Rocky shores, sweeping vistas, tight-knit communities—the coastal towns of Maine are famous for their ability to entice visitors to return summer after summer, generation after generation. So it was for a Connecticut-based husband and wife, the latter having grown up spending holidays in the southern part of the state, when they bought a piece of land there adjacent to her parents’ home—and just a stone’s throw from various aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The couple, who have four young children, wanted a retreat that was bright and airy, one that captured plenty of classic New England charm without being cliché. Enter designer Chauncey Boothby, a Maine native with a proven talent for putting a fresh spin on the region’s old-school design sensibilities.
The plan for the home’s interior started with the color palette: Rather than rely on a stereotypical navy-and-white nautical theme, Boothby dressed the house in “duck egg blues, teals, flax and taupes that pull from the sea and sand, but that didn’t necessarily scream coastal,” says the House Beautiful Next Wave designer. Next, “Instead of typical beach decor, we mixed in mid-century inspired pieces, caned woods and various natural materials among otherwise tailored furniture.”
With the constant ebb and flow of guests in mind, the house has two separate bunk rooms—one for the couple’s two older sons, where the custom beds feature queen-sized lower bunks and twins up above, and another one for visiting friends and family. (For the occasions when it hosts adult guests, “we tried to make it feel a little less juvenile,” says Boothby.)
While the house was primarily built as a summer retreat, architects Brooks & Falotico and builders Thomas & Lord designed it to be used year-round, fully winterizing the structure so that the family could use it during the spring and autumn shoulder seasons, when nighttime temperatures can drop precipitously, and holidays like Thanksgiving. The decision that proved especially prescient over the past year: “It served as the perfect spot to quarantine!” says Boothby.
Two kitchen islands mean that the clients, frequent entertainers, have plenty of space to prep for dinner parties while the kids eat at the counter. Island paint color: Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore. Stools: Serena & Lily. Pendants: The Urban Electric Co. (in Benjamin Moore’s Wythe Blue). Tile: Subway Ceramics.
“The requirement for this room was to maximize seating,” says Boothby. “Typically the table is set for 10, but when fully extended, the table can squeeze up to 14.” Pale blue trim—Benjamin Moore’s Yarmouth Blue mixed with Simply White—livens up the white walls. Dining table: Restoration Hardware. Chairs: Palacek in a Schuyler Samperton Textiles fabric. Pendant and sconce: The Urban Electric Co.