The large paintings seen here, by the fireplace, and behind the sofa (below), are by Heidi Lachapelle’s husband, Louis-Pierre Lachapelle. “We love how his modern and colorful pieces juxtapose with the traditional setting,” Katie says.
By Sarah Stebbins
Photographs by Erin Little
A historic living room sits comfortably between past and present thanks to clean-lined furnishings and fresh coats of white paint.
When Katie and Tyler Judkins traded their new, open-plan Portland home for a 1900s Dutch Colonial in Cumberland, they faced a challenge familiar to many old-house owners: how to facilitate modern family living in a building constructed when parlors and phonographs were in fashion. For the Judkinses — parents to Isobel, 2, and Larsen, 1 — the answer involved a skillful juxtaposition of mostly contemporary furnishings (versus of-the-era antiques) with the home’s original architecture. “Nothing is too precious!” says Katie, who conceived the living room scheme with her sister-in-law/business partner, Portland designer Heidi Lachapelle.
Before & After
To ease traffic flow, and toddler collisions, in the pass-through living space, the duo limited furnishings to a few substantial pieces and opted for brass sconces and sturdy floor lamps over tabletop fixtures. Centering the main furniture arrangement — composed of a rolled-arm sofa in durable leather, mid-century-inspired teak chairs, and an antique pine coffee table atop a boho-patterned jute rug — on the fireplace instead of the picture window, where the seating was previously, created “a pleasing symmetry,” Katie says.
Indigo accents here and in the adjoining library pop against the newly whitewashed walls, while floor-length linen curtains lend drama and the illusion of more height. “For us, this is the ideal blend of respect for the home’s history and family friendliness,” Katie says. Next up: creating a workable mudroom in a house built 50 years before such spaces existed.
Tyler crafted a built-in daybed in the library, which also features a pair of English chairs passed down by Katie’s grandmother (and reupholstered by Portland’s Home Remedies) and a vintage Turkish rug.