ABOVE The 1.7-acre property’s exposed ledge means minimal mowing and a built-in obstacle course for daughters Dylyn, 11, and Scout, 5. New siding and windows are on the couple’s to-do list.
TEXT BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL D. WILSON
In 2018, Kristen and Arthur Tringali visited the midcoast in perhaps its most inhospitable season and were smitten. Despite the March slush and gloom, Kristen saw a landscape that reminded her of her native northern California, and both picked up on an outdoorsy vibe missing in their Maryland town. A year later, Arthur got a job transfer and the couple purchased a 1985 gambrel-roofed fixer-upper in Wiscasset.
The new home presented an opportunity to get creative, as Kristen does with the furniture and architectural pieces she spiffs up for her resale business, sometimes with Arthur’s help. A favorite joint project: a bar cart from a pair of Victorian-era radiators and barnwood. Their finds fill the home and part of the garage, which houses a 1990 Jeep that Arthur, a Bath police officer, is restoring (and hauls Kristen’s furniture in). The idea for the garage was “half for her, half for me,” he says, “but it all intertwines.”
Kristen and Arthur were drawn to the home’s historic-looking beams and wide-pine floors, which harmonize with their scavenged pieces, including a camelback sofa Kristen got for free from a downsizer, a pine coffee table she bought with a dining table for $100 in Waldoboro, and a side table the couple pulled out of a Maryland barn and dined at during their wedding reception. A pendant they made from an Edison bulb and an old pulley dangles overhead. Next to the sofa, a Mission-style table has replaced a mid-century record cabinet Kristen sold. “If I find something that fits our house, my rule is I have to get rid of something,” she says.
A kitchen renovation is in the offing. Meantime, Kristen pulled up the vinyl floor tiles and stenciled the plywood beneath with Behr porch paint: Moleskin atop three coats of Marshmallow Whip. Cabinets sporting new brass hardware and Behr’s Black Mocha are juxtaposed with natural-wood drawers, a two-tone look Kristen also favors in her furniture rehabs. “I love the contrast.”
Off the kitchen, jurors’ chairs from the West Bath District Courthouse, which Kristen scored for $40, set off a round vintage table from Nonny’s Nook, in Wiscasset. The shelves display mid-century Jadeite and green Depression glass, some of it inherited from her grandmother. In the sunroom beyond, a vintage surfboard nods to her California roots.
Dylyn and Scout hold the hen they named Hei Hei, after the rooster in Moana, who lives with Salem, Stormy, Red One, and Red Two in a coop Arthur built with wood salvaged from an old shed on the property. Recently, his coworkers replaced this fencing with a fox-proof enclosure that also prevents Hei Hei, aka Houdini, from escaping.
Kristen painted a V-shaped pattern to camouflage a badly patched wall in the home’s only full bath — another spot the couple plans to renovate. “I slapped it on there for a quick fix.” A hanging pothos thrives in the room’s humidity and afternoon sunlight.
Kitchen shelves hold egg cups from Arthur’s grandparents and Kristen’s grandmother’s 1940s mixer with an attached Jadeite bowl and juicer, used to make many family wedding cakes and Kristen’s childhood birthday cakes. “It’s not working,” she says, “but I’d never get rid of it.”
A light fixture composed of Edison bulbs suspended from a steel pipe, which Kristen dreamed up and Arthur crafted, crowns a pine table nestled between windows that frame the woodsy view. When the couple moved north, there were naysayers, including Arthur’s dad. But when he visited, Kristen says, “he kept walking around our yard and was like, ‘I get it; it’s gorgeous here.’”