By Sarah Stebbins
Photograph by Rachel Sieben
Shingle-style flourishes transform a dated suburban home whose owner is descended from one of the genre’s masters.
When Terri Gaulkin-Stevens contemplated moving in with her then-fiancé, Chris Stevens, “I was like, ‘I don’t want to live in that ugly house!’” She called his 1965 Kennebunk place with a partial second story and masonry entry wall “the Brady Bunch house” — “it was probably quite modern in its day, but now, ugh.” But, like Mike and Carol, the couple was merging families and Stevens had the larger home with potential for expansion. So she turned her attention to carving out enough bedrooms for their seven-member brood.
The pair enlisted Kennebunk architect Brian Beaudette to continue the second floor over the garage and “pretty things up,” Gaulkin-Stevens says. “It’s kind of funny that the two of us were clueless as to how to make it better.” (Stevens is the great-great-grandson of renowned Maine Shingle-style architect John Calvin Stevens and Gaulkin-Stevens’s late husband worked for Fine Homebuilding.) Beaudette’s vision was a love letter, of sorts, to his idol, John Calvin, with a sweeping gable encompassing three new bedrooms (bringing the total to six); shallower front entry with a tapered stone column (allowing for extra inches inside); and cottagey windows (arranged in a “hierarchy,” Beaudette says, that underscores public and private spaces). Corbeled “shingle flairs,” another John Calvin signature, deemphasize the gable’s volume.
Seeing Beaudette’s plan shifted Gaulkin-Stevens’s perspective 180 degrees: “I said, ‘I get to live in a house like that?’”