House Tour

Hello, Bungalow

A small house in Scarborough reveals its cozy charms to new owners.

TEXT BY VIRGINIA M. WRIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH PERDUE
the living room of a 1930 bungalow in Scarborough

ABOVE David and Jaimee Morse cuddle with twins Bear and Gus in their Scarborough living room. Fans of minimalist décor, they’ve opted for neutral colors, like Sherwin-Williams’s Repose Gray on the walls, and industrial touches, such as the concrete coffee table David made.

Sometimes a house surprises you. The things that make you wary as a buyer may turn out to be the very things that make you happy after you’ve moved in. Consider the old-fashioned steam radiators that almost stopped Jaimee and David Morse from making an offer on their 1930 bungalow in Scarborough. “Radiators — that’s so old-school,” Jaimee remembers thinking. “My dad warned us, ‘You’ve got to be careful — the kids can burn their hands!’”

Now, after living in the house for a little more than a year, Jaimee finds, “I love them.” Mostly encased in white-painted wooden covers that turn them into pieces of furniture, the radiators warm the house, yet never get hot enough for the couple to worry about their 4½-year-old twins, Bear and Gus. Plus, Jaimee says, “I love the sound they make. It’s so comforting.”

Likewise, the full bath off the kitchen at first struck Jaimee as “the stupidest thing in the world. Who uses a shower off the kitchen?” As it happens, the Morses do. “I can’t tell you the number of times the boys have walked inside with muddy feet from being out in the backyard, and it’s ‘Quick! Get in the shower, get in the shower!’ We use it quite a lot.”

Indeed, the 1,344-square-foot bungalow has proven easy to settle into, despite being smaller than what Jaimee, a wedding photographer, and David, a real-estate company manager, were looking for when they moved back to their native Maine from Minnesota. It’s required little in the way of repairs or alterations. The previous owners had recently updated the kitchen and both baths, using white cabinets, white bead-board wainscoting, soft-gray paint on the walls, and marbled-gray stone floor and shower tiles — a crisp, neutral color scheme that suits the Morses’ minimalist aesthetic. They switched out some chrome light fixtures and kitchen cabinet knobs for warmer gold- and copper-colored replacements, removed the glass-paneled doors from the built-in shelves framing the living room fireplace, and repainted the three bedrooms.

ABOVE The Morses added their own touches to the kitchen, which had been renovated by prior owners: gold pendants from World Market (“I love things oversized,” Jaimee says), matching gold knobs, and wood-and-steel stools from West Elm.

exterior of the 1930 bungalow in Scarborough
twin boys' room

LEFT TO RIGHT 1) Jaimee sponge-painted the accent wall in the nursery, furnished with a mini Eames-style rocker. 2) The south-facing porch can warm up to 75 degrees on a cold winter day. 3) The boys’ bedroom is decorated with an old wooden badminton racquet, a string-flag banner made by Jaimee, a faux deer head from HomeGoods, and tea towels with cheeky sayings from Primitives by Kathy.

Only the slightly leaky enclosed front porch, which one day suddenly became a help-it’s-pouring-inside front porch, demanded prompt attention. The Morses ripped out the rotted ceiling and replaced it with black-painted shiplap pine. Even with original windows that don’t shut tightly, the south-facing porch warms to 75 degrees on sunny winter days. “When it’s too cold to go outside and the boys are being crazy, I say, ‘Get a ball and go out on the porch.’ There’s enough space for them to just run.” She likes to steal a nap there now and then too.

ABOVE The twins’ bedroom is painted Snowbound and Halcyon Green by Sherwin-Williams. “We wanted something neautral that they could grow into,” Jaimee says — a room that, other than switching out the accents, “we wouldn’t have to do anything to for 10 years.” The beds are from Wayfair, and Jaimee made the wooden signs. 

The Morses like Scandinavian and industrial décor — simple accents, clean lines, neutral tones, and no clutter, softened here and there by vintage objects and natural elements, like the straw safari hat and dried tumbleweed that hang on their bedroom walls. Even the boys’ shared bedroom is sparingly decorated, which makes it easy to adapt as their passions shift from, say, Mickey Mouse to dinosaurs to sports trophies.

Jaimee satisfies her seemingly incompatible penchant for tchotchkes by grouping several pieces together on, for example, a wall hanger she made from welded-wire fencing purchased from Home Depot. It’s mounted in the third bedroom, a nursery for their foster baby, their second since they moved in. The grid holds a quote about love by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a paper-plate lion mask made by one of the boys, a metal M, and a handmade poster filled with painted x’s and o’s — tokens of the family’s embrace. “We want it to feel like home,” Jaimee says.

master bedroom
front porch
1930 bungalow living room
gender-neutral nursery

LEFT TO RIGHT 1) To create a warm atmosphere in the couple’s bedroom, Jaimee chose Portola Paints’ Antique White Lime Wash, which has a soft, textured finish. The upholstered bed, crowned with a tumbleweed, is from Macy’s; Jaimee made the fabric-and-wire pendant. 2) Jaimee reads in the toasty front porch. 3) In the living room, a vase of pussy willows sits on a covered radiator; family photos and other keepsakes adorn simple white shelves. 4) The Morses care for foster babies, so they wanted the nursery to feel welcoming, while being suitable for either a girl or boy.

Hello, Bungalow

A small house in Scarborough reveals its cozy charms to new owners.

the living room of a 1930 bungalow in Scarborough

ABOVE David and Jaimee Morse cuddle with twins Bear and Gus in their Scarborough living room. Fans of minimalist décor, they’ve opted for neutral colors, like Sherwin-Williams’s Repose Gray on the walls, and industrial touches, such as the concrete coffee table David made.

TEXT BY VIRGINIA M. WRIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH PERDUE

Sometimes a house surprises you. The things that make you wary as a buyer may turn out to be the very things that make you happy after you’ve moved in. Consider the old-fashioned steam radiators that almost stopped Jaimee and David Morse from making an offer on their 1930 bungalow in Scarborough. “Radiators — that’s so old-school,” Jaimee remembers thinking. “My dad warned us, ‘You’ve got to be careful — the kids can burn their hands!’”

Now, after living in the house for a little more than a year, Jaimee finds, “I love them.” Mostly encased in white-painted wooden covers that turn them into pieces of furniture, the radiators warm the house, yet never get hot enough for the couple to worry about their 4½-year-old twins, Bear and Gus. Plus, Jaimee says, “I love the sound they make. It’s so comforting.”

ABOVE The Morses added their own touches to the kitchen, which had been renovated by prior owners: gold pendants from World Market (“I love things oversized,” Jaimee says), matching gold knobs, and wood-and-steel stools from West Elm.

Likewise, the full bath off the kitchen at first struck Jaimee as “the stupidest thing in the world. Who uses a shower off the kitchen?” As it happens, the Morses do. “I can’t tell you the number of times the boys have walked inside with muddy feet from being out in the backyard, and it’s ‘Quick! Get in the shower, get in the shower!’ We use it quite a lot.”

Indeed, the 1,344-square-foot bungalow has proven easy to settle into, despite being smaller than what Jaimee, a wedding photographer, and David, a real-estate company manager, were looking for when they moved back to their native Maine from Minnesota. It’s required little in the way of repairs or alterations. The previous owners had recently updated the kitchen and both baths, using white cabinets, white bead-board wainscoting, soft-gray paint on the walls, and marbled-gray stone floor and shower tiles — a crisp, neutral color scheme that suits the Morses’ minimalist aesthetic. They switched out some chrome light fixtures and kitchen cabinet knobs for warmer gold- and copper-colored replacements, removed the glass-paneled doors from the built-in shelves framing the living room fireplace, and repainted the three bedrooms.

ABOVE  1) Jaimee sponge-painted the accent wall in the nursery, furnished with a mini Eames-style rocker. 2) The south-facing porch can warm up to 75 degrees on a cold winter day. 3) The boys’ bedroom is decorated with an old wooden badminton racquet, a string-flag banner made by Jaimee, a faux deer head from HomeGoods, and tea towels with cheeky sayings from Primitives by Kathy.

Only the slightly leaky enclosed front porch, which one day suddenly became a help-it’s-pouring-inside front porch, demanded prompt attention. The Morses ripped out the rotted ceiling and replaced it with black-painted shiplap pine. Even with original windows that don’t shut tightly, the south-facing porch warms to 75 degrees on sunny winter days. “When it’s too cold to go outside and the boys are being crazy, I say, ‘Get a ball and go out on the porch.’ There’s enough space for them to just run.” She likes to steal a nap there now and then too.

The Morses like Scandinavian and industrial décor — simple accents, clean lines, neutral tones, and no clutter, softened here and there by vintage objects and natural elements, like the straw safari hat and dried tumbleweed that hang on their bedroom walls. Even the boys’ shared bedroom is sparingly decorated, which makes it easy to adapt as their passions shift from, say, Mickey Mouse to dinosaurs to sports trophies.

ABOVE The twins’ bedroom is painted Snowbound and Halcyon Green by Sherwin-Williams. “We wanted something neautral that they could grow into,” Jaimee says — a room that, other than switching out the accents, “we wouldn’t have to do anything to for 10 years.” The beds are from Wayfair, and Jaimee made the wooden signs. 

Jaimee satisfies her seemingly incompatible penchant for tchotchkes by grouping several pieces together on, for example, a wall hanger she made from welded-wire fencing purchased from Home Depot. It’s mounted in the third bedroom, a nursery for their foster baby, their second since they moved in. The grid holds a quote about love by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a paper-plate lion mask made by one of the boys, a metal M, and a handmade poster filled with painted x’s and o’s — tokens of the family’s embrace. “We want it to feel like home,” Jaimee says.

ABOVE 1) To create a warm atmosphere in the couple’s bedroom, Jaimee chose Portola Paints’ Antique White Lime Wash, which has a soft, textured finish. The upholstered bed, crowned with a tumbleweed, is from Macy’s; Jaimee made the fabric-and-wire pendant. 2) Jaimee reads in the toasty front porch. 3) In the living room, a vase of pussy willows sits on a covered radiator; family photos and other keepsakes adorn simple white shelves. 4) The Morses care for foster babies, so they wanted the nursery to feel welcoming, while being suitable for either a girl or boy.


3 Comments

  1. jean emery

    What is the source of the upholstered pieces (sofa +chair)?
    Thanks,

    • Abby Hilt

      Hi Jean! The owner says the sofa is from Article and the chair is from Restoration Hardware.

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