House Tour

A Couple Trades Wine Country For the Snowy Midcoast

Megan and Mike Clouse bid on their Boothbay Harbor farmhouse sight unseen.

Fresh Start | Maine Homes Magazine

ABOVE “As a photographer, I told my husband, ‘I’m begging for an all-white house,’” says Megan, who chose Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace as a backdrop for select pieces, like an acrylic by Texas artist Thelma Lugo. The painted pine floors were stripped and refinished.

TEXT BY SARAH ANNE DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL D. WILSON

In 2018, empty nesters Megan and Mike Clouse sold their house in Sonoma, California, bought a cabin nearby, and began a nationwide search for a place to reinvent themselves. “We wanted more adventure, more grit, more community,” Megan says. And, as it turns out, more snow. “During the process, Mike was like, ‘I don’t want to live anywhere that’s hot.’ And I’m like, ‘That just eliminated a ton.’” They found an 1880 Boothbay Harbor farmhouse online, explored the neighborhood on Google Maps Street View, and asked their real estate broker to put in a bid. Learning that the place had been in the same family since it was built instilled a responsibility to renovate thoughtfully, Megan says. Their solution? An understated aggregate of their past and present in a home that is reverentially timeless.

EXTERIOR

Boothbay Harbor farmhouse in winter

The connected farmhouse is tucked away on a wooded 63-acre property at the end of a dirt road. To retain its historic look, the Clouses kept the existing white-and-gray palette, with pops of teal on the backs of the barn doors, adding only black aluminum windows.

LIVING ROOM

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A mid-century Heywood-Wakefield coffee table restored by Mike, a woodworker, anchors a woven-leather armchair and button-tufted West Elm sofa in cobalt velvet; the painting is one of several the Clouses own by South Carolina artist Jessica Leitko Fields. Megan punched up the door between the barn and kitchen (above) with Benjamin Moore’s Marblehead Gold paint and a “hello” sticker, “so it looks a little more friendly.”

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DINING ROOM

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Alongside a bench Mike crafted from scaffolding found in the farmhouse is a beloved table he and the Clouses’ younger son fashioned from pine boards found in the basement of their California cabin. The silken rug, rescued from the barn, was covered in “decades of dirt,” Megan says. “The cleaners had to take a lot of passes at it.”

SIDE TABLE

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In the dining room, Megan set a $5, formerly fluorescent-green table she unearthed at a thrift store and enhanced with charcoal-gray paint and a ceramic Anthropologie knob. Above, a thrift-store painting of San Francisco Bay; on the table, a well-loved antique dictionary found in the house.

GUEST ROOM

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In one of the farmhouse’s five bedrooms, a peony mural from Anthropologie serves as a headboard and sets a romantic tone, bolstered by a “nightstand” fashioned from a vintage tapestry draped over an ottoman and topped with a wooden tray. “We want this to be the place where everyone can gather,” Megan says. She has future grandchildren in mind.

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BATH ROOM

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Peel-and-stick floor tiles from WallPops — placeholders pending a future renovation — are an aesthetic throwback to motifs the couple loved in Sonoma, where they lived in a 1930s stucco cottage. A whitewashed thrift-store table cedes attention to the drama underfoot.

TV ROOM

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A Jøtul woodstove from Brunswick’s Sagadahoc Stove Company warms a spartan space that elevates its functional pieces, like a chocolate-leather sectional from Macy’s, a sinewy industrial floor lamp from Ikea, and an ottoman the homeowners reupholstered with a vintage Moroccan rug. The mantel’s vintage painting of a California dock and a charcoal-glazed mug by Portland’s Campfire Pottery nod to their lives, old and new.


14 Comments

  1. Rebecc foley

    Love the gorgeous simplicity and ingenuity the homeowners used to decorate and furnish this house. It exudes a sense of calm and coziness, achieved by arfully recycling and reinventing. I’ll visit any time!

  2. We feel blessed every day the Hoag family chose us to care for the home their family built 140 years ago. Thank you Maine Homes for sharing the story!

    • Ted Chastain

      Mike, you and Megan did a phenomenal job on the renovation/decorating. I can’t imagine the pressure of restoring a home that had belonged to one family for 140 years! From the pictures, your woodwork looks especially amazing. Maine, and her history, are lucky to have you two in the state.

  3. David Brown

    A well-done blend of New England and NorCal.

    • Thank you David, it was an interesting process of deciding what to bring with us and what to let go of.

  4. Norma

    Truly elegance in simplicity!
    Woodworking beautiful!
    Great ideas for my mothers early 1800’s farmhouse with heart pine floors!

    • Glad you like it Norma, good luck with your mother’s place!

  5. tom GEORGIS

    Congratulations, the house looks amazing. I am hoping to make a similar move from LA to Maine. Spend quite a bit of time searching online for comparable homes.

    • Thanks Tom! Maine is a great place to call home, good luck with your search!

  6. Cheryl Sittle

    So much to love about their style and respect for the home itself. Have to add that it was disappointing not have a more revealing kitchen photo.

    • Thank you Cheryl! Our kitchen is still a work in progress. When we bought the house we realized there were fifty additional acres (part of the original farm) that were for sale separately. We didn’t need the additional land but felt it was important to keep the entire farm together, so we used our kitchen remodel budget to buy the additional land and we are now saving up for our kitchen. I can’t wait!

  7. Maureen

    It looks like the house has found true stewards in this couple! I love how the simplicity allows the house to speak for itself, while the furniture and pops of color make it so warm and inviting. Beautifully done!

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