A Bright Maine Summer Home

May 1, 2020

Text by Megan Fulweiler    Photography by Read McKendree    Produced by Karin Lidbeck Brent

It could be the salty air or the clear water. Maybe it’s the romance of misty mornings or the seabirds. Whatever it is, once smitten with the bliss of a Maine summer, visitors come back year after year. Take this family, for instance.

The wife has known this slice of the state’s southern coast since childhood. Not surprisingly, her husband fell under its spell as well, and then, of course, so did their three children.

The teeny cottage they purchased years ago was the backdrop for many happy memories, but time was taking its toll. Too tight for an active family and too old to repair, down it came. With the help of architect Robert Freedman, up rose a more livable three-story Shingle-style house in its place.

“We wanted to get out from behind the dune and capture views we’d been missing,” the wife explains. To that end, the first level of the home is given over primarily to bedrooms for the almost-grown kids and guests. The open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space occupies the second level. The top floor is dedicated to the master suite.

Today, there are postcard vistas at every window. But there’s something else, too: the bright blue-as-the-sky exterior gives just the barest hint of the magic inside. Working closely with the wife, interior designer Katie Rosenfeld has created personality-filled rooms that she refers to as “quintessentially Maine.”

“I think of this house as my soul sister,” Rosenfeld says. “My client is very artistic. Her bohemian spirit inspired me. I threw caution to the wind and piled it on.” Splashes of color and layers of textiles, patterns here and patterns there, enliven every inch from top to bottom. “It’s a delicate balance between granny-chic and boho-chic,” the designer explains.

An inventory of the welcoming living area proves her right: the hearth’s handmade delft tiles are classic, the oversize ottoman is upholstered in a stunning antique rug, and there’s not a matchy-matchy fabric in sight. Even the window seats flaunt their own fetching, far-from-ho-hum blend of patterns. Meals transpire around the farmhouse trestle table in the dining area, and what better spot? Throw open the doors to the deck and there’s the sparkling ocean.

With the aid of Jannell Zarba, of Damiana Design and Project Management, the kitchen came together as smoothly as the rest of the house. An abundance of cabinets—painted a soothing Benjamin Moore color called Silver Lake—provides ample storage and keeps the space tidy. In the nearby laundry room, cabinets painted a zingy yellow elevate the washing from mundane to almost fun. The same happy golden hue pops up again on a bureau in a guest bedroom, where visitors nod off under a checkerboard blanket and a custom duvet.

The homeowners do their nighttime stargazing from their private third-floor aerie that, no surprise, sports its own charming play of colors and patterns. The room’s mood is as relaxing as a day at the beach, which, come to think of it, is the ideal round-the-clock ambiance for every vacation home.

Project Team:
Interior design: Katie Rosenfeld and Company
Architecture: Kennebunk River Architects
Builder: Norm Laliberte, Spang Builders

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