Homes

Good Spirits

The Harpswell home of a liquor magnate’s family transitions to happy new owners.

TEXT BY JOYCE KRYSZAK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF ROBERTS
Harpswell living room

ABOVE In Braxton Jarratt and Tanya Lacourse’s Bailey Island living room, Restoration Hardware sofas hug the windowsills, preserving views. Phillips Scott cocktail tables, Anthropologie pillows, and a World Market rug create a subtle geometric scheme, while Regina Andrew sconces add a glam touch.

On Harpswell’s Bailey Island, Braxton Jarratt’s circa 1900 bungalow washes over the senses like fine aged whiskey. Clad in sand-colored shingles and ringed with an elegant, columned porch perched on a stone foundation, the building spills smoothly over its southeastern-facing ocean ledge. But acquiring the dwelling owned by descendants of famed whiskey maker Jack Daniel was not so smooth for the Atlanta-based technology entrepreneur, who spent a decade searching for a place here, then entered a tough bidding war to nab this one.

“My heart was always in Maine and, especially once I had kids, I wanted to keep that Maine connection,” says Jarratt, who grew up in nearby Brunswick and still has family in the area. “Places like this never open up; they just get passed down.” So when the bungalow went on the market in 2016, multiple people put in offers. To sweeten his, Jarratt wrote a heartfelt letter to the Daniel family, telling them about his boyhood memories of Bailey Island and his desire to continue the home’s legacy as a multi-generational retreat. He doesn’t know if his words swayed them, but they accepted his offer and gave him and his new girlfriend (now life partner), Tanya Lacourse, a bottle of “Jack” as a housewarming gift.

With its fir floors and pine walls and ceilings, the home is steeped in layered tones that could inspire whiskey tasting notes — spicy caramel, honeyed vanilla, burnt amber. Light beaming in through long stretches of windows burnishes the golden surfaces, and yet, “when everything is wood, it kind of reads orange when you squint your eyes,” says Lacourse, a photographer and interior designer. “So, I stuck to mostly black and white furnishings to balance everything, pulling in some color here and there. The goal was keeping it simple so the architectural details and natural surroundings could take center stage.”

“My heart was always in Maine, and especially once I had kids, I wanted to keep that Maine connection.”

ABOVE The family and guests lounge on L.L.Bean resin chairs before a firepit Jarratt and his brother-in-law crafted from stones found on the three-acre property. Lush gardens feature lilies, phlox, Russian sage, and other perennials from Falmouth’s Skillins Greenhouses

FROM LEFT 1) In the kitchen, a Regina Andrew Demi John pendant — a nod to the former owners’ family business — crowns a Four Hands bluestone-and-bleached-pine pub table. 2) An Arteriors console table in the dining room anchors an eclectic wall display featuring antique birds’-nest prints, an Anthropologie wooden mirror, and an African Juju headdress from Camden’s DAAC Designs. 3) Patterned pillows and bedspreads from Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware enliven a kids’ room and pick up its golden tones. The dresser and wicker chairs were left by the Daniel family. 4) In the dining area, a graceful glass Arteriors chandelier echoes the circular seating arrangement, comprised of a custom Phillips Scott table and modern Windsor chairs.

The couple, Jarratt’s children — Julia, 14, and Quinn, 12 — and their German shepherd, Casco, spend summers, frequent long weekends, and holiday vacations here, so a comfortable, durable look was paramount. The living room sofas and chairs from Restoration Hardware are covered in the company’s solution-dyed acrylic “perennial” fabric, which Jarratt made certain lives up to its name. “I didn’t want a fussy house,” he says, and was dubious about buying white sofas, so he spent two weeks “spilling” things like red wine and squashed strawberries on fabric swatches — and making sure the messes washed out.

Since Jarratt and Lacourse regularly entertain family and friends (she has relatives in Portland), having plenty of space to spread out, and sit, was another priority. Two days before hosting Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago, Jarratt and a builder friend knocked down a pair of walls between the dining and living rooms that made the spaces cramped and blocked the ocean view. “It gave me an anxiety attack, but it wasn’t that dusty, and everything came apart like a puzzle,” Lacourse says. She bought the biggest table she could fit in the dining area, a six-foot-round, white custom piece from wholesaler Phillips Scott she paired with 11 black chairs in mod Windsor silhouettes. With additional seating outside, including a sculptural teak Frontgate table surrounded with 14 mint-green aluminum chairs beneath a pergola, they can accommodate carloads of guests.

Other than the impromptu demo, Jarratt and Lacourse didn’t need to make any structural changes thanks to an earlier renovation. Following a 1978 storm that devastated the house, the Daniel family completed a significant restoration and second-floor addition that bestowed a trio of ocean-facing dormers and soaring, dramatically angled interiors. “They went to extremes in both the design and craftsmanship,” Jarratt says — proof that, like fine spirits, some homes get better with age.

ABOVE 1) Boldly striped Anthropologie throws in the mudroom — furnished with a Four Hands Windsor bench and Room and Board rug — invite guests to come in and get comfy. 2) The bungalow rests securely on its ledge thanks to a porch restoration that included a new concrete foundation faced with local basalt rock. Dormer casement windows inhale the night air.

Good Spirits

The Harpswell home of a liquor magnate’s family transitions to happy new owners.

Harpswell living room

ABOVE In Braxton Jarratt and Tanya Lacourse’s Bailey Island living room, Restoration Hardware sofas hug the windowsills, preserving views. Phillips Scott cocktail tables, Anthropologie pillows, and a World Market rug create a subtle geometric scheme, while Regina Andrew sconces add a glam touch.

TEXT BY JOYCE KRYSZAK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF ROBERTS

On Harpswell’s Bailey Island, Braxton Jarratt’s circa 1900 bungalow washes over the senses like fine aged whiskey. Clad in sand-colored shingles and ringed with an elegant, columned porch perched on a stone foundation, the building spills smoothly over its southeastern-facing ocean ledge. But acquiring the dwelling owned by descendants of famed whiskey maker Jack Daniel was not so smooth for the Atlanta-based technology entrepreneur, who spent a decade searching for a place here, then entered a tough bidding war to nab this one.

“My heart was always in Maine and, especially once I had kids, I wanted to keep that Maine connection,” says Jarratt, who grew up in nearby Brunswick and still has family in the area. “Places like this never open up; they just get passed down.” So when the bungalow went on the market in 2016, multiple people put in offers. To sweeten his, Jarratt wrote a heartfelt letter to the Daniel family, telling them about his boyhood memories of Bailey Island and his desire to continue the home’s legacy as a multi-generational retreat. He doesn’t know if his words swayed them, but they accepted his offer and gave him and his new girlfriend (now life partner), Tanya Lacourse, a bottle of “Jack” as a housewarming gift.

“My heart was always in Maine, and especially once I had kids, I wanted to keep that Maine connection.”

ABOVE The family and guests lounge on L.L.Bean resin chairs before a firepit Jarratt and his brother-in-law crafted from stones found on the three-acre property. Lush gardens feature lilies, phlox, Russian sage, and other perennials from Falmouth’s Skillins Greenhouses

With its fir floors and pine walls and ceilings, the home is steeped in layered tones that could inspire whiskey tasting notes — spicy caramel, honeyed vanilla, burnt amber. Light beaming in through long stretches of windows burnishes the golden surfaces, and yet, “when everything is wood, it kind of reads orange when you squint your eyes,” says Lacourse, a photographer and interior designer. “So, I stuck to mostly black and white furnishings to balance everything, pulling in some color here and there. The goal was keeping it simple so the architectural details and natural surroundings could take center stage.”

The couple, Jarratt’s children — Julia, 14, and Quinn, 12 — and their German shepherd, Casco, spend summers, frequent long weekends, and holiday vacations here, so a comfortable, durable look was paramount. The living room sofas and chairs from Restoration Hardware are covered in the company’s solution-dyed acrylic “perennial” fabric, which Jarratt made certain lives up to its name. “I didn’t want a fussy house,” he says, and was dubious about buying white sofas, so he spent two weeks “spilling” things like red wine and squashed strawberries on fabric swatches — and making sure the messes washed out.

ABOVE 1) In the kitchen, a Regina Andrew Demi John pendant — a nod to the former owners’ family business — crowns a Four Hands bluestone-and-bleached-pine pub table. 2) An Arteriors console table in the dining room anchors an eclectic wall display featuring antique birds’-nest prints, an Anthropologie wooden mirror, and an African Juju headdress from Camden’s DAAC Designs. 3) Patterned pillows and bedspreads from Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware enliven a kids’ room and pick up its golden tones. The dresser and wicker chairs were left by the Daniel family. 4) In the dining area, a graceful glass Arteriors chandelier echoes the circular seating arrangement, comprised of a custom Phillips Scott table and modern Windsor chairs.

Since Jarratt and Lacourse regularly entertain family and friends (she has relatives in Portland), having plenty of space to spread out, and sit, was another priority. Two days before hosting Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago, Jarratt and a builder friend knocked down a pair of walls between the dining and living rooms that made the spaces cramped and blocked the ocean view. “It gave me an anxiety attack, but it wasn’t that dusty, and everything came apart like a puzzle,” Lacourse says. She bought the biggest table she could fit in the dining area, a six-foot-round, white custom piece from wholesaler Phillips Scott she paired with 11 black chairs in mod Windsor silhouettes. With additional seating outside, including a sculptural teak Frontgate table surrounded with 14 mint-green aluminum chairs beneath a pergola, they can accommodate carloads of guests.

Other than the impromptu demo, Jarratt and Lacourse didn’t need to make any structural changes thanks to an earlier renovation. Following a 1978 storm that devastated the house, the Daniel family completed a significant restoration and second-floor addition that bestowed a trio of ocean-facing dormers and soaring, dramatically angled interiors. “They went to extremes in both the design and craftsmanship,” Jarratt says — proof that, like fine spirits, some homes get better with age.

ABOVE 1) Boldly striped Anthropologie throws in the mudroom — furnished with a Four Hands Windsor bench and a Room and Board rug — invite guests to come in and get comfy. 2) The bungalow rests securely on its ledge thanks to a porch restoration that included a new concrete foundation faced with local basalt rock. Dormer casement windows inhale the night air.


2 Comments

  1. Richard J Terrasi

    I subscribed to this magazine but have not received a copy

    • Abby Hilt

      Hi Richard! Please email your name and mailing address to [email protected] and we will look into it.

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