TEXT BY SARA ANNE DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY CLAIRE ESPARROS
Book the fanciful, gleefully colorful Pieces Homes Airbnb in Kennebunk and leave with everything but the kitchen sink — or, at least, order it online. From the furry Teddy Bear chair that embraces like a husband pillow with legs, to the squishy-yet-stone-topped velvet coffee table, to the bulbous ceramic lamp reminiscent of the Lorax’s trees, it’s all for sale at this “shoppable stay.”
The reimagined 1878 farmhouse is the invention of husband-and-wife team Jenny Kaplan and Chris Corrado and their partner, Taisha Coombs, founders of Brooklyn home furnishings line Pieces. “Our stuff can be a little polarizing because it’s very bright and we use a lot of color,” says Kaplan, who, like her partners, has a background in fashion. “A shoppable Airbnb was an opportunity for us to show how to use our products in an approachable, liveable way.”
They chose Kennebunk for personal and practical reasons: Corrado grew up in the popular tourist stop, Kaplan hails from nearby Eliot, and Corrado’s Arundel-based contractor-brother, Paul Corrado, was willing to manage the renovation. After closing on their 2,995-square-foot place on Summer Street in 2018, they set about removing ominous gray carpeting, opening up low ceilings, carving out a fourth bedroom, and installing a new kitchen that juxtaposes bottle-green cabinetry with pink Rosa Portogallo marble countertops. On weekends, Corrado and Coombs put in sweat equity, while Kaplan worked at Corrado’s mother’s house, dreaming up room schemes and scrolling Instagram for the 17 partners whose products mingle with Pieces’ designs. In between, the trio developed new items inspired by the Kennebunk place. “It was an intense year,” Corrado says. “Emotionally, physically, I would say we were working well beyond our actual capacity.”
Today, the home’s infectious camp belies its hectic genesis. After all, it’s hard to take yourself too seriously in a second-floor family room outfitted with plush furniture in Miami Vice pastels, a glass-block accent wall, and an enormous photograph of a horse. Or on the main floor, where a 60-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped rainbow rug ripples through the dining and sitting rooms. Smaller versions of the carpet have been the biggest sellers since the vacation rental listing went live last year. Though sales have been modest overall, the partners consider the enterprise an unequivocal success on account of steady bookings and the buzz it’s generated for the small company. “Now that so much of that trauma is behind us, we’re like, let’s do it again!” Corrado says.