Business advisor and executive coach Karen Hamilton Gill and her husband Prit Gill, a urgent care medicine doctor, are jetting off to a new corner of the world—but first, they must say goodbye to their New England townhouse by the sea.

At Home in Hingham

As this worldly and well-traveled couple prepares for the next phase of their lives together, they partner with Compass to migrate from their shipyard sanctuary.

Alex Reis

Images: Jesika Theos

When Karen and Prit found their place in Hingham by way of Martha’s Vineyard 5 years ago, they were drawn to their new home for its close proximity to the water and the town’s strong community spirit — making it all the more challenging to depart now. They ultimately decided to join forces with Compass agent Adrianne Hanley, with whom they happily discovered they share a global connection: Adrianne was born in South Africa, where Karen and Kenyan-born Prit own a property on a safari park called “Hakuna Matata.”

How did you find your way to this Hewitts Landing home?

Karen: My husband and I were living on Martha’s Vineyard and traveling abroad frequently, both for business and personal reasons, so we decided to move to the mainland, closer to an international airport. We heard that the Hingham shipyard is an up-and-coming area, and the minute we went and toured the rows of charming townhouses, we could envision ourselves here.

Though hard to imagine as sailboats and buoys bob peacefully in the blue sea, this spot has a storied past as the USA’s ship-building hub during WWII.

What do you enjoy about living in the neighborhood?

Karen: There’s so much to love about West Hingham-Fort Hill. What comes to mind first is the ferry to Boston — it’s a fun and easy way to travel into the city without having to deal with any traffic. There’s a wonderful feeling of community at the shipyard that ranges from young families to retired folks and everyone in between. We were very drawn to its diversity.

The other great thing about this location is convenience — you don’t ever have to leave! Fresh Market is our favorite store, but you also have Trader Joe’s, CVS, and the movie theater around the corner. From kayaking during the day to hitting the town in the evenings to hosting friends on weekends, there’s always something going on around here.

The sea green, light blue, and neutral color palette is an homage to the home’s close proximity to the harbor.

How did you make this place your own?

Karen: We moved in right after it was built, so we really just incorporated our personal flourishes. We added a wet bar, recessed lighting, and wainscoting. Both of us enjoy gardening in our free time, so we installed self-watering flower boxes and planters on the street side.

We also upgraded the garage by putting in customized storage that matches the crown molding in the house, resurfacing the floor with a high-end, stain-resistant finish, and adding electric doors.

In terms of art and furniture, can you share a bit about where you source from and what styles you gravitate toward?

Karen: Prit and I have very eclectic taste, though our leanings are more modern and neoclassical. We often integrate pieces that come from our travels as well as gifts from our family and friends. We like our environs to be a balance of sophistication and comfort with a little whimsy thrown in for good measure.

We also have a sense of humor in our art. One of our pieces is is a replica of a 60-foot sculpture by the Swedish artist Carl Milles. You’ll notice the irony in this sculpture — the man is looking up into the heavens searching for God, unaware that he is actually being held in the hand of God.

Karen and Prits’ art is a reflection of their well-traveled lives. The hippo, left, is carved out of one piece of wood. Coincidentally, Adrianne has a similar wooden hippo in her office that she received as a gift from Mozambique — further connecting the agent/client team.

The architecture includes some unique details. What appealed most to you?

Karen: The exteriors of the home welcomed us immediately with classic columns. And we have so much storage! It’s the first time in our lives that we have more than we need. We also really like how the floor plan has an airy, open flow while each room is still distinct.

Left: The pair spent many afternoons on their perfectly-positioned deck watching the sailboats gracefully cross paths. Right: Their pup, Lilly, loves to chase balls by the shoreline.

How did you spend time in your harborside haven?

Karen: We’re very much entertainers, especially on holidays and special occasions. We once had 50+ people over and it felt completely spacious and easy with the large kitchen and so many nooks and crannies to tuck into. Other times, especially in the winter, we like to huddle by the fireplace, sip hot cocoa, and work on a puzzle or read a good book.

Adrianne and the Gill’s talk marketing strategy with a view.

Tell me a little bit about working with Adrianne and Compass to market and sell your beloved home — I heard you have quite the global connection!

Karen: We do! It turns out Adrianne was born in South Africa, where we have a home and a nature conservancy, so we connected immediately. Adrianne is positive, high-energy and totally professional. She has been completely devoted to helping us through this transition and goes the extra mile at every turn. We trust her implicitly.

She has introduced us to and educated us about Compass, and her enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself sharing many of the things I learned about Compass from Adrianne with family and friends.

Karen and Prit may not know where they’re going, but they’re ready to find their next place in the world.

What’s next for you?

Well, Prit is ready to retire from practicing family medicine. His dream has always been to retire in South Africa–which is why we built our home there. We were married just four years ago and in that time I have come to share his passion for the bushveld. I’m not ready to retire just yet, but I can do my job as a business advisor and executive coach from anywhere.

We only have one small wrinkle in our plan. We recently became grandparents! Our daughter, her husband, and their baby boy are living in Dallas, so we are a bit torn about where to relocate. Either South Africa or Dallas would be a wonderful choice.

Want to work with an agent like Adrianne Hanley? Compass partners with you throughout your home search and sell experience, providing deep knowledge of Greater Boston’s real estate market to help you find your place in the world.

Compass Quarterly

Compass Quarterly is a print and digital publication that celebrates our brand's core values: technology, data, entrepreneurship, and design. Join us as we create a more sophisticated real estate experience.

Alex Reis

Written by

Alex Reis

Content Associate @Compassinc

Compass Quarterly

Compass Quarterly is a print and digital publication that celebrates our brand's core values: technology, data, entrepreneurship, and design. Join us as we create a more sophisticated real estate experience.