What happens when you find the most idyllic Maine oceanfront parcel, but the structure sitting on it is a strange, haphazardly linked together puzzle of old houses? This was the conundrum facing our clients. Their dream was to have a vacation home where their extended family and guests could both have lively social gatherings and comfortably relax. The original house was created from two homes that had been bolted together into a building with rooms that had no ocean views, fireplaces that didn’t fit, and a tight and dark kitchen. Our challenge was to renovate the space, while keeping in mind the sensitive coastal site and the existing neighborhood character.
A house with such incredible views as this one should take full advantage of them. We began with the entrance – turning an uninsulated mudroom into a warm and light-filled welcoming area. The kitchen was opened and outfitted with birch cabinetry, light grey countertops, and steel appliances. A large central island makes this a natural gathering place to share food and conversation. The transition between the kitchen and the living room is seamless. A full splash of windows allows for uninterrupted views of the ocean from a comfortable seat on the couch. The interior stair connecting floors is suspended by stainless steel rods so as to appear to “float.” This gravity-defying link both sets the tone for this relaxed and refreshing home and allows light to spread through the space. Cohesive design throughout the living area gives this house personality without the puzzle.
With the constraint of not being able to move the structure any closer to the ocean, we reframed the front half of the house to build out the master bedroom. Now this room has spectacular water views, and the addition of a new roof deck provides an elevated vantage point with an invitation to sit back and relax.
To limit any future tangles in this house for our clients, we paid special attention to making the renovated elements as high quality as possible. The windows were replaced with triple-glazed units and new insulation was installed to increase efficiency. Frequent communication and great teamwork between owner, builder, and architect made this an easy and light-filled renovation, to be enjoyed for many years to come.