Before & After

A Maine Guest Cottage Steeped in Charm

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Once offering eggs for sale, this little guesthouse now offers a serene experience in a refined rustic setting.

Before Gail Landry bought Flanagan Farm in 2011, the local fire department was planning to burn the place down as a training exercise. But Landry intervened and transformed the Buxton, Maine, property into a rural haven steeped in contemporary country charm.

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine


BEFORE: Landry turned this old 9- by 12-foot shed, once used for selling eggs, into a guesthouse.

The initial problem: The shed was hidden in a thicket of brambles, and the interior was filled with so much junk, you could barely get through the door. Undaunted, Landry cleared the brush and cleaned out the shed, then turned it over to interior designers David Nastasi and Kate Vail of Nastasi Vail Design in Brooklyn, New York.

Team Up With a Local Interior Designer

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine


AFTER: “Gail wanted it to be like a men’s guest cottage,” says Nastasi. He had the interior power-washed to remove all the old paint, dirt and bat guano, then replaced the failing windows, painted the exterior siding and added new trim.

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine


The designers had the interior sprayed with diluted white paint from top to bottom to approximate the look of whitewash. “We wanted to keep it rough and rustic, and to let the wood and grain show through,” says Nastasi.

New pine floors were paired with a spare selection of designer furnishings, for a look that suggests old family pieces collected over time.

Headboad: Phillips Scott; bedding: John Robshaw; shades: Hunter Douglas

Find the Right Nightstands for Your Bedroom

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine


The pale wood walls are a perfect foil for a linen-covered wing chair Landry already owned. The bed and chair face a field that’s so bucolic, Nastasi says, it’s easy to forget where you are. “It’s a very peaceful place to stay,” he notes. Landry uses the property as a personal retreat and also rents it out for weddings.

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine


The bronze and granite tables flanking the bed are from Global Views. They’re topped with custom lamps designed by Nostalgia Lighting.

Flanagan Farm Portland Maine