This couple’s love of art and literature creates a warm and welcoming abode in Northport, Maine.
By Melanie Brooks
Photographed by Erin Little
Styling by Janice Dunwoody
From the March 2015 edition of Down EastWhen Chase and Todd Hall bought a small rental property in Belfast, they never imagined they’d become full-time residents of Maine. But that’s exactly what happened. “It seemed like we were coming up from Massachusetts every weekend,” Chase says. “Then we saw the house in Northport, and we fell in love with it.”
Built in 1987 by Camden builder and illustrator George Jennings, the house sits on 6 acres of fields and woodland. It had been vacant for three years before the Halls, its third owners, moved in with their two small children in the summer of 2013. The pipes were busted and some of the siding had come off, but the structure was solid. The two-story garage, once Jennings’ workshop, is now home to a basketball court.
The Halls have filled their home with art. Even the walls in the bathrooms and children’s bedrooms showcase the couple’s collection. Chase, who owns an antique store in Belfast, gravitates toward portraits from the 1940s and 1950s. “We don’t have a lot of mass-produced pieces in our house; most of it’s original,” he says. “I like being surrounded by creative pieces.”
He also likes to be surrounded by books. “Todd and I are avid readers, and I can never turn down a good deal on a book,” he says. “The library is one of the things that really sold us on buying the house.” Located on the second floor, the library’s floor-to-ceiling shelves offer ample space for the couple’s books, artworks, and other collectibles.
The Halls have filled their home with art. Even the walls in the bathrooms and children’s bedrooms showcase the couple’s collection.
Among their more unusual displays are the five deer-head mounts that preside over a staircase connecting the library and the first-floor living room. The collection was started in Texas where the Halls met more than 17 years ago. “There was a movie being filmed and a warehouse was hired to sell all the props,” Chase says. “Our first deer head came from that sale.”
Throughout the house, small desks and decorative chairs add warmth and visual interest to nooks and corners. Ornamental rugs in deep red and blue hues brighten the dark wood floors. One of the family’s favorite spaces is the kids’ clubhouse, an 8-by-8-foot hideaway tucked behind a coat closet and accessed through cabinet doors. “Inside, the kids have their own little library, bean bags, and a television,” Chase says. “It’s a great place to hide out!”
Chase’s refuge is on the fourth floor, a walk-up attic. It’s his creative space, where he writes, paints, and quilts — and, during purely contemplative moments, soaks up the views of the sea.