Featured Property: Buol home on Blueberry Hill
Tom Buol, a contractor, designed and built his West Side Road home to be “nice and homey.”
This homey feel — with an open floor plan, custom oak trim, and many windows — make it a great place to raise a family and entertain guests.
“We raised two kids there,” said Tom. “And all their friends would come over and had a great time just hanging out.”
It was never boring at Tom’s home. For example, dinner parties were common. “People would bring their own appetizers and drinks, and there were lots of kids around,” said Tom. The kitchen, complete with cherry cabinets and granite counter tops, was designed for the very purpose of feeding a family and guests.
“We cook all the time,” said Tom. “My kids like to make chicken parm.”
A cozy family room, complete with a fireplace, was the best spot for guests to sprawl out and unwind. Tom especially said this was his favorite spot — “I spend a lot of time watching sports on TV in the family room,” he said.
And multiple bedrooms meant that even many guests could stay over — “Even when the kids are there, we’d have an extra bedroom.”
For many years, island kids would drift in and out of the house, grabbing snacks from the kitchen and then going outside to play sports in the property’s large lawn, while adults sat on the back deck sipping cocktails.
In the summertime, the home was the perfect spot to host sunset cookouts, and in the wintertime, ample indoor space provided enough room for many people to keep cozy and warm.
Tom and wife Pam raised both of their boys, Chris and Tim, on Block Island, and the boys were active. The backyard was the place of choice for whatever game they wanted to play.
“They built dirt bike trails in the yard,” said Tom. “I’m a contractor, and I always had equipment lying around. We built all sorts of things for them.”
The most fun one, said Tom, might have been the half-pipe — a skating ramp — they built at a flat spot in the yard. “They used to turn on the flood light, and they used to skate in the backyard at night,” said Tom, laughing at the memories.
But just because the property was often filled with kids laughing and playing doesn’t mean it wasn’t relaxing for the adults.
“It’s just nice and quiet,” said Tom. “Every now and then we can hear the music from Champlin’s [Marina], if the wind’s in the right direction. Sometimes in the winter we hear the sound of the ocean at night.”
The second floor of the house has views that look out over the ocean, all the way out to western Connecticut on a clear day, said Tom.
And the first floor views look out over an expansive, professionally designed landscape complete with a waterfall, a rock garden and flowerbeds, and is a close walk to island nature trails.
“We have a big deck, and did a lot of grilling outside,” said Tom. “Now all the trees are growing up and there’s plenty of shade.”
And just like the trees, the “kids” that Tom knew grew up, and Tom knows it’s time to give up his family home to a new generation of laughter, fun times and Block Island memories.
Listed at $1,395,000. For information, call Ballard Hall Real Estate at (401) 466-8883 or visit www.blockislandproperty.com.