Living on an Island

Maine Island Home

When “Good Enough” Is Enough

Living on an Island

Building on an Island writer Laura Serino, of Island Apothecary, has moved into her North Haven home with her husband and their new baby — but the projects continue. Read up on their progress and see photos of their finished rooms (and gorgeous bambino) below, and be sure to share your thoughts! – Sarah

“Good enough” is a phrase we’ve been saying a lot around here lately. We didn’t finish the touch-ups on the trim before moving into our new house, but it’s “good enough.” The floors could use another coat of sealer in certain places, but they’re — you get the idea.

After camping out with our infant son, dog, and two cats in an extra bedroom at my mother-in-law’s for the past three months, we knew we had to get into our own space. My husband is a perfectionist and the thought of living in an unfinished house was quite literally giving him gray hairs. (He has seven and counting.) But the overcrowding and stench of lobstering clothes in a confined space helped him come around.

We moved into the downstairs of our home two weeks ago and it’s been wonderful. We have a finished first floor that includes a working kitchen, two working bathrooms, a living room, a master bedroom, and a pantry in which we have shoved a whole bunch of “we’ll-figure-out-where-to-put-this-eventually” items. In short, the house is not complete but it’s good enough.

Island Home Interiors

Among the things that have prevented this project from being finished by our initial deadline (er, early June) is simply life. It’s hard to complete a house when you’re one guy doing it all. Especially when you’re a newly minted dad and a lobsterman in the thick of the fishing season. My husband is a superstar for getting us this far and I know we’ll eventually look back on this past summer and wonder how we managed it all.

Then there are the delays you simply can’t control. When the summer community arrives on North Haven, the local electrician and plumber are naturally tied up working on homes that are being opened up for the season and can’t respond to us as quickly as they can at other times of the year. In Maine, everyone is busier in the summertime and you simply have to adjust. In fact, the most important lesson I’ve taken away from this so far is that when you’re building your own island home, don’t give yourself a deadline. And if you do, add three months to it. And if you’re having a baby, add nine months to it.

The biggest project left on our list is to finish the upstairs. It’s currently primed and waiting for final coats of paint. The bathroom needs window trim and a few other loose ends tied up. And the floors have to be coated and sealed, which will send us back to my mother-in-law’s for a few days while the fumes evaporate. The exterior of the house also isn’t done being shingled, but our porch overlooking a meadow and Southern Harbor is now complete — just in time for September sunsets.