Shelf Life

A Bristol author fills her home with books and storied collections


Step inside the Bristol townhouse of Loretta and Geoffrey Marion and it’s no mystery that this is a couple who values the printed page. “It’s all about the books for us. There are books in nearly every room of our home,” begins Loretta. “My husband and I are both true bibliophiles with an ever-expanding collection: Classic literature, history and biographies, commercial fiction, mysteries, I could go on.”

Loretta is an author and her latest book “House of Ashes” is the first in her new Haunted Bluffs Mystery series. With a home overlooking a preserve and views of Mount Hope Bay it’s clear that this idyllic farmcoast location informs a similar setting of Loretta’s latest effort, which takes place on Cape Cod. “Being able to gaze out at nature is inspiring for my writing.”

When the Marions took residence of their home from rural Connecticut ten years ago, the first task was making space for a library’s worth of tomes. Built-in shelving now spans entire walls of large rooms on the main floor while a second-story loft and basement fixtures keep even more books at the ready. Warm woods and neutral walls contribute to the welcoming feel.

“My husband calls the sunroom my theater of creativity because that’s where I write. It’s a comfortable and brightly lit room with lots of books, family photographs, and an inspiring view out to the preserve and the Bay.” Accents in the Marion home are personal, like the cherished Underwood typewriter, an antique that belonged to her mother. “It is a reminder of her constant encouragement through all the ups and downs of my writing journey,” Loretta says.

Loretta uses “eclectic, casual, and fun” to describe her decor, noting a diverse collection of art, from surreal to whimsical to classic. “We love dogs and there are winks to our canine friends throughout the home, including a guest bedroom decorated totally in ‘dog’.” Other collections include antique yellowware bowls and Italian ceramic dishes, which also serve as reminders of Loretta’s mother. Watercolors painted by Geoffrey’s father along with a dog painting that he helped design, infuse walls with sentiment and color.

Says Loretta, “I love the dramatic look of the cathedral ceilings which open to the second-floor loft, and the fact that the townhouse does not have the feeling of an attached condo. Instead it feels like a free-standing home.”  




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