We think of homes almost as living things, with personalities, with feelings, maybe even with rights. They’re part of our families, and like family members, they sometimes need an extra dose of love and support. This 1905 gambrel-roofed seaside cottage, near Maine’s Casco Bay, had fallen on hard times, but with the help of Kevin Browne Architecture is gloriously back on its feet again.
Before the extensive makeover, the tired home was an unremarkable drive-by. That’s sad, especially considering it’s early history as the home of Sir Henry Worth Thornton, president of the Canadian National Railway. Sir Henry died in 1933, but if he could only see what his house has become…
The change to the exterior is dramatic, and exactly right for this house – we love it! The overall quality of the details was stepped up quite a bit from the original – enclosing the soffits, adding a crown mould at the rakes, beefing up the columns, and using cedar shingles for the roof and walls.
We also like the subtle Shingle-style details the Architects added – curved corners at the window in the new Gambrel, and the “swooped” roof down to the porch roof. The porch was enlarged quite a bit, and connected to a much improved detached carriage house with a covered walkway.
The changes on the inside don’t disappoint – look at the difference in the entry and family room, most of which was accomplished with paint and lighting. The charm and character of the house are on full display.
Turn around for another view of the family room and the porch just outside. Again, the work done isn’t dramatic (new diamond-pane transoms, paint, etc.) but the change is exactly what this house needed.
This is one of the best porches we’ve ever seen. It’s a big space, but the whitewashed ceiling helps keep it light and bright. Someone spent a lot of time crafting the post and railing details…
The kitchen is a pretty extreme example of “before and after”. The “before” was hardly a kitchen at all, and the “after” is just gorgeous. There are so many great details to take in here – the edging around the island countertop, the v-groove panels on the island, and subtle “tile” pattern stained into the wood floor. They’ve also opened up the stairwell, so you can see the front door from the kitchen.
More of this beautiful kitchen. Not a square inch of drywall anywhere! But that’s just the first floor – read on…
At the top of the stair is a comfortable TV room, with high ceilings, collar-tie beams, and a small kitchen that doubles as a media cabinet. As you’d expect with a house on a bay in Maine, the lighting fixtures and overall decor are decidedly nautical.
The kid’s bedroom is a lot of fun, with ladders and lofts, built in dressers, and woodworking that makes the room feel like a cabin on a sailing ship.
This bedroom looks like it needed a little attention. It’s a perfect Owner’s retreat, with an incredible arched dormer over arched windows, with doors leading out to a private balcony – and a great view of the bay.
The master bath finishes depart only slightly from the rest of this seaside cottage. The marble countertop is appropriately vintage, and the tub is probably salvaged. We especially like the slim marble shelf above the tub, held up by wrought-iron brackets.