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House Tour | Alyson Horrocks' 18th-Century Colonial Home

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


House Tour | Alyson Horrocks’ 18th-Century Colonial Home
14 votes, 4.50 avg. rating (89% score)
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When Alyson Horrocks, along with her husband, Russ, and four children, relocated from California to the East coast, she had her heart set on finding an antique home in one of New England’s quintessential villages. Initially settling in Connecticut, the family soon realized that to truly have the authentic New England experience they were seeking, they would need to find a place that was more centrally located. But it wasn’t until they were out scouting small towns within an hour’s drive of Boston that they happened upon the village of Amherst, New Hampshire, and knew they’d found the town in which they wanted to put down roots.

Amherst Common

The village green, with its stately meetinghouse, monuments, and bench-bordered walkways snaking through it, looked like something conjured from a movie set or perhaps the pages of an old-fashioned storybook. The small town charm, good schools, and proximity to Boston were exactly what they’d been hoping to find. With the location chosen, their attention turned to finding the perfect home, which for them would be a historic house that was not in need of renovation or repair. Proximity to the village ranked next in order of importance.

Alyson's 18th-century Colonial home in Amherst, New Hampshire.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Alyson’s 18th-century Colonial home in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Just as it had been love at first sight when they initially circled the green, Alyson felt a connection to the late 18th-century Colonial nestled on one of the village’s side streets the moment she passed through its doors. The side door, which acts as the primary entrance, opens into an expansive kitchen that had been recently updated to blend with the historic style of the house. That the colors matched Alyson’s aesthetic was simply an added bonus.

Not only had the kitchen been renovated, but it was done in colors Alyson loves.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Not only had the kitchen been renovated, but it was done in colors Alyson loves.
The kitchen includes a spacious eat-in area.
Photo/Art by Alyson Horrocks
The kitchen includes a spacious eat-in area.


But the exposed beams in the living room really sealed the deal. “The warmth, the character, and history those beams brought to the space—it was exactly what I was looking for,” says Alyson.  And it just got better from there. At nearly 4000 square feet, not only was there plenty of room for the family of six, but it was also the perfect mix of modern convenience and historic charm.

The kitchen opens into the living room.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
The kitchen opens into the living room.

With its wide-planked pine floors, brick-faced fireplace, wooden-door clad cubby holes, and bank of windows, the living room is the kind of which house-hunting dreams are made. Deep-seated sofas, minimal decoration, and absolutely no clutter make for a room in which you can envision yourself kicking back with a good book.

Living Room
Photo/Art by Alyson Horrocks
Living Room

The first floor boasts three such rooms to lounge in, all with that slightly old-world feel that’s become Alyson’s decorating trademark.  Pass between the front door and main stairway, and you’ll enter the second— the library—featuring a built-in bookcase, sprawling hearth, and woodstove.

The library includes built-ins and a wood stove.
Photo/Art by Alyson Horrocks
The library includes built-ins and a wood stove.
Brenda Darroch


Brenda Darroch


Digital Editor Brenda Darroch creates, manages, and promotes content for,, e-newsletters, and Yankee's search and social media initiatives. Connect with !

6 Responses to House Tour | Alyson Horrocks’ 18th-Century Colonial Home

  1. Nick Pasq March 18, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Terrific photos. I left New England years ago and come to visit once in awhile but will never return
    to those taxes.

  2. Guy Scurti March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    Truly New England as only New England can be. May they have many years of contented living in that beautiful home.

  3. Judy Morley December 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    The outside of this house is very similar to a home we owned in Natick, MA . It was originally the Minister’s house. This style home is always so elegant we also had the carriage houses that were just darling with the rounded black doors against the white siding.

    This style home is very beautiful!

  4. cindy coble December 15, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    beautiful home. who is the portrait artist? super cool painting.

    • Brenda Darroch December 15, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      Hi Cindy — The artist is Heather Sleightholm of Audrey Eclectic.

  5. William Durling December 21, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    We bought this home in 1995 and completed the renovations you see in the great photographs in this article.

    My wife, Susan Durling, is a kitchen designer in Amherst and Portsmouth and designed the kitchen.

    The great interior colors and textures and the handpainted star in the dining room were created by Lisa Teague of Lisa Teague Studios in Portsmouth.

    We’re glad to see the new residents love the house!

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