When I was in kindergarten, the school bus dropped me off at a construction site. My parents were building their dream home on Cousins Island in Yarmouth and I’d spend my afternoons watching from a rock in the muddy yard as my dad worked alongside a carpenter. As the brick-red saltbox, based loosely on plans from Colonial Homes magazine, began to take shape, I marveled at the luxuries it had that our previous house did not — a mudroom, a laundry room, two-and-a-half baths, dusty rose carpeting in my bedroom — and I sensed, even then, how satisfying it is to create a place of your own from scratch.
The antique styling of my childhood home instilled in me a love of period architecture. When I worked as a magazine editor in New York after college, I lived in fourth and fifth-floor walkups in prewar buildings. Who needs an elevator, I thought, when you have patinaed wood floors and a massive living room mirror framed in elaborately decorated moulding? (Answer: the boyfriends who moved my roommate and me into that place.) When I returned to Maine in 2007, my husband and I rented an apartment in a Victorian-era building on Portland’s West End before moving off the peninsula to our 1936 Colonial, a house I feel makes up for its lack of modern-day amenities (mudroom, et al.) with heavy, inset-paneled doors trimmed with crystal knobs, elegantly detailed trim, and graceful — but God help you if you ever have to paint them — cast iron radiators.
During the 15 years I’ve been covering architecture and design for national and local magazines I have also dwelled, metaphorically, in shingle style, Arts and Crafts, mid-century modern, and ultra-contemporary homes, farmhouses, ranches, bungalows, Capes, cottages and camps — and gained a deep appreciation for each place. Here at Maine Homes, we aim to showcase the diversity of styles that define our state, while arming you with knowledge and advice you can use as you search for, build, or spruce up your Maine property. I hope you’ll continue to follow me here, too. Next up, I’ll be delving into my family’s sorely needed kitchen renovation — a process I plan to observe from a healthy distance when the demo is happening. A rock in the front yard sounds nice.