TEXT BY JOYCE KRYSZAK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MYRIAM BABIN
Three years ago, a newly single Laurel Hoppe gave herself 10 days find a place to live on the Maine coast. She ended up needing only one. As soon as she saw the 200-plus-year-old Cape near Roque Bluffs beach in Jonesboro, she knew it was time to pack up her farmhouse in Wenona, Illinois, and move. “I just really like moving — the whole process of buying a place, envisioning it, creating it,” says Hoppe, 58, who has lived all over the country. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s very gratifying. It’s an adventure!” And it’s probably not her last. With the color-splashed renovation of her home almost complete, Hoppe says she’ll likely pull up stakes and move again one day. “Maybe to France!” In the meantime, though, she’s happy to call Jonesboro home.
FOYER & LIVING ROOM
Hoppe’s foyer is the perfect introduction to her color philosophy. Striving for a fun yet serene spirit, the Jonesboro Elementary School art teacher adheres to a cool palette. “Everything I have is blue, green, turquoise, a little lavender, and I occasionally lob in red for impact.” The newel post topper is a faux-crystal paperweight attached with automotive adhesive. In the living room, a periwinkle dog sits atop a cabinet. Behind him, a cushion spring is propped against the wall. That’s Macy padding across the cherry floor, which Hoppe refinished herself.
Form follows many functions in this cozy side entry — it’s a mudroom, sitting area, office, library, and zoo. The pillows and blanket, as well as the tray on the coffee table, are from Ikea. Hoppe spray-painted her father’s old workshop chair with bright-red paint for a burst of color. The lovebirds and, in winter, the goldfish live in this room, but they may not be its first animal denizens: Hoppe’s been told a previous owner kept goats here in winter.
Hoppe came to Maine with a cadre of animals: one dog, one turtle, three cats, four lovebirds, seven goldfish, and seven chickens (a hawk and a fox have since lowered the latter count to five). The chickens traveled in a dog crate on the backseat of her car. “It was insanity!” says Hoppe, who made the move with the help of her 23-year-old son, Hunter. Doesn’t seem so crazy now: the chickens live in a coop attached to the house and lay as many as eight eggs a day.
Not a fan of the open-concept and all-white-room trends, Hoppe kept the kitchen’s original footprint intact and painted the walls periwinkle. “The floors were this awful mustard yellow,” she says, “and there was garish blood-red wallpaper with giant birds all over it.” There’s a pass-through to the dining room above the buffet at right, which Hoppe has come to love.
Hoppe calls this apple-green claw-foot tub the house’s movie star. It steered her to a glamorous vibe with lavender walls and accents like the large mirror and the chandelier (shhhh — the crystals are plastic!). Hoppe, who has a degree in design, is a devoted do-it-yourselfer. She “zhushed-up” fixtures like the tub and, throughout the house, stripped wallpaper, refinished the plank floors, and painted, painted, painted pretty much everything except a splotch of vintage emerald green under the tub. Hoppe left it untouched as a memento of the house’s 1930’s décor.
Aside from the view of Hoppe’s gardens, the porch’s focal point is a stained-glass window that she found in the barn of her old Midwestern house. The blue glass ring on the bell’s clapper is a remnant from a friend’s birdbath-making project. Hoppe makes her own accessories, transforming yard-sale finds with cheery paint or using them in new ways. “I can never find what I want at a price that I’m willing to pay. I think, hey, I can do that!” Calling herself an “unprofessional decorator,” she shares photos of her home on Instagram (@hoppelaurel), where she has more than 4,400 followers.