on a neon-orange leash. Plopping down on a rattan chair in front of a print with the words “Pray For Surf” in block letters, she gathers Coco onto her lap and works her feet into a thick black-and-white Moroccan rug whose diamond motif is as bright as the cat’s leash. On a recent family trip to Marrakech, Carly went to a vendor’s home to peruse his inventory and spotted the rug drying on a rooftop clothesline five stories up.

After they haggled out a deal, he threw the rug from the roof to a courtyard below. “I was like, the rug’s never going to survive! But it did, and it’s here.”

ABOVE 1) Shepard Fairey’s Andre the Giant triptych watches over the dining room, furnished with a vintage rosewood table, an industrial brass chandelier, and vintage steel chairs from Carly’s native Sydney, Australia. 2) In the guest room, pink and ruddy hues in HomeGoods art, an Anthropologie lumbar pillow, and an antique Chinese vase Carly had converted into a lamp — one of several ceramics similarly repurposed in the home — provide a counterpoint to the traditional beach house navy in a pair of vintage crewel pillows. 3) In the owners’ bedroom, an Anthropologie inlay dresser, matched with West Elm bedding and a lumbar pillow, also from Anthropologie, provides one more strong black-and-white moment.

Carly aimed to create “a sophisticated beach vibe” in the home, “an eclectic mix of the places we’ve traveled and taking a bit from Australian and West Coast styles as well.” (She hails from Sydney and Gavin spent part of his childhood in California.) Sand-colored seagrass rugs, low-slung rattan furniture, and natural woods mingle with chic, modern touches, like a sculptural LED floor lamp and mirrored-steel drum coffee tables in the living room and a Calder-esque brass dining room chandelier that hangs so low it nearly grazes the vintage rosewood table. The house presents this dialogue of casual and contemporary against a backdrop of White Diamond by Benjamin Moore. Stripped-pine doors inject historic patina, while inky notes on wallpapered accent walls and Moroccan-inspired patterns anchor the rooms with nods to the family’s latest far-flung adventure.

After a while, Maeve sighs and stands up, carrying Coco to the stairs, where she sits again, apparently ambivalent about returning to schoolwork. Later, Carly will have to retrieve Lawson from wherever he and his friends ended up outside. She might just stand on the deck and holler his name, the neighborhood’s that small. “It doesn’t sound like terribly good parenting,” she says. “But it’s kind of an old-fashioned, quintessential neighborhood that way.”

ABOVE 1) A maze-like Juju Papers print, Kravet fabric on a mid-century chair, and a slender Ikea desk pick up the Fairey prints in the dining room. The brass mirror is from CB2 and the vintage lidded basket is from Maine Wicked Goods Mercantile in Freeport. 2) In the family room, a print by Kimberley Dhollander from Urban Outfitters and pair of eye-popping throw pillows punch up a CB2 linen sofa. 3) In Maeve’s room, an Ikea desk, sheepskin-draped Eames-style rocker, shag rug from All Modern, and Target neon sign form a chic homeschool setup.


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