House Tour

Higgins Beach Residents Find Their Dream Retreat — Right Around the Corner

But it took some convincing to get Kristen Hartz to move.

TEXT BY JEN DEROSE
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN LITTLE
Kristen Hartz's Scarborough living room

ABOVE “The kids love the big, fat, squishy couch,” homeowner Kristen Hartz says of the sectional, clad in Pindler all-weather fabric, in her Scarborough living room. The pillows and ceramic lamps are from Yarmouth’s Nicola’s Home.

We all laugh about it now, but I actually fought my husband on doing this project,” says Kristen Hartz, who was deeply attached to the home she and her spouse, Rick, purchased eight years ago on Higgins Beach’s Ashton Street — a block of cute cottages running perpendicular to the water that she fell in love with as a child growing up in Scarborough. But when a small 1960s place near the Spurwink River went on the market in 2018, Rick — tired of the gazillion daily treks between the beach and house with their four kids for snacks and bathroom breaks — eventually convinced her of the site’s building potential.

They worked with architecture firm McIntyre Capron & Associates in Pennsylvania, where they live most of the year, on the shell of their new home, then handed the plans over to Nicola Manganello, of design/build/decorating firm Nicola’s Home in Yarmouth, to perfect the layout and help them select finishes and furnishings. Their first priority: hoisting up the structure seven-and-a-half feet on stilts to comply with flood zone restrictions, a move executed by Cape Elizabeth’s Arlington Restorations that affords views throughout the house and on the wraparound porch, designed with a shingled wall on the street side for privacy and barely perceptible cable railing on the ocean-facing stretches. The building’s roomy underbelly, wrapped in teak slats, houses a shower, assorted kayaks and surfboards, “about 800 bikes,” and the family’s Suburban.

Priority number two was an interior that could handle the couple’s busy brood, ages 6 to 12, and their eight cousins while still looking like grownups were leading the design charge. Manganello met the challenge with a 12-foot-long, U-shaped kitchen banquette and 10-foot-long living room sectional in sophisticated-yet-scrubbable striped indoor-outdoor upholstery that stands up to sandy feet and drippy popsicles. The luxurious-looking, shiny-white kitchen countertops are stain- and scratch-resistant Silestone, and the whitewashed oak flooring is easy to sweep and impervious to Hot Wheels races. “Everything here is meant to last and function,” Manganello says. “You can practically hose the place down!”

RIGHT 1) In the guest room, Yarmouth designer Nicola Manganello paired an antique ship’s portrait from Massachusetts’s Brimfield flea market with a Wishbone chair and billowy Anthropologie draperies. 2) Indian block-printed curtains soften the owners’ bedroom windows. 3) The kids’ bath combines a Kohler cast-iron trough sink with Abigail Edwards’s Seascape wallpaper and geometric floor tile.

Advertisement

ABOVE 1) The Hartz clan gathers on the wraparound porch, furnished with a fireplace adorned with a driftwood mantel, a recycled wood ombré coffee table, and teak upholstered seating. 2) Black-framed windows, whose sizes and shapes Manganello specified, add modern pop to the shingled home. 3) In the kitchen, a banquette hugs a custom walnut table by Kennebunkport’s Huston & Company crowned with a balsa-wood pendant. 4) Salvaged hemlock beams, oak shelving and X-shape designs on the ends of the island, teak stools, and ivory enameled- metal Visual Comfort pendants warm the kitchen’s frosty palette. 5) Tasseled Anthropologie draperies, a reclaimed wood table in a mottled, whitewash finish, and striped bedding from Nicola’s Home give the bunkroom a playful vibe. 6) In the living room, armchairs covered in a tough, polypro-twill used for sports uniforms swivel to face the view; Manganello unearthed the antique ship at Brimfield.

While the finishes are hard-wearing, the overall mood is one of softness. A simple palette of crisp white, soft gray, and navy and muted blues prevails, with nickel-gap paneling and hints of natural wood on reclaimed hemlock beams, custom oak X-shape designs bookending the kitchen island, and an antique-beam living room mantel providing subtle texture. “We put a TV in our bedroom,” outfitted with driftwood-colored linens, “and I have yet to turn it on,” Kristen says. “The room is so serene, I just fall right asleep.” A scattering of nautical touches — an antique ship model on the mantel, wave-pattern wallpaper in the kids’ bath, a thick rope handrail in the stairwell — further unites the scheme and imparts an “authentic wharf-coastal” vibe, Manganello says, without veering into kitsch.

Between a bunk room, guest room, and third-floor sleeping loft, there’s plenty of space for the kids to spread out, but they prefer to play musical beds in the bunk room, outfitted with two full-size beds and a pair of built-in, double-decker bunks. “I like them in one room because otherwise I’m changing sheets for days,” Kristen says. “But really, after being pulled in a hundred directions back home, when they’re here, they just want to be together.” A favorite joke: “Remember when Mom didn’t want to have a house on the beach?” While Kristen maintains she’d be “happy living in a shack on Higgins Beach,” she’s come around. “We can hear the ocean when we go to sleep and watch the kids play on the beach from the porch — when I’m here, I’m home.”

Higgins Beach Residents Find Their Dream Retreat — Right Around the Corner

But it took some convincing to get Kristen Hartz to move.

Kristen Hartz's Scarborough living room

ABOVE “The kids love the big, fat, squishy couch,” homeowner Kristen Hartz says of the sectional, clad in Pindler all-weather fabric, in her Scarborough living room. The pillows and ceramic lamps are from Yarmouth’s Nicola’s Home.

TEXT BY JEN DEROSE
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN LITTLE

We all laugh about it now, but I actually fought my husband on doing this project,” says Kristen Hartz, who was deeply attached to the home she and her spouse, Rick, purchased eight years ago on Higgins Beach’s Ashton Street — a block of cute cottages running perpendicular to the water that she fell in love with as a child growing up in Scarborough. But when a small 1960s place near the Spurwink River went on the market in 2018, Rick — tired of the gazillion daily treks between the beach and house with their four kids for snacks and bathroom breaks — eventually convinced her of the site’s building potential.

They worked with architecture firm McIntyre Capron & Associates in Pennsylvania, where they live most of the year, on the shell of their new home, then handed the plans over to Nicola Manganello, of design/build/decorating firm Nicola’s Home in Yarmouth, to perfect the layout and help them select finishes and furnishings. Their first priority: hoisting up the structure seven-and-a-half feet on stilts to comply with flood zone restrictions, a move executed by Cape Elizabeth’s Arlington Restorations that affords views throughout the house and on the wraparound porch, designed with a shingled wall on the street side for privacy and barely perceptible cable railing on the ocean-facing stretches. The building’s roomy underbelly, wrapped in teak slats, houses a shower, assorted kayaks and surfboards, “about 800 bikes,” and the family’s Suburban.

Advertisement

ABOVE 1) The Hartz clan gathers on the wraparound porch, furnished with a fireplace adorned with a driftwood mantel, a recycled wood ombré coffee table, and teak upholstered seating. 2) Black-framed windows, whose sizes and shapes Manganello specified, add modern pop to the shingled home. 3) In the kitchen, a banquette hugs a custom walnut table by Kennebunkport’s Huston & Company crowned with a balsa-wood pendant. 4) Salvaged hemlock beams, oak shelving and X-shape designs on the ends of the island, teak stools, and ivory enameled- metal Visual Comfort pendants warm the kitchen’s frosty palette. 5) Tasseled Anthropologie draperies, a reclaimed wood table in a mottled, whitewash finish, and striped bedding from Nicola’s Home give the bunkroom a playful vibe. 6) In the living room, armchairs covered in a tough, polypro-twill used for sports uniforms swivel to face the view; Manganello unearthed the antique ship at Massachusetts’s Brimfield flea market.

Priority number two was an interior that could handle the couple’s busy brood, ages 6 to 12, and their eight cousins while still looking like grownups were leading the design charge. Manganello met the challenge with a 12-foot-long, U-shaped kitchen banquette and 10-foot-long living room sectional in sophisticated-yet-scrubbable striped indoor-outdoor upholstery that stands up to sandy feet and drippy popsicles. The luxurious-looking, shiny-white kitchen countertops are stain- and scratch-resistant Silestone, and the whitewashed oak flooring is easy to sweep and impervious to Hot Wheels races. “Everything here is meant to last and function,” Manganello says. “You can practically hose the place down!”

While the finishes are hard-wearing, the overall mood is one of softness. A simple palette of crisp white, soft gray, and navy and muted blues prevails, with nickel-gap paneling and hints of natural wood on reclaimed hemlock beams, custom oak X-shape designs bookending the kitchen island, and an antique-beam living room mantel providing subtle texture. “We put a TV in our bedroom,” outfitted with driftwood-colored linens, “and I have yet to turn it on,” Kristen says. “The room is so serene, I just fall right asleep.” A scattering of nautical touches — an antique ship model on the mantel, wave-pattern wallpaper in the kids’ bath, a thick rope handrail in the stairwell — further unites the scheme and imparts an “authentic wharf-coastal” vibe, Manganello says, without veering into kitsch.

Between a bunk room, guest room, and third-floor sleeping loft, there’s plenty of space for the kids to spread out, but they prefer to play musical beds in the bunk room, outfitted with two full-size beds and a pair of built-in, double-decker bunks. “I like them in one room because otherwise I’m changing sheets for days,” Kristen says. “But really, after being pulled in a hundred directions back home, when they’re here, they just want to be together.” A favorite joke: “Remember when Mom didn’t want to have a house on the beach?” While Kristen maintains she’d be “happy living in a shack on Higgins Beach,” she’s come around. “We can hear the ocean when we go to sleep and watch the kids play on the beach from the porch — when I’m here, I’m home.”

ABOVE 1) In the guest room, Yarmouth designer Nicola Manganello paired an antique ship’s portrait from Brimfield with a Wishbone chair and billowy Anthropologie draperies. 2) Indian block-printed curtains soften the owners’ bedroom windows. 3) The kids’ bath combines a Kohler cast-iron trough sink with Abigail Edwards’s Seascape wallpaper and geometric floor tile.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *