by Jeannette de Beauvoir
The first thing that you need to know about DwellCoastal, a real estate office/art gallery on Commercial Street in Provincetown, is that it’s all about home.
Finding a home. Renovating a home. Decorating a home. Creating a home.
The company’s four owners—Meg Stewart, Maureen Wilson, Joel Harms, and Brad Horner—certainly know a great deal about all of those activities: they bring over eight decades of combined experience in real estate, sales, general contracting, and property management to DwellCoastal, as well as their own experiences relocating to Provincetown and doing property restoration.
And the experience shows. Walking into DwellCoastal is like walking into no other real estate office—it’s more like entering a set of rooms that belongs to someone, that someone has made into a welcoming, livable space. Yes, the walls are gallery-white; yes, there are worktops; but the office presents more like someone’s bright and airy apartment.
That’s no accident. “We want people to feel comfortable,” says Stewart. “Everything we do here is about that sense of home. It’s a very different approach from the other real estate offices in town.” Harms agrees. “There’s a certain synergy in this different real estate model,” he says. “It gives us so much more exposure.”
The two couples have been friends for many years, and recognized early on that they had a lot in common—even down to their tastes in décor: the women used to own an antique/nautical shop; the men were their best customers. “We’re all here because of art and because of the water,” says Horner. “We always said that we wanted to make our home by the water. And we wanted our work to be a celebration of the coastal lifestyle.”
The coastal lifestyle is apparent in the accoutrements that go along with the gallery: visitors can take home bits of Provincetown with them, from a picnic service with plastic glasses to a small—or even a large—painting. “We get more people in because we’re also a gallery,” says Wilson. “The art starts the conversation. People visit, sometimes they purchase, and then they come back.”
Horner likes to talk about the “coming back” aspect of DwellCoastal. “It’s this process that a lot of people go through,” he says. “First they visit for a week, then the next year it’s two weeks, then finally it’s about buying a vacation home … and finally, for some, a permanent home here. It’s so interesting to see the process that people go through in the transition between living somewhere else and living here. And, of course, to help them with that process.”
Harms agrees. “We commit to the whole experience,” he says. The team’s expertise is tremendously helpful to homebuyers, as everyone on it knows about renovating and repair: they can tell what kind of work a property will need—and even do a lot of it themselves.
While it may be only part of the full picture, the art selected for DwellCoastal is well worth considering on its own merits. “We like to support emerging artists,” says Wilson. Many local artists are featured, including Deborah Kerr and Jerry Anathan; the latter has an upcoming photography show that is a portrait project of time she spent in a refugee camp; proceeds will be donated back to the camp.
While projects such as that one are serious, Stewart hastens to add that one of the company’s strengths is that “we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s important for us to have fun and to share that feeling with others.” She points to an old 1940s sign—“listings wanted”—that hangs in the front window. “Won’t see that at any other real estate office!” she jokes. Adds Wilson, “We weren’t always sure that people got us.”
It’s clear that by now, people do. Celebrating its second year, DwellCoastal is thriving, with an especially fast-growing rental business and many repeat customers.
So take a moment to stop by, maybe pick up a piece of art that will remind you of Provincetown—or a piece of property that will allow you to stay here forever!
DwellCoastal is located at 372 Commercial St. in Provincetown. For more information, call 508.487.3935 or visit dwellcoastalpt.com.