Shingle Style On The Maine Coast
June 23, 2020
Text by Paula M. Bodah Photography by Read McKendree
On any given summer day in this coastal Maine home, the scents of sea and sunscreen drift in on the breeze, overlaid with the happy laughter of children. Come night-time—after sweeping sand from the floors and consigning soggy beach towels to the laundry room—Mom and Dad kick back, on the broad front porch perhaps, or by the fireplace in the screened three-season room if there’s a nip in the air, and reflect on another day well spent.
For the four children, from toddler to preteen, these carefree days unfold just as they should: one by one, each its own fleeting experience, with no thought for the future. Their parents know, however, that the barbecues with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the passel of cousins who live nearby, the sun-drenched days at the beach, even the rainy-day games, are the ingredients for a lifetime of cherished memories.
That, of course, was the plan all along. The family’s primary home is in Connecticut, but the mother grew up in this very Maine neighborhood. Her connection with her extended family remains strong, and she and her husband hope their kids will forge the same solid bonds. In fact, although it’s tempting to call this their summer house, the family also makes the drive north for long weekends, holidays, and random getaways.
Architect Vincent Falotico could hardly have designed a more suitable house for fulfilling that hope. The Shingle-style home is a New England beachfront classic with its gabled dormers, stone chimneys, and a series of porches that cascade from top to bottom of the two-and-a-half-story structure. “This is a low-key community,” Falotico notes. “They didn’t want the house to pop out.” That said, the homeowners did choose to paint the exterior an eye-catching shade of summer-sky blue.
Inside, Falotico kept the details simple, with unfussy moldings and Shaker-style paneling. “We wanted a clean look, but not too contemporary,” he explains. He outfitted the foyer in horizontal flush-board siding that continues up the stairway to the second floor. “It’s durable, fresh, and clean-looking, and it gives texture to the walls.”
Interior designer Chauncey Boothby came to the project with true cred: like the homeowner, she’s a native of Maine who now lives in Connecticut and has young children. Granting the couple’s wish for a beach house that wasn’t too beachy, Boothby overlaid a mostly white backdrop with blues in shades from the dining room’s pale-sky hue to the duck-egg of the kitchen islands, to the almost-white of a breaking wave’s froth in the master suite. “The colors evoke the ocean for a beachy feel, but without cliché,” the designer says. Natural materials—rushed and caned chairs, the master bedroom’s paper-cord chandelier—foster the connection to the landscape. So does the art; every piece, from the large seascapes in the living room to the vivid painting in the husband’s office, is from Kennebunk’s Maine Art Hill, a gallery that represents solely Maine-connected artists.
The children, naturally, don’t focus on the stylish elegance of the decor or the clever way both architect and designer created an effortless flow between rooms. They’re too busy creating memories.