A Cumberland Ranch with Groovy Left Coast Vibes
Tour a couple’s little Maine slice of disco-era Beverly Hills.
ABOVE Cumberland’s Linda and John Meyers found their 1977 Argosy Airstream trailer with “space-bubble wraparound windows” on eBay. They often use it as a guesthouse.
TEXT BY SARA ANNE DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF ROBERTS
When John and I met, we felt like we were kind of the same person,” Linda Meyers says. “We could pick out what the other person would like without even saying a word.” That was in New York City in 2003, when Linda was working in graphic design and John was the display director for Anthropologie. Among their similarities: they both had parents who collected primitive New England antiques, they both hated those antiques, and they both rebelled by amassing mid-century kitsch, stuff that, Linda says, evokes French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent “back in the ’70s, with the white pant suit.” On their second date, they went to a Connecticut yard sale. “We are not minimalists,” she says. “We like consumerism and it’s been that way from the beginning.”
By the time they married in 2004, they had a storage unit stuffed with ’60s-, ’70s-, and ’80s-era furniture, light fixtures, knickknacks, art, books, and wallpaper culled from yard and estate sales, thrift stores, eBay, and even the side of the road. “We were always buying for this fictional house that we never knew if we were going to get,” Linda says. “The type of house you’d find in the Beverly Hills area, sprawling, mid-century modern, sophisticated.”
ABOVE 1) In the entry, the Meyerses’ son, Fletcher, and cat, Mr. Waffles, perch on yard-sale peacock chairs with pillows the couple made from vintage material. 2) The entry’s mid-century Danish credenza displays vintage dinnerware beneath acrylics by John. Graphic, 1970s-era silkscreens by Georg Karl Pfahler and Terri Priest hang by the door. 3) Trippy 1960s-era wallpaper in the powder room surrounds a Rodney Kinsman Orbit mirror. 4) In the living room, a Knoll Barcelona chair sits beneath a signed lithograph by op art pioneer Victor Vasarely unearthed for $35 at a SoPo Goodwill. 5) Linda’s Lucite bag collection glams up the bedroom.
Instead, they moved with their three cats to Maine, where Linda’s parents live and John summered as a child. In their apartment in Portland’s Old Port, they launched Wary Meyers, a handmade soap, lip balm, and candle company that, like their décor, is as groovy as it is chic. (Popular items include the Xanadu candle, emblazoned with a disco ball and described on their website as a “magical scent of winter wonder, swirling in a shimmering fantasy of enchanted spices.”)
And then, haute-hippie providence: In 2014, they found a listing for a 1964 ranch in Cumberland for sale by its original owners. The place had languished on the pre-boom market on account of its size (it has only two bedrooms) and eccentricities. There was an in-ground pool dominating the backyard, a former hair salon jutting awkwardly off the main entry, and an obsession with all-over bright white — on the walls, brick fireplaces, and wall-to-wall carpeting that blankets nearly every room. All assets in the Meyers’s minds. In the finished basement, their agent apologized for the pool. Most people don’t want one with such a short season, she told them. “But when we saw the pool, it was like, oh my God, it’s like we’re in Palm Springs,” John says.
ABOVE 1) A 1970s silkscreened mirror and Mario Arnaboldi lamp in the dining room. 2) Mid-century design books fill the living room. 3) A 1978 Alvar Aalto dining set, a $2 church-fair chandelier, and acrylics by John in the kitchen. 4) 1970s-era kitchen canisters match a vintage sink from Portland Architectural Salvage. 5) Fletcher chills in the pool.
After closing on the house, they emptied their storage unit and insta-furnished the place down to the vintage hardcover books in the built-ins. There are Eames chairs with their cracked original black leather in the living room, a 1970s-era, papaya-colored kitchen sink, chunky glass “Ice Cube” light fixtures by Italian designer Gaetano Sciolari in the bath and primary bedroom, and, in the dining room, a patron saint of sorts for their discount-glamour lifestyle — a $50 yard-sale oil painting by Alex Tavoularis, famous for creating character designs and storyboards for the original Star Wars, depicting a nude blonde with a tousled beehive lounging on a heap of furs.
The former hair salon is now Linda’s soap-making studio, and John crafts candles and packs orders for Wary Meyers in the finished basement overlooking the pool. When they have free time, they might hit the road with their 11-year-old son, Fletcher, and their 1977 Airstream trailer, which has its own wall-to-wall carpeting. (If it wasn’t gross, I’d put carpet in the bathroom,” Linda says.) Or they might simply crank up the yacht rock, step through the basement door to the patio, and in the wordless communication of like minds, bask in their little Maine slice of disco-era Beverly Hills.
ABOVE In the dining room, a 1970s-era nude by Alex Tavoularis peeks out over a Saarinen Tulip table and chairs, a cheekily suggestive 1960s glass mushroom lamp, and a bulbous 1970s vase from Portland Flea-For-All. A 1950s-era German crystal chandelier from a local “divorce sale” hangs overhead. “His wife spent a fortune on it,” Linda says, “and he sold it to us for like $25.”