Featured Property: Corne Neck Farm
Sink back into one of Jim Murphy’s handmade wooden Adirondack chairs — a drink in one hand and a book in the other — and gaze past porch railings to see the sun setting over the Great Salt Pond. It’s easy to see why this Corn Neck Road place is so beloved by Jim and Mary Ellen Murphy.
“We almost take the views for granted,” said Jim. “We get reminded when our guests go to us, ‘Did you see that sunset?’”
Everything inside and outside this grandiose home, which transforms into a two-room off-season bed and breakfast, has been designed with a purpose: to be the Murphys’ ideal home.
On the property when the couple bought it sat an old farmhouse. They eventually took this down and built a new place, but slightly larger and with personal touches.
“We were building it with a B&B in mind,” Jim Murphy explained, and Mary Ellen said that the multiple bedrooms also house visiting family, including seven grandkids.
A sliding door adjacent to the kitchen reveals a separate wing of the home, set aside for guests and the B&B, and with a cozy entranceway and three upstairs bedrooms. Guests can fall asleep in the peaceful quiet of this set-back location and wake up to a home-cooked continental breakfast, all made in Mary Ellen’s “dream kitchen” just downstairs.
An avid cook and baker, she makes coffee cake and muffins from scratch, and in the colder winter months, the house is filled with the aromas of hearty stews.
Waking up early to cook the breakfasts isn’t too hard for Mary Ellen — not when she’s greeted each morning by backyard pond views.
“I can lie in bed and look at the sun coming up,” she said. “It’s just wonderful.”
And in the summer months, the Murphys rent the house out to visiting families. The front porch, which snakes around three sides of the home, is built wide on purpose, allowing one person to relax in a chair while others can easily walk right by — perfect for bustling summer parties. Multiple doors allow for easy access to any area of the porch, and large windows take advantage of the views.
“On nice summer days, you can open the windows on one side and on the back side, and get the breeze blowing through the whole house,” said Jim.
For visiting families who would rather explore the island than entertain, the location is an easy walk to Andy’s Way, the Town Beach and the Block Island Club. And after a day of exploring, the house’s interior is geared toward relaxing and unwinding, with bedrooms that include TVs and queen beds, and bathrooms equipped with spa tubs.
One corner room adjacent to the kitchen is brimming with office supplies, fabrics, and sewing machines. That’s because Mary Ellen, a quilter by hobby, uses this as her personal quilting office.
Jim’s personal space is outside, in the property’s large garage, which was used by a previous owner as a mechanic’s shop, Mott’s Garage, but has since been transformed into Jim’s woodworking shop.
Jim built the relaxing chairs that sit outside, as well as the bike-rack in the gravel driveway. He also helped design the house’s layout, and Mary Ellen decorated it once it was built.
In creating the most inviting interior possible, Mary Ellen’s goal was to “keep it simple and keep it colorful so it can be a happy place.” Walls of warm browns, nautical greens and blues invite the visitor in, along with beach decorations and details, such as the sign right by one of the front entrances: “Welcome to our beach home.”
The six-bedroom, five-bathroom Corne Neck Farm is listed at $1,900,000. For information, call Ballard Hall Real Estate at (401) 466-8883 or visit www.blockislandproperty.com.