A finely crafted cottage offers up a four-star view.
Though our clients had only visited Maine a few times before, they’d felt the state’s gravitational pull. So, after 25+ years on the West Coast, and nearing retirement, the couple made their way back East.
The midcoast parcel of land is nestled along coastal shoreline sand dunes, with expansive views of Johns Bay on all sides, and to the north, a peaceful tidal cove. But it is situated in a coastal high-hazard area with sensitive dune zones subject to high tides and erosion, which meant that FEMA setbacks proved challenging. Working with architect John Cole, Knickerbocker Group built the home on steel pilings to minimize disruption to the native vegetation and to allow storm surges to pass underneath in case of severe weather—something that happened twice the first winter.
The clients knew they wanted to plan for the long-term, so their primary suite, encompassing a bedroom, bath, and walk-in-closets, takes up the entire east wing of the home, allowing them to more easily age in place with first-floor living.
A pair of guest suites are found upstairs, each with its own full bath and sharing an oceanside balcony. “When our guests wake up in the morning, they can have their coffee overlooking the beautiful water views,” says the client.
Views of Johns Bay can be seen through the stairwell, thanks to open balusters above the dining nook. The team stained the pine handrail and stair treads to match the antique flooring.
White-washed beams grace the ceiling on the main level. Built-ins display collectibles acquired during the homeowners’ travels around the world, such as vintage seltzer bottles from Argentina. “One of my favorite things is how we utilized the space under the stair landing to give much needed storage for cookbooks and table linens in the dining nook,” says Knickerbocker Group’s certified master kitchen and bath designer.
Reclaimed heartwood-pine flooring brings warmth and character.
The kitchen island has a stainless-steel countertop inspired by a bakery that the homeowners used to live near, while the base is painted a bold blue-green. The clients embraced strong color throughout the home: they also had the inspired idea to paint the interior cabinetry, which offers a fun burst of soft aqua blue that sets off their dinnerware.
Knickerbocker Group’s master kitchen and bath designer helped the clients design their primary bath. The opalescent shower tile was inspired by their West Coast pool, which had similar tile that created a dreamy rainbow and reflective effect.
An open floor plan offers unobstructed sightlines, with windows that showcase water views from almost every window. The glass-wrapped sunroom is one of the couple’s favorite spaces. “You can watch birds fly across the entire sky,” says the client. “I’m much more connected with nature and the outdoors than I ever have been—we’re just so close to the natural beauty of Maine.”
It was a connection to place which first drew our clients to Maine, and it’s now—in a home that celebrates the sea and the seasons—what keeps them rooted here.