ABOVE The Heralds sold most of the furnishings from their former home in Illinois to help finance their church. But Tanya wasn’t willing to part with the leather living room sectional, a $400 Craigslist score. Wayfair lanterns, spindled chairs from Overstock, and all-weather wicker armchairs, nabbed during a Pier 1 going-out-of-business sale, set off the dining table.
TEXT BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF ROBERTS
Tanya Herald puts in long hours helping to run the church she and her minister-husband, Adam, started in Windham, and as a nurse. To “relax,” she tackles complex DIY projects in the couple’s 1930 Gorham home — and bargain hunts. “It’s my sport,” she says. Take their custom farmhouse dining table. Tanya convinced the seller to accept her lowball offer by agreeing to wait six months for the piece to be constructed and forgo finishing. Now tinted with layers of stain and bleach by Tanya, the table fronts a built-in bench she and her dad crafted from Lowe’s cabinets; overhead, a pine-shiplap ceiling they installed over damaged plaster injects a golden glow. Nearly five years after purchasing their fixer-upper, the Heralds still have many projects to complete but no set timeline. “I want to enjoy the process,” Tanya says.
Tanya spent nearly a year building this pantry in a former office using drawer units and a laminate countertop from IKEA and bracket shelving from Lowe’s. She applied mosaic tile from Floor & Décor — “the cheapest tile source I’ve found” — in a custom pattern on the floor and hung a pair of paneled sliding doors, cut from a massive single door from Portland’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, to enclose the space. When she hit a snag, Tanya says, “I YouTubed my way through it.”
The Heralds, pictured with their kids, Anna, 15, and Graham, 13, love their 2 1⁄4 acres of fields dotted with maple trees. “It reminds us of rural Illinois, except it’s not flat,” says Adam, a “super extrovert” who also appreciates the home’s proximity to Portland and his church.
Doors painted Benjamin Moore’s Black Ink frame a dresser from Facebook Marketplace and board-and-batten paneling, finished in Behr’s Mocha Light, that Tanya installed. The walls throughout the home are Swiss Coffee, also by Behr. Black spray paint topped with Rub ’n Buff metallic wax gave a nickel IKEA desk lamp the look of aged brass.
In the Heralds’ room, a canopy bed from Amazon conceals a red Gatorade stain on a rug from Tanya’s friend. (“It was a free rug!”) A pair of Pottery Barn sconces, purchased on clearance, received the same spray-paint-and-wax treatment as the room’s desk lamp. Anna decorated her room with an Amazon hammock chair, a mid-century-inspired Target desk, and Tanya’s old neon-green record player.
This dining room built-in is finished in Benjamin Moore’s Gettysburg Gray to match the downstairs trim. On the Swiss Coffee–colored interior, Tanya used a foam brush to paint a black V-shaped pattern, inspired by mudcloth she picked up at Massachusetts’s Brimfield flea market. “I follow a ton of interior designers on Instagram and figure out ways to recreate their looks,” she says.
“Being in ministry, we’ve had very little to work with at times,” says Tanya, who remembers buying her first gallon of cheap red paint for a regrettable kitchen island makeover in Michigan. Now, she jokes, “I feel like a big deal because I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s Benjamin Moore.’”