TEXT BY MICHAELA CAVALLARO
PHOTOGRAPHED BY TRENT BELL
From our Winter 2022 issue
When Kennebunk designer Krista Stokes starts a project, she likes to choose a few words as touchstones. If a finish or furnishing doesn’t match at least one of those words, out it goes. That strategy was crucial to the success of Biddeford’s first boutique hotel, set in an 1850s textile mill, where the watchwords were industrial, modern, and glam. The result is a dark, moody space with splashes of whimsy — red neon numbers pointing the way to guest rooms, circus-themed art above a blush sectional in the lobby, and, scattered all over, old paintings of staid men in suits gussied up with party hats, sunglasses, and, in one case, lips painted cherry red.
Stokes and Mark Cotto, both of Kennebunkport hotelier Tim Harrington’s Atlantic Holdings, were responsible for décor at the Lincoln Hotel, opened in September, while frequent collaborator Louise Hurlbutt, of Kennebunk’s Hurlbutt Designs, handled flooring and furniture and consulted on how the cavernous, raw space would be laid out. Together, they held each other to their aesthetic mandate. The guest rooms lean heavily toward industrial and modern, with 17-foot-tall ceilings, exposed brick and original wood beams, and views through soaring black-framed windows of Biddeford’s industrial past and the Saco River. On the walls, drapey canvas sculptures by Kennebunk’s David Edward Allen nod to the mill’s history and painterly Thibaut wallpaper in blues and greens brings glamour to the baths.
ABOVE A gilded pendant juxtaposes with aged brick and wood in a guest room.
Biddeford artists Seth Bosworth, Bret Labelle, and Spenser Macleod created graffiti-inspired murals in the lower-level event space, where Stokes envisions makers’ markets and art exhibits; at press time, an outpost of Batson River Brewing & Distilling was set to open in the room next door. The project’s pièce de résistance, a rooftop pool with cabanas and a bar, rendered in the luxurious teals and greens of the interior walls, will open next summer. “Spaces will tell you what they want to be,” Stokes says. “And in that conversation of industrial, modern, and glam, the Lincoln found its voice.”