A home on Saturday’s Newburyport Kitchen Tour combines open spaces and brightness, qualities that bring pleasure and relief to the young family who lives there.

The Nantucket-style shingle house at 163 High Road in Newbury is one of 11 stops on the tour, an annual event that also offers visitors tastes from local eateries.

In a pre-tour visit to the Andersons’ house last week, their oldest child, Jackson, 12, was making a late lunch, a Fluffernutter sandwich, at a corner of the white kitchen island, an ocean of whiteness.

The 10-foot-long, 6-foot-wide marble table weighs more than a ton and was part of the extensive rebuild at the home between October and January, MaryJo Anderson said.

It took a crane and more than a dozen workers to incorporate the kitchen, island, dining room and living room into a single open space.

Her husband, Bryce Anderson, principal of Coffey Design + Build Co., did the building and design in cooperation with MaryJo, architect Laine Jones Design and designer Katie Goodrich of Ivory & Bone Interiors.

Behind Jackson sits the breakfast nook, all white, leading to the deck with its raised herb garden and strawberries.

In front of him, beyond the expansive island table, are two swings, also white, hanging in the living room.

Jackson and his two siblings love the swings. They face a wall of windows looking out on the expansive marsh, with Plum Island in the distance.

Wildlife spotting is another family favorite, MaryJo Anderson said. Three pair of binoculars rest on a shelf to assist. 

“We’ve got a zoo back there,” MaryJo said.

The menagerie includes coyotes, foxes and deer.

The kitchen, island, nook, dining table and living room combine one great big space. Just what the family needs with its hectic schedule.

The parents work — MaryJo is a fitness instructor — and the children are in perpetual motion, running to and from school and soccer and other activities.

Reece, 9, is a third-grader, and Bryce Anderson III, 3, goes to preschool.

MaryJo’s reasons for the overwhelmingly white decor are two.

“When something is dirty, I can see where the dirt is,” she said.

And the second reason?

“It calms me,” she said.

With three kids; two energetic Boston terriers, Chippy and Allie; and a cat, Kit-Kat, chaos reigns in the Anderson household.

For this reason, they savor moments when they can slow down and enjoy their lives.

Each day, they are greeted by the sun rising over the marsh.

“It is like God saying hello, the sun coming through the windows,” she said.

The house also has white oak floors, an oversized farmhouse sink, a glass-front French-door refrigerator and a hidden pantry opposite the nook.

The house sits at the end of a long driveway. The property comprises 14 acres, including lawn, hedges, a vegetable garden and an in-ground pool.

A lone tree with a white buoy swing sits where the yard gives way to marsh.

Saturday’s visitors will see the open-concept kitchen space and tour the yard via the deck.

On the deck, visitors will taste treats from Newburyport Olive Oil Co. and its sister culinary goods store, Port Plums.

Karen Shernan will serve four selections of Dancing Goats Dairy cheese each drizzled with a different olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

Tasters will spread the cheese on When Pigs Fly bread.

Shernan has been part of at least three other Newburyport kitchen tours.

She said that it’s a great cause. Each year, the tour, a Newburyport PTO fundraiser, raises more than $35,000 for Newburyport public schools.

Plus, for all the foodies out there who like kitchens, it’s a chance to see what people have done and to get ideas for their own homes.

Over at the Andersons, top off the tour with a lemonade served from the family’s refurbished Airstream trailer, nicknamed “Pearl.”

If you go

What: 19th annual Newburyport Kitchen Tour

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much: Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the event. They are available online at www.newburyportkitchentour.com and at Buttermilk Baking Co., 9 Liberty St.; B&G Cabinet, 253 Low St.; Chococoa Baking Co., 50 Water St.; Newburyport Lighting Co., 38 Merrimac St.; Piper & Chloe, 5 Water St.; Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water St.; and William Raveis Real Estate, 12 Federal St.

On the tour


18 Atwood St.

13A Tremont St.

26 Summit Place

293 High St.

101/2 Christopher St.

439 Merrimac St.

266 Merrimac St.


163 High Road

8 Wilshire Road


497 Main St.

442 Main St.

Tastings on tap

The Angry Donut

Brick & Ash

Buttermilk Baking Co.

Chococoa Baking Co.


Dianne’s Fine Desserts

Figtree Kitchen

The Grog


Newburyport Brewing Co.

Newburyport Olive Oil Co./Port Plums

Otto Pizza

The Poynt 

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