Singer/songwriter and Grammy winner Paula Cole lives the good life on MassachusettsÂ’s North Shore.

Paula Cole is an internationally known recording artist with a schedule that often requires being on the road, but when it comes to her personal life, the Grammy winner calls the sleepy North Shore of Massachusetts home. There, Cole lives with her family in a more than 100-year-old carriage house—“formerly for horses and cows, with an old root cellar, too,” she says. Here, Cole talks to Ocean Home about the simple things she loves most about oceanfront living. By, Lindsay Lambert

What drew you to this location when it came to buying a home? The land is so beautiful. We instantly fell in love with the peace and wildlife. Also, weÂ’re close to my family here.

WhatÂ’s your favorite beach pasttime? The annual New YearÂ’s Day morning dip in the cold Atlantic with my family.

What features of the home allow you to best enjoy its beach setting? We are such a short jaunt from the beach. I take great pleasure in seeing the kidsÂ’ joy in bounding down the trail to the shore. One day, I know they will reflect upon how lucky weÂ’ve been to live by the sea.

How would you describe the home’s décor style? [It’s] a mix of rustic and modern with a few traditional dashes. This is a strong-boned carriage house with history. I love wood, so I’ve wrapped two rooms’ walls in local white pine. I seek calming, natural environs, keeping an eye on green living, feng shui, and a generous sense of space. Often I find I’m bringing a little bit of a NYC loft feel to this house. It’s eclectic. But mostly, it’s unfinished. This one will take years.

What’s your favorite decorating element when it comes to your oceanfront home? Truly, my favorite aspect of this home is the land, the wildlife. From my back windows, I can see the pond; from my front windows I see land and ocean and the occasional gray fox.  So, my “decorating” is more about comforting the soul and honoring our outside environment. It is rewarding when people come to my home and visibly relax. Open space de-stresses. Then, I find people’s eyes moving to the windows and the outside. The scenery is mesmerizing (much better than TV). We are replacing all the windows here, so I certainly know the value of that. Windows are the eyes to the soul outside, and a practical necessity for energy conservation.

As a recording artist, you spend time on both coasts. What are the biggest differences between the two coasts and their lifestyles? Having lived in both Northern and Southern California, I adore the sense of indoor/outdoor culture. With comfortable temperatures, cool nights, and easy weather…West Coast living is very focused on [a] harmonious duet of indoor/outdoor circulation. From the pelicans and dolphins by the giant sand of Zuma in Malibu to the colder, rocky coves of Mendecino, California has a deep place in my heart. I need to go there to feel complete. But I love my smaller, softer, incredibly beautiful Massachusetts beaches. I love the sea grass and dunes, the environmental awareness for our relatively clean Massachusetts North Shore beaches. And honestly, I love the beaches all year round. I donÂ’t need perfect weather to be happy on these stunning shores. I am grateful for the wide-ranging moods Mother Nature gives us here. And that speaks of a hardiness to the culture here that is very satisfying to know.