TEXT BY JEN DEROSE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL D. WILSON
While working toward advanced degrees and living on students’ budgets, Stuart and Caitlin Gurley made do in a 500-square-foot guest studio behind Stuart’s parents’ house in Falmouth. But when they learned they were expecting their first child, they asked friend and architect Stephen Blatt to design them a three-bedroom home. The plans came together easily, but numerous road bumps, including a property search that stretched to the midcoast, meant construction didn’t wrap until days before they welcomed their second child. For a location, they ended up right where they started — about a ¼-mile from Stuart’s parents’ house, in a field he used to play in. “The long dirt road that connects the properties is great for riding bikes,” he says, “and having built-in babysitters is nothing to complain about!”
“With two young kids, everyone warned me white walls would be high maintenance,” Caitlin says, “but it’s simple, clean, and timeless — absolutely the right choice.” To reduce construction costs, Stuart built the maple-wood kitchen cabinetry himself.
Bordered by conservation land on two sides, the 1,800-square-foot home is clad in gray cedar shingles on the front and pine shiplap on the sides and rear. Shiplap, painted white, also is used in some interior spaces.
1) Caitlin’s father, Bruce Wilson, of Wilson Woodworking in South Berwick, built 2-year-old Auggie’s maple crib, and 5-year-old Anna painted the rainbow picture. 2) Anna chose Sherwin-Williams’s pale-pink Demure for her walls, and her painted cast-iron bed is a Craigslist score. 3) Inspired by a mural at a Portland restaurant, the Gurleys commissioned Timothy Wilson to paint the seascape on the master bedroom’s accent wall. “A mural is an unconventional but beautiful way to get art on your walls,” Caitlin says.
Caitlin selected colorful floral wallpaper from Anthropologie to brighten the windowless powder room and to serve as a feminine counterpoint to the otherwise minimalist décor. “It’s the first time my husband has ever hung wallpaper,” she says. “And, I’m told, the last.”