coastal decor and crafts

3/13/13

A Chattel House Cottage by the Sea

Do you know what a Chattel house is? It's a house designed to move! And this Chattel house was moved to a dreamy spot on the island of Santa Lucia overlooking the Caribbean sea.

Chattel house
The house was built in circa 1910, and moved to the property from a nearby village. The word Chattel means moveable property and the term goes back to the plantation days when laborers weren't allowed to own the land. Instead, their employer often owned the land. And if there ever was a dispute or a work change, the house could be quickly moved to a new property. A Chattel house is set on blocks (not anchored into the ground) and built entirely out of wood, assembled without nails.

historic Chattel house on St. Lucia
Here a side view with the lovely porch. The ornamentation along the roof line reminds me of the gingerbread cottages on Martha's Vineyard (see Hot Historic Homes by the Sea).

Chattel house interior
A peak into one of the bedrooms. A St. Lucian bed, and the mementos on the table include a porcelain shell.

Chattel guest house
Here the owner, Lord Glenconner, who is British Royalty, stands in front of the guest cottage which is also part of the compound. Lord Glenconner (formerly Colin Tennants) moved to St Lucia in 1992 and lived here until his death in 2011 at the age of 83. He was the man who bought the neighboring island of Mustique and turned it into an exclusive destination for royalty, aristocrats and the rich and famous.

Handmade Bamboo Curio Table
Glenconner was quite crafty too and made this bamboo Curio Table to hold collected beach treasures. To see more of this sweet Chattel House, head over to Architectural Digest!

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