Design is a necessarily visual process. But truly successful home design involves equal parts of emotion. So when I undertook the redesign and renovation of an antique country house in Falmouth, Maine, I let my heart guide my vision.
The original inhabitants of this country retreat would be hard pressed to recognize the structure they once called home. I treated the exterior to a complete makeover, adding a wrap-around farmer’s porch to soften the two-story dwelling’s scale – making it infinitely more approachable and welcoming. Landscaping – from patios to plantings – redefined its setting, making it feel like an oasis from the outside world.
As with many antique Maine homes, the original interior of the home was broken into many small rooms.
While the original intent was to create discrete functional areas within the house, I opted to open up the first floor – creating a large, welcoming kitchen/dining/living area where the family could reconnect, relax and share meals and meal preparation together.
The kitchen was thoroughly updated, but with traditional touches like a 54” working sink, an antique farmer’s table island and both recessed and traditional lighting. The 54” commercial range added a nod to the fact that cooking is often as much a social activity as it was once a chore. A large working pantry allowed us to consolidate kitchen and home supplies, while providing overflow workspace for social gatherings and holiday feasts.
Bedrooms in the home were transformed from austere sleep spaces to personalized living areas perfect for reading, relaxing, reflection and restorative sleep. Furnishings made the biggest impact, with updated period pieces arranged to create warm, inviting environments.
Wherever possible, I retained original details that worked. Exposed timbers helped to frame the living room. An antique fireplace was enhanced with a more dramatic mantle and hearth, and paint and wallpaper helped to make the environment more warm, inviting and livable. Furniture was carefully selected to encourage interaction – with sectional sofas, antique tables and entertainment centers designed to bring family and friends together.