Family-Friendly Maine Cottage
A carefree family of five carves out a piece of paradise in a relaxed, fuss-free charmer in Kennebunkport, Maine. See how architect Brian Beaudette and designer Nancy Boughton fashioned the perfect escape.
Boughton repurposed a table as an ottoman in the family room, trimming and staining the legs and setting a tray into the upholstered top. "I like to reuse things when possible," she says. "This lets you prop your feet up but also put a drink down."
To forge a connection between the main house and the carriage house, landscape designer Ted Carter created a pseudo courtyard, partially shaded by a small, covered pergola. The courtyard offers diverging paths that lead to the ocean, river, and main entrance. "It unites everything outside," says Beaudette.
Get the look: The siding is painted Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.
In keeping with the couple's request for calm, unfussy interiors, Boughton and Beaudette gave the front hall a clean, relaxed attitude, with an inviting bench and a pair of Dutch doors. Baskets hold everything from towels to flip-flops. "There's so much to see outside, that they wanted to make sure the interiors reflected a sense of continuity," says Boughton.
The existing living room fireplace was due for a makeover, so after replacing the mantel and surround, Boughton sent the children out to hunt for beach stones, which were then crafted into an inset that frames the firebox. "It changed the whole feel of the room," she says. "Plus, it allowed us to truly incorporate the family into the design."
Boughton utilized outdoor fabrics throughout, like the marine vinyl that covers the ottoman in the carriage house sitting room. "It has the same kind of graining as calfskin, but doesn't wear as easily," she says. She had the rug made into a bull's-eye pattern. "It's polypropylene—it doesn’t mind wet, and it won’t fade.”
Custom, crisp white cabinetry in the kitchen keeps clutter to a minimum, while the wood floors make cleaning up after sandy feet a breeze. To bring a pop of color into the room, Boughton reflected the seaside palette with counters made of recycled glass and cement and a vibrant glass subway tile backsplash. “Even a little bit of color can have a huge impact.”
In the children’s bedroom, two rows of beds put a whimsically nautical spin on the traditional bunk. Built-in drawers and bookshelves in the place of headboards provide clever storage solutions and make the most of the long, narrow space.
What’s now the playroom was formerly a dark space with no view of the water, so the husband asked Beaudette to add dormers. “The kids watch the lobster boats going by,” says Boughton, who created a comfortable refuge with pieces that can withstand rough-and-tumble activity, such as a corduroy upholstered sofa and a sturdy wool carpet.