Handkerchief Heights is a small, white cottage, with a few windows, a creaky door, and a white brick chimney.
The inside of the cottage is one small room, most of which is occupied by fireplaces, one in each corner. There is a small table and stool, as well as a coffeepot and cups.
Ellington Feint claims the cottage was named Handkerchief Heights because the washerwoman used to hang handkerchiefs on a clothesline in the backyard. It is later revealed that this is a lie and the cottage was so named because of the view of the choppy, white water from the cliffs and the drying newspapers fluttering from the hawser by the staff of the The Stain'd Lighthouse. The cottage may have been the guest cottage of the Sallis Mansion, which was, according to Moxie Mallahan, rented by the copy editor of the newspaper.
Ellington lived temporarily in the cottage, before vacating after being discovered by Lemony Snicket. The cottage was later occupied by Cleo Knight, who used its proximity to Offshore Island to gather chemicals. Her and Jake Hix tended a garden there. The Association of Associates and Josephine met there for a celebratory dinner.