The town of Duxbury is known for its scenic beauty, aquatic recreation opportunities and laid-back lifestyle. For Jill and Paal Gisholt it was the ideal place to build their dream home. “We love the water and there are few towns that are more connected to the bay than Duxbury,” says Jill Gisholt.
The couple lives in a custom-built 8,000-square-foot home with distinct architecture and breathtaking water views. They worked closely with Campbell Smith Architects and Jack Robbie of JB Robbie Builders to design the home and create living spaces that are airy and elegant.
Hand-hewn beams sourced from an 18th-century barn in Maine were lightened to mimic California sun-bleached wood and anchor the interior design of the six-bedroom estate. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace serves as the focal point for the great room, which features two grand light fixtures and eclectic artwork curated by the couple. One of the most evocative pieces is by German metal sculptor Rainer Lagemann and showcases the high ceilings in the home.
“The room is open, like a New York City loft, but it doesn’t feel overly cavernous because it’s broken up with small elements like beams and an archway,” says Gisholt. With five children, four dogs and one cat, the pair opted for neutral furnishings that would suit their busy lifestyle.
Being avid entertainers and travelers, the couple treasures their lower-level wine cellar, which was designed to be reminiscent of the old-world Italian Riviera. “We were in Cinque Terre and walked by a really cool restaurant and were intrigued by the mixed media art and masonry,” says Gisholt.
The enchanting space has a vaulted ceiling, stone veneer walls and ceramic tile flooring laid in a contemporary chevron pattern. An avant-garde Edison light fixture lures the gaze of guests and highlights the couple’s impressive wine collection. A dazzling cedar door, custom-made in Morocco and designed by the couple gives a nod to their engagement in the seafaring region.
Last fall, the Gisholts were visited by New England Living television host Parker Kelley as part of an episode celebrating life in Duxbury. The couple graciously opened up their home to the film crew and shared some of their favorite things about their coastal community.
New England Living Comes to Duxbury
A sailing enthusiast who races Lasers, Paal Gisholt invited Kelley out for a sail on the glistening waters of Duxbury Bay. They were accompanied by Chuck Leonard, president of Duxbury Bay Maritime School, a vibrant organization that offers community members the opportunity to experience a wide variety of recreational and educational programs, from sailing and rowing to ecology classes.
Jill and her daughter Lyla, who is a fierce competitor, ride horses four days a week at River WindFarm in nearby Pembroke. “I love that with horses you have to totally trust a huge, unpredictable animal to do their job correctly and not hurt you,” says Jill, who works in the animal health field.
As part of the episode, the Gisholts hosted an elegant seaside dinner. Floral designer Sarah Beattie, owner of Consider the Lilies, arrived in a Volkswagen Bus bursting with floral arrangements for the party, and a team from Island Creek Oysters set up an exquisite raw bar on the rear patio overlooking the bay. Along with the local oysters, guests enjoyed Billy Bennett’s Famous Cooked Shrimp Cocktail. “Oystering is the heart and soul of Duxbury,” says Gisholt.
“From the bay and beach to the historical homes, Duxbury has so much charm and character,” says Island Creek Oysters e-commerce manager Annie McNamara, who shucked nearly 200 briny bivalves that evening.
During dinner, Siobhan Roggenkamp, wine and craft beer specialist at Snug Harbor Wine, provided a variety of delicious wine pairings to complement a menu of Italian dishes that included fried eggplant with ricotta cheese and a blonde Bolognese over cappellini. At the conclusion of the meal, she uncorked a bottle of Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti from the Piedmont region of Italy to accompany a dessert of anisette and mascarpone mousse. Guests raised a glass to toast the good food and company.
Catch New England Living’s Duxbury episode on CBS Boston at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 15.