House Lust: A Purple Victorian is on the Market in Westerly

This historic Elm Street abode is a work of art, inside and out.

Twelve: That’s how many colors bedeck the exterior of this Westerly Victorian. It’s not just a purple house; it has shades of blue and green and yellow and pink, too. With every stroke of the brush, the house painters added another layer of interest to an already-stunning structure: Shingle-style, with all the decorative trappings, set atop a foundation of granite blocks. It’s one of Elm Street’s most notable homes — it was once owned by a beloved local physician, who operated his practice out of the basement — and, now, it’s on the market.

The interior is as demure as the exterior is resplendent. The current homeowners — who’ve lived here for more than a decade — brought the living spaces into the twenty-first century, says Larry Burns of Lila Delman Real Estate, who listed the property over the weekend. The previous homeowner can be credited with saving this old house, but “it was very dark,” says Burns. “He liked it that way; it was a period piece.”

Burns’s clients, a family with young children, brightened the interiors and refinished the ground level of the house, adding a wine cellar, a rec room, a family room with a soapstone bar and a mudroom. They also installed central air conditioning, renovated the master bathroom and updated the landscaping, Burns says, including a stretch of hydrangeas that bloom in a spray of purple and blue in summer.

“It’s much more family-friendly livable,” he adds.

The ground level updates, master bath renovations and the open kitchen with a Viking range would appeal to most contemporary buyers. But the stained glass, the ornate quarter-turn staircase and, yes, the glorious purple paint work, call to a particular type of person.

Lovers of color and history and turret rooms with big, comfy reading chairs, here’s your House Lust:

For more information on 59 Elm Street in Westerly, contact Larry Burns at 401-222-0656 or visit


House Lust: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is On the Market
Inside an Eclectic East Side Home Modeled After a Maine Library
House Lust: A Luxe Townhouse in a Converted Masonic Lodge in Newport