Magazine

Designing a Mountain Home for All Seasons

This 1,800-square-foot home is nestled at the base of Mount Abram. It is being built as a vacation home for a Maine couple who are avid skiers and mountain bikers. The clients’ two main goals for the design were to maximize the views of the mountain and create a high-performance home.

The structure sits on a slab-on-grade foundation with radiant heat throughout. The two-story home has three bedrooms and two and a half baths. Inside the main entry there is a large gear room designed to store bikes and skis, and finished concrete flooring is used throughout to endure the clients’ active lifestyle. Not having a full basement and keeping the footprint as small as possible allowed the house to be very airtight. An energy recovery ventilator is used to make sure that the building has an adequate exchange of air each hour. Heat pumps throughout the home provide heating and cooling.

The house is constructed using highly insulated assemblies. The exterior walls are two-by-sixes with horizontal two-by-fours, which allows for R-38 insulation. The roof has 18 inches of blown-in cellulose, which came out to R-68. The windows throughout the home are high-performance triple-glazed; the front door and patio doors are made of the same materials. This home will be sure to keep all occupants comfortable, whether they are just getting in from the slopes or relaxing on a hot summer day.

Location: Mt. Abram, Greenwood
Architect: Kevin Browne
Architecture Design Team: Kevin Browne, Jack Riley
Builder: WinterHaven Custom Builders
Construction Start: November 2021
Construction Complete: September 2022

The Death of a Maine Painter

A series of drawings—mostly in pencil on sketchbook and watercolor papers and one largely composed in watercolor—are the foundation of Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death, a contemplative exhibitions on view at Colby College Museum of Art through October 16, 2022.

Wyeth (1917-2009) created these drawings when he was in his 70s, presumably as studies for a lost or never-realized painting; this is the first time they’ve been shown publicly.

Known as the Funeral Group for their depictions of a graveside, casket, and mourners, the drawings are loose and energetic, with the marks of a confident hand moving through the spaces of the paper, considering and reconsidering. Splashes of watery pigment add a sense of immediacy and show a lack of preciousness; the act of imagining and composing is primary, even urgent, and the artist’s love for refinement is saved for the likenesses of mourners. Helga Testort is here, along with the artist’s dear friends and neighbors Helen Sipala and Anna Kuerner and Wyeth’s wife, Betsy James Wyeth, wearing her signature wide-brimmed hat. Andrew Wyeth, in a rare self-portrait, lies in the open casket. The imagined funeral is his own.

Exhibition curator Tanya Sheehan makes the exciting opportunity to consider these drawings and several death-themed Wyeth paintings alongside works by well-known conceptual artists of Wyeth’s generation—Andy Warhol, George Tooker, and Duane Michals—as well as works by contemporary artists Mario Moore, Janaina Tschäpe, and David Wojnarowicz. Just as Wyeth imagines and composes his own funeral, each of these artists explores ideas about mortality through forms of self-portraiture and performance.

In Duane Michals’s 2019 video The End, the 87-year old artist stages the last minutes of his life as a conversation in a cafe, with Death personified. Their banter is audible throughout the galleries and becomes a soundtrack for viewing the Wyeth drawings. Mario Moore’s self-portrait Fall (2017) is rendered in silverpoint, an impermanent medium in the sense that it will tarnish over time. Moore presents himself

as an inverted head and shoulders lying on the ground and observed from above by someone whose feet are just visible at the base of the drawing. These feet could be menacing and/or they could be the viewer’s. In two photographs from Janaina Tschäpe’s series 100 Little Deaths, the artist inserts herself as a lifeless body in places she has once lived, loved, or in some way been intimately connected with.

“Although Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death was conceived before the coronavirus pandemic, it is my hope that the exhibition will speak to the feelings of loss that have touched us all since 2020,” says Sheehan. “COVID-19 has also prompted many of us to imagine, as Wyeth did, the fundamentally unknowable experience of dying.” Wyeth was likely grieving the deaths of his brother and sister when he made the Funeral Group drawings, and the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, landscape depicted in the drawings is also the place where his father, N.C., and young nephew Newell had died years earlier in a tragic car accident. If imagination provides myriad ways to converse with grief and fear—as the exhibition suggests—then it might also be a foil for the great final mystery.

Pick Up Your Parcels at this New Washington Avenue Boutique

Many of us daydream about starting a cool business with our best friend, but how many of us actually accomplish it? Katie Bowes and Hannah Haehn are among the lucky few for whom those daydreams turned into reality; their Washington Avenue store, the Post Supply, is truly a shared labor of love. As Haehn says, “I knew Katie had been wanting to have a store forever, but I never would have assumed that we would merge our dreams together. But when we thought of it, we both said, ‘This makes so much sense.’”

The future business partners met when they both lived in New York City a decade ago. Bowes was working in publishing, and Haehn was working for a photography agency when they connected through a restaurant project Bowes’s husband Brad, a woodworker and builder, was working on. Haehn laughs as she recalls, “It was love at first sight. We truly became best friends right then and have, honestly, spoken every single day since. It was a moment when you recognize a true friend that feels like your family.” Bowes concurs: “Totally! And when we moved to Maine in 2015, Hannah threw us the sweetest surprise going-away party with the most thoughtful, Maine-centered gifts, even though it hurt her heart to have to do it. Then she became our number one visitor!”

After moving from publishing to prop styling to merchandising—and relocating from New York City to Yarmouth— Bowes finally felt ready to set up a store of her very own. “Every summer job I had growing up was in boutiques and local small businesses. I had always had that passion for retail,” she recalls. “So I was gearing up to open this store. I even had my business plan written. Then the pandemic hit, and everything felt impossible and like a bad idea and very scary. I shelved all of it.” But a few months into the pandemic, on long walks with her newborn second child, she started talking to Haehn on the phone about her dream. They discovered it was a shared vision. “Hannah said, ‘I have this idea for a store.’ And I was like, ‘Hold up. That sounds a lot like my idea for a store!’ It started very casually, just dreaming of what this could be and why we felt excited about it and why we felt it was important.” Haehn says, “During COVID, I had been working on a concept of a small online store, to keep myself busy and to keep creative projects going. But, you know, I don’t have the background on the product side of things that Katie does. We’ve always had separate swim lanes! We decided to marry our two different business approaches and see what we could shake out of it all. We’ve been so happy with what we could come up with together.”

This balance of talents continued to benefit them as the business took shape. Haehn says, “Katie has always been passionate about being in the physical store, interacting with customers. I am passionate about creating our beautiful photography, working with our photographers and other producers to make something that feels like a beautiful brand identity and visual identity.” Haehn, who lives in California, manages the website, handles social media, and directs the seasonal photoshoots. “We’ve made the decision that it makes sense to do curated, stylized shoots seasonally, giving a real point of view about what the season is for the Post Supply,” says Bowes. “Hannah leads all of that. She puts together the mood board and sources, and she chooses photographers. Then I propose product and we narrow it down together.” Meanwhile, Bowes also gets to live her dream: being in the brick-and-mortar store and helping customers in person. She also manages the employees, keeps on top of inventory, and dispenses advice to visitors: “I feel like I’ve taken on this role recently of tour guide, where I tell people, hey, you need to eat at this restaurant!” she laughs.

The Post Supply launched initially as an online-only business (hence the evocation of the postal service in its name), but Bowes was always on the lookout for the right physical location. A few months after the online launch, she says, “I got a call from a local landlord that I had been in touch with over the years, who owns the building where my husband has his shop. He knew that I’d been looking for something, and he said this space had become available. I took that to Hannah and said, ‘This is the location. We need to jump on it. Let’s just hold hands and leap together.’” Haehn adds, “I’d been to this location with Katie many times before, too, because of the wine store next door and the fact that it’s right down the street from Brad’s shop, so I knew I liked it.” Having a builder just down the street—and in the family—certainly helped when it came to transforming the space. Bowes credits her husband’s company, Joiya Studios, with the design and build of the store, and notes that her friend Kacee Witherbee of Insides Studio served as a design and lighting consultant. The result balances spaciousness with coziness, with pale wood lining the walls and jute rugs spread out on the brick floor. “We just want everyone to feel welcome and cozy,” says Bowes.

The selection of goods (the “supply” part of the name) is purposely eclectic; a customer could walk in looking for moisturizer and end up also walking out with a new planter, some candles, and a dustpan. It’s part of its charm, a way to evoke what Haehn calls “an old general store where you would get your flour and your gingham fabric.” Bowes describes their curation process as asking a series of questions: “What are things that I love, and that Hannah loves, that we’ve seen in the world that we haven’t seen represented here yet? Who are the makers? What are the really special brands that we think people would love?” Tables and custom shelves hold glassware and body care products; a rainbow of candles adorns one wall while towels made of organic cotton cover another. A collection of books beckons. On the day I visit, Washington Avenue is shrouded in a chilly summer fog, and walking into the Post Supply feels like stepping into the living room of a good friend: it smells fantastic, good music is playing on the stereo, and I am warmly greeted. Bowes says, “At a high level, Hannah and I are always thinking about the customer: what would be a balm and a comfort to them?” They’re looking out for their guests, just like good friends do.

KEEP ME POSTED

When it comes to choosing the items to sell at the Post Supply, Haehn says, “I want to have stuff from people that I believe in, and who I think are doing stuff right. We know a lot of the people that make the products that we sell, and we can really vouch for them, in terms of how things are made and how things are done.” Bowes and Haehn both said choosing favorites would be like choosing a favorite child, but here are some of their highlights.

• “Our blurry glass, which is sprinkled everywhere in the store, is very popular,” begins Haehn. “Yes, this is recycled glassware from La Soufflerie, that’s all hand blown in Paris, France. Doesn’t that feel nice in your hand?” asks Bowes as she gathers up glasses from one of the display tables. Haehn chimes in, “They all vary a little, by like one or two centimeters. It’s part of what makes them great!”

• “We should talk about these cards,” says Bowes. “Our friend Ty Williams is from Maine. He’s a surfer, he’s an artist, and
he created this line of cards that’s just sold here at the Post Supply. He doesn’t typically do things like greeting cards. Customers have been coming to us for cards, and I felt like this was like a really special place to pick to do a collaboration with him.”

• “We’re standing by one of my favorite whole sections. We are heavily into books and wanted to create a very large book selection—I mean, it’s a whole wall of our store!” says Haehn. It’s an eclectic assortment, with cookbooks and lifestyle design books rubbing shoulders with art books and a history of Jamaican dancehall reggae. “Bookstores have always been one of my favorite places, so come check out our books,” urges Haehn.

• Bowes picks up an elegant blue glass bottle. “I really love Oracle olive oil. This is such a staple at our house. I also think it makes a really beautiful gift. It’s delicious. And I feel like it’s just that special touch that you have on your table that makes the meal feel a little more celebratory, a little more special,” she says. “Not to mention that it’s a very close friend of ours who makes it, from organic olives grown in her family’s olive groves in Greece.”

• “A real customer favorite is our selection of Danica candles. As you know, these are made right up the coast. We started with, like, three colors, and now we have this whole wall
that every customer goes to if they are trying to do something different with their table,” says Bowes. “I’ve found that I used to only ever buy one color, but now I’m constantly getting fun colors to change it up on our table.”

The Timeless Creations of Fashion Designer Heather Stilin

“CLASSIC” is one of those adjectives that gets used so much in fashion copywriting that it almost loses its meaning: how else can items as trendy as shorty rompers or Crocs get described as classic? Heather Stilin of the small fashion line Herself, based in Cape Elizabeth, makes clothes that can truly be called classic in the, well, classic sense of the word: fine tailoring, simple but luxurious fabrics, and timeless designs. As she says, “I put a lens on every item of clothing when I’m making something to make sure people are going to want to wear it in a couple of years.”

Stilin can trace her love of textiles back to her childhood in the Midwest. “My mom used to sew, and she would bring me to the fabric store. I remember looking at fabric and picking out fabric. My mom tried to teach me how to sew, but I didn’t really have the patience for it when I was younger, so she always finished everything for me,” she concludes with a laugh. But those early

sewing days were formative, and when working as an archivist at the University of California, Berkeley, as a young adult, Stilin was drawn back to fashion. “When I lived in California, I learned how to do pattern making at a place called Apparel Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. I really loved it,” she recalls. It was a way to make the clothes she saw in her head, items she wanted more than what was in stores. “I needed to learn how to make things myself, so, say, when I wanted this certain kind of pleated skirt, I could just make it,” she says.

After meeting her husband out west, they moved to Maine to be closer to his family, then started a family of their own. As she finished up a degree in library science, Stilin found herself at a crossroads, still musing about fashion: “When I had that choice again in front of me, I thought, do I want to do library science? Or do I want to do this thing that I’ve always really wanted to do but not allowed myself to do?”

She recalls, “2016 was when I started seriously thinking about it and really exploring the idea. I got a desk at A Gathering of Stitches,” which was, at the time, a makerspace for textile-based artists. Based on advice from a mentor, she started with something simple: dresses. “She said, ‘Start with one kind of fabric. You can use different colors, but just do three dresses, just so you can contain what you’re doing and know that you’re doing it well.’ So I put a lot of effort into getting those three dresses just right!” She continues, “All professional patterns have numbers, so I started with my age as the first two numbers. They start with 44 because I was 44 when I first decided I was going to try and do this. It’s a reminder to me that it’s okay to be older and still be starting something new.”

Sitting in her sun-dappled studio with finished garments swaying in a gentle spring breeze, Stilin is happy to expound on her design process. “The way it often starts is with a drawing or a garment,” she begins. She leaps up to pull down a vintage dress that is hanging on the wall. “I’ll show you this one, because this is a recent one that’s not quite finished yet. I was up in Rockland and I saw this dress. This style of dress, with a yoke, was something I’d been saving pictures of for a while. I bought it to give to my pattern maker as a base to start from. I gave her this and I said, ‘I don’t want this color. I want a different kind of color. I want a sort of mandarin orange color.’ We talked about what I wanted to keep the same, what I wanted to be different, and then we applied my sizing to it.” She turns to the next dress hanging on the wall: “This was the first sample that got made, in this lovely sort of twill. There’s a lot I like about this, but the sleeves are too short. I don’t really like this color. We need to adjust the color. Then I made another sample, and that sample is not quite right either because I added fullness, and then I realized I don’t want that much fullness. You might go through two or three samples depending on the style before you finally get to a pattern and a sample that you feel like, yes, this is what I want, this is the way I want the garment to be.”

A satisfying sample is really just the first step, though. After a sample works, “then you get it graded,” continues Stilin. “Grading is the sizing. Usually for brands, they have standard grades that they use because that’s where you get the consistency in sizing. My hope is, if somebody is always a medium top in Herself, then all the styles of shirts that I make will all fit the same. Next you get a marker made, if you’re going to work with a factory. A marker is placing all the pattern pieces in the most efficient way so that you don’t waste fabric and everything has the correct grain line. Finally, the pieces get cut and sewn at the factory.”

An Enchanting Family Compound Melts into its Wooded Landscape

Nate Holyoke now owns one of Maine’s larger high-end building companies, but he was a 21-year-old just starting out when he began working on a special piece of lakeside property. The owner was building a camp there, and the general contractor hired Holyoke to do carpentry. Will Winkelman and his then-partner, Rob Whitten, were the camp’s architects, working with landscape architect Todd Richardson to make the most of a site strewn with dramatic ledges and boulders. For 15 years Holyoke, Richardson, and Winkelman continued to work with the owner, adding fanciful landscape elements and outbuildings, while their practices and businesses grew. That wasn’t a coincidence. “He’s very much a basis of my growth as a professional, my confidence as a professional,” Winkelman, who now leads his own architecture firm, says of the client. “I learned so much from the trust that he placed in me.”

From the beginning, the camp design was driven by the landscape. “It’s a phenomenal piece of land, like a minia-ture national park,” says Richardson. The client wanted the camp to blend in with the landscape—not only by complementing its natural features but also by suggesting the story of a traditional Maine camp that has grown and changed with the years. From these directives emerged a building in three parts. To the left is a three-story “lodge” that might have been built a hundred years ago, with walls and roof covered in cedar shakes; it houses the public spaces and the owners’ suite. To the right is what looks like a 1950s bunkhouse inspired by a kids’ summer camp, with rooms for boys, girls, and adult guests. And in between, as if an afterthought, is a screened-in “link porch” that provides a lake view from the driveway—a priority for the owner. Just inside the French screened doors there’s a long bench and a row of hooks. “It’s truly the mudroom, where you walk in and drop everything. It’s very informal, very ‘camp,’” says Winkelman. The other side of the porch is a “more refined” space to sit and socialize over the view of lake and trees. “It’s a magical space,” adds Winkelman.

While a sense of tradition was important to the project, it didn’t get in the way of innovation. Shaded by forest and cliffs, the house was predictably dark. To bring daylight into the screened porch, Winkelman replaced the roof’s planned cedar shakes with glass. “You can’t call it a glass roof and you can’t call it a skylight,” he says. “You have this texture of the horizontal wood bands of skip sheeting, and it has a border of cedar shakes that frames the glass. The space just glows, even on the gloomiest day. You want to be in it.” The home also puts traditional wood materials to unusual uses—including a wooden walk-in refrigerator and freezer (Winkelman calls it “a technical tour de force”) and an automated entrance gate made from a log.

After the main building was completed, the camp continued to evolve. Holyoke, Richardson, and Winkelman collaborated with the client on projects large and small—a suspension bridge to smooth the way to the “swim rock”; a network of trails, boardwalks, and bridges; a guest cabin; a cliffside firepit destination accessible only by boat; a hot tub that nestles into weathered boulders. “A lot of lip service is given to collaboration,” says Richardson, “but some pretty incredible things came out of the team. We fed off each other’s interests and ideas, had great respect for each other, and had overlapping skills and talents. The client really saw that and put the team in motion. He made sure we were connected, and we were given freedom and support to do something really special together.”

For many years the client had dreamed about adding a pizza oven to an area the family used as an outdoor kitchen, but other projects and needs kept getting in the way. In 2019 Holyoke offered to build the oven as a gift, and Winkelman and Richardson quickly got on board. It was an unusually big and complex project to offer—but this was an unusual client. “We were going to do this thing for this person who has been such a big part of forming the success of my business, my personal growth, my professional growth, my self-confidence,” recalls Winkelman.

The idea of a pizza oven gave way to a wood-fired grill, and the team decided to build around a mechanized model from Grillworks. They brought on “metals magician” Tim Greene of StandFast Works Forge and mason Mike Harkins to help figure out how to integrate the grill into the landscape. “We had to take something that was fixed, factory-built, and set it in something very fluid,” says Holyoke. The “fluid” element was, ironically, the rocky setting. Dominating the area was what the owner’s kids had named “frog rock.” Winkelman describes it as “huge and cool, with moss all over and trees growing on top. Above it is a cliff composed of

boulders that look like they are in the process of falling down. But the other side of the area was a little bit of a flat wasteland.” Winkelman found inspiration for the shape of the grill setting on a trip to Iceland, where he saw a rift formed by the pulling apart of tectonic plates. “That was my ‘aha’ moment,” he recalls. “I’ve got the frog rock, and I’ll create an opposing earth mass, as though it’s one side of the rift, creating tension or energy between the two.” A granite slab would provide a cap: “Just like the floating boulders, it’s irrational, but natural. It’s there!”

Holyoke had recently acquired an old granite quarry, so the team had access to weathered stones unearthed in the nineteenth century. Winkelman modeled his ideas in clay, and at the quarry the team spray-painted the design on the ground while they searched for the right slabs and boulders. After the stones were installed, the team “buried the whole thing in landscape,” Winkelman says. “Todd Richardson did all the choreography of plantings and earthworks, so it feels like a little alcove found in the woods. You can imagine that an early settler found it and nurtured it into a little bit of a fireplace, all with found piles of stones.”

In 2021 the client and team celebrated the completion of the project with a ceremonial lighting of the grill—and the cooking of a rib eye steak. (“Delicious. Totally worth it,” says Holyoke.) The moment was bittersweet for all of them: the client’s life had shifted

to the west coast, and he had decided to sell the property. The gift of the fireplace became the final cadence of a 15-year collaboration, a unique conjunction of client, craftspeople, and place. “It’s one example of many,” Richardson says. “Each idea found its heart and soul in the property, guided by the client’s interests and needs. Everything connected back to reinforcing what is special about the place. It’s beautiful, and nature did that—but you don’t leave it there. You build upon it and connect to it. That’s the real project right there.”

Tour a Delectable Prouts Neck Home Designed for a Professional Chef

Canadian-born chef Mary Rolph Lamontagne has lived all over the world, but her heart has never strayed far from southern Maine. She first visited the Prouts Neck area of Scarborough with her grandparents and then eventually began to vacation there with her own children and husband, Paul Lamontagne. Even when they lived abroad in Paris and, most recently, South Africa, she made it a point to return for summer trips. A few years ago, the couple relocated to Montreal, and her dream of owning her own Maine getaway became a reality. “I had been looking for a while, and this house had been on the market for eight years,” recalls Rolph Lamontagne of the modest shingle-style house. “It was used as a summer rental, and it was a horror story, with fake wood floors and striped wallpaper.” It did, however, have views of the ocean from the top floor, and it also carried a sentimental connection: the structure once served as an outbuilding for the Black Point Inn, where Rolph Lamontagne’s grandparents had spent time.

Given the state of the residence, the couple knew they would need to renovate and expand the building, but they didn’t rush it. “We owned the home for two years before starting any work, because living in it helped us figure out how we wanted it to function,” says Rolph Lamontagne. Ultimately, the couple consulted with Sybil Przeszlowski of Richard Renner Architects to overhaul the 3,000-square-foot house and build an additional 1,800 square feet for a total of six bedrooms— plenty of space for their three children and grandchild to spread out. The building’s original placement on the site couldn’t accommodate the expansion, however, so the structure had to be lifted and repositioned. “We took the original house down to the bones, keeping the wall and roof systems as well as the staircase, and then added a new foundation and studs,” explains general contractor Joe Lucey, who notes that, despite some ledge issues when it came to excavating a new foundation and the more common challenges of working with old, uneven framing, the project hit its eight-month deadline. “The basic structure remained intact, but it feels like a new home. We opened up the interior to make it feel more modern.”

Throughout the process, the owners relied on the expert eye of Amanda Pratt, a decorator based in New York City and Maine, who was with them from conception to completion. “The original layout was strange, with small bedrooms and not enough baths,” says Pratt. “Their children are older, so we created larger bedrooms with en suite baths, and the rooms are arranged around a central television area.” There’s also a kids’ bunk room for younger children. The new addition contains the primary suite plus a balcony, family room, den, bathroom, mudroom, screened porch (fiberglass panels can be subbed in during cooler months), and secondary prep

kitchen. This prep space, or “scullery” as Rolph Lamontagne refers to it, is a necessity for the chef, who not only trained at the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris but has written a cookbook about reducing food waste and spent 15 years opening safari lodge restaurants and training cooks in South Africa. “I love entertaining, and during dinner parties I can close the door to the scullery and not have to see any of the mess,” says Rolph Lamontagne of the secondary space, which contains a refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, and coffee bar. “We put the meat and potatoes of the kitchen in the scullery,” explains Pratt. “It was very important that Mary’s kitchen setup make sense and flow well. When someone cares about food so much, I really focus on the ergonomics of the space. I actually went to culinary school myself, so I enjoy designing kitchens for other people and look at it from the perspective of a mom and a cook.” The new kitchen and prep space are a major upgrade from what Rolph Lamontagne had to work with prerenovation: “There wasn’t even a stove when we moved in,” she recalls. “I bought a small one to tide me over until we redid the kitchen, but I ended up keeping it because I hate being wasteful. I sometimes miss not having a high-end range, but after exclusively cooking over a fire in South Africa, I can make anything work.”

The main kitchen is “classic and clean,” says Pratt, who paired white cabinetry with an island tinted in a slightly warmer shade. “Mary didn’t want all white, so we integrated some soft color along with the indestructible engineered stone countertops.” Nickel-gap wall paneling and a handmade tile backsplash round out the sunny, serene space. The island accommodates six people for casual meals or cooking classes (Rolph Lamontagne has even filmed television segments there), and often the chef will use it as a buffet for serving family-style meals. The kitchen is open to the dining area, where a 10-person table expands to fit up to 16 guests. “Mary is a nurturer,” says Pratt. “Being in the kitchen with her and sitting at her table is a great joy.”

When it came to the rest of the home, Pratt tapped into her client’s love of South Africa. “Mary is heavily influenced by her time in South Africa, so we tried to replicate the warm minimalism found there,” says the designer. “We introduced muted, subtle tones—such as soft blue, camel, and woods—that wouldn’t compete with views of the water and her gardens. The colors attract the eye but don’t dominate.” Pratt and Rolph Lamontagne even had the chance to shop “together” over video calls while Rolph Lamontagne was still in South Africa. “We were able to get a lot done virtually,” says Pratt. “Mary would call from various studios and shops, which gave me

access to a lot of work that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. We found some beautiful standout pieces this way.” Among the items purchased abroad are artwork, outdoor furniture, an ostrich eggshell mirror, a sculptural raw-wood bench that welcomes guests in the entry, and several fishing baskets that now serve as light fixtures. “We tried to bring in a sense of craft and tradition from a place the homeowners have fallen in love with, says Pratt.” In addition to these souvenirs representing a past life, Pratt incorporated some French Canadian pine heirlooms as well as artwork the couple has collected from around the world—including a beloved impressionist painting purchased at a Paris auction that now holds pride of place in the game area off the living room. “The typical New England look just isn’t me,” says Rolph Lamontagne. “Amanda knows me well, and I trust her eye, so I knew she could figure out how to make the pieces we already had work together. It was really important to me to use items from South Africa because I was sad to leave, and it’s a way of not forgetting our life there.” And although nearly the entire design process was done virtually, for Pratt it couldn’t have been any more seamless. “Mary has tons of energy, is passionate, and makes decisions quickly and easily. When I step into the house, it feels like her. I wanted this home to serve as a refuge and a special place for their family to come together.”

This Energetic Shade of Green Will Bring Your Home to Life

Come high summer, Maine is awash in leafy greens. The tree canopy has filled out, foliage plants have stretched their fronds, and ferns carpet the forest floor. In fact, if you live surrounded by trees, you may have even noticed that the light in your home has a green cast when the foliage is at its peak. These leaf-color greens are a cheerful choice for decor.

Green often plays second fiddle to blue on the coast, but it shouldn’t. “Leaf green is a fresh, lively color,” says interior designer Melissa Ervin, who is based in Charleston, South Carolina. “It lends a great feel and vibe on the coast.” Designer Lisa Teague of Upcoast Design in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, agrees, but adds that the color works almost anywhere. “In a more bucolic setting the palette will be a little bit different than if you’re right on the shore. If a client has a garden, we pull those greens in from there.”

Designers often like to say that green is “nature’s neutral”—and it’s true that greens are wildly versatile hues. However, you’ll need to be a little discerning with leaf greens, which are a bit brighter and more saturated than other shades of green. Here’s how to use the color with success.

Look outdoors for inspiration.

“Whether you are on an ocean or a farm, when you look out a window, chances are there is a shade of green out there,” says Teague, who suggests pulling color inspiration from your landscape is a safe way to go. “It just feels good.”

Embrace leaf motifs.

Something that will always look natural in leafy hues is a botanical print—whether a traditional chintz or a more modern palm leaf. Many designers try to make a connection between the outdoors and inside: a plant-inspired pattern is the fastest way to signal nature indoors.

Pick a green you can live with.

“I rarely use colors that are clear and clean,” says Teague. “Even if they are bright, they have an element of dirt.” Teague says, if you’re choosing from standard paint chip strips, zero in on the greens that are three or four down from the top (unless you are trying to make a bold statement). The top colors are too light, and the bottom three are reserved for small rooms or an accent wall, she says. Before you paint, order or paint large samples, “especially with greens,” says Teague.

Bring a windowless room to life.

Green walls cast a slightly greenish light, so people often avoid the color in their bathrooms. However, a leaf green can be just the thing to liven up a space that lacks a view. The key is to get the lighting right with a soft, diffuse source like the linen lampshades used in the powder room seen on the opposite page.

Consider it underfoot.

Painted floors are a low-maintenance, casual choice for a Maine summer cottage. Interior designer Melissa Ervin first painted a floor leaf green 15 years ago when her contractor wasn’t able to match the stain on a new kitchen floor to the rest of the house. She says the effect was so pleasing that even the paint crew remarked on it. She repeated the painted green floor in a more recent coastal home, pairing Farrow and Ball’s Bancha with cypress-paneled walls. (For more inspiration see this month’s Style Room, page 28.)

Become a plant parent!

Here’s an easy way to add leaf green to your home: bring home some actual green leaves. Foliage houseplants will bring a pop of green, and there’s no risk that they’ll clash with your existing decor. Writing in The Perfectly Imperfect Home, design writer Deborah Needleman says, “[Plants] really do establish a homey well-tended feeling in a room. The key is to have plants that look as if they’ve just come in from the garden.”

Pair it with blue.

“I love green and blue together,” says Teague, who describes the combination as a really fresh and beautiful look. This combination is also a good choice because so many homes in Maine already feature the color blue: leaf green can simply be layered on top. Ervin notes that many of her clients are requesting a blue and green combo lately.

Create a playful palette with pink.

For something more unexpected, Teague suggests pairing leaf green with pink, coral, or even raspberry, like she did on a custom sectional sofa (above). Teague says the key is to work with colors that have “the same weight of color, and they just play off of each other.”

Decorate Like a Tree

Leaves get their green hue from chlorophyll, but change to their fall colors when the days get shorter and the chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down. This reveals yellow, orange, and red pigments that are masked during the warmer months. That transition from leafy green to rich yellow, rust, and crimson is one of the most celebrated color moments in the natural world. It’s also a great idea to steal for your own home.

If you have a room with a neutral palette as its base, you can easily mimic the seasonal change with your home accessories: For example, you might swap your neutral-colored sofa’s accent pillows from leaf green to a range of autumnal colors in fall. In an all-white kitchen, you can change out a few key accessories like tea towels, a fruit bowl, and café curtains, following the color cues from your landscape. In a bathroom, two sets of colorful towels—one leafy green and one pumpkin or rust—can completely transform the look of the room. Take your tree-spiration further by weaving in natural wood furnishings and accessories. Leaf greens (and their fall alter egos) work with almost any wood tone because they are found together in nature. However, do pay attention to the woods you use and limit the tones to just a few to avoid a hodge-podge look.

The word green is derived from the Old English grene, which refers to the color of living plants.

 

The Butterfly Chair

Many of us have seen some version of the Butterfly chair over the years. The low, leather-and-iron chair is easy to move, easy to clean, and comfortable—until you try to rise out of it. Since you need to be agile to get in and out of it, copies of the chair have often appeared in college dorm rooms over the years. So where did the design come from? It all started in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1938 with a group of architects who previously worked at Le Corbusier’s studio: Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy. They formed the architectural collective Grupo Austral and designed the BFK (first letter of each of their last names) chair together for an apartment building in Buenos Aires.

The chair went on to be entered in a local design show. It was recognized at the show by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who was the director of MoMA’s (Museum of Modern Art) Industrial Design Department in New York. Kaufmann predicted that this inexpensive chair would be a success back in the United States and sent three chairs back to the States. The first went to Fallingwater, Edgar Kaufmann Jr.’s home in Pennsylvania (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright); another went to MoMA; and the third, although unconfirmed, most likely went Clifford Pascoe of Artek-Pascoe in New York. In the early 1940s the chair was produced by Artek-Pascoe, although production was slow due to wartime shortages of metal. In 1947 Hans Knoll, who owned Knoll furniture along with his wife Florence Knoll, recognized the piece’s commercial potential and added it to the Knoll line. By Knoll’s estimate, more than five million copies were produced in the 1950s.

The design went against the modern hard-edged machine aesthetic popular in the 1930s; it also diverged from seating that supported proper posture since the sitter had to slouch. The problem was that the chair, being popular, was copied by various companies. Knoll unsuccessfully pursued legal action against unauthorized copies, which continue to be produced to this day. As for the original designers, they never saw much income from their idea: “We have received, in two years, the miserable sum of $11.37,” said Jorge Ferrari Hardoy two years after the chair went into production. Today the Swedish furniture brand Cuero manufactures new Butterfly chairs, but vintage models can be purchased on the secondary market.

Take An Overseas, Design-Focused Field Trip

Here’s Lesko and Lawal’s roadmap for visiting and scoring the best designs at the prestigious Maison et Objet home show and the Paris Flea Market at Saint-Ouen:

48 HRS IN PARIS

Marianne travels to Paris yearly to find decorative art and design pieces for her clients, and Kazeem visits a new country each year to buy items for Portland Trading Company. Kazeem’s trip brought him to Italy this year, so the two friends decided to meet in Paris to search for new products to bring home to Maine. We’ll let Marianne tell the rest of the story.

Where to stay?

I suggested that Kazeem stay on the north side of Montmartre, a lively Parisian neighborhood without the usual tourist traffic. Along the main street of Rue Caulaincourt, there are quaint cafes, restaurants, food markets, specialty boutiques, and elegant nineteenth-century apartment buildings. Kazeem chose to rent an Airbnb, as this is the best way to enjoy this quartier of Paris.

SATURDAY

8 AM
It’s a short walk from Kazeem’s Airbnb to my apartment on the Rue du Mont-Cenis. This extraordinary street starts at the base of the hill of Montmartre on the north side, climbs over the top of the hill next to Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and descends to the other side via hundreds of stairs in between. This area is known for the artists who once lived and worked here, like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Utrillo, and Amedeo Modigliani, among others. The day starts with croissants, fresh Bretagne butter, and jam at the apartment. There is no better way to fortify yourself for a day of shopping than croissants and butter. Shortly after breakfast, we’re on our way to Maison et Objet at the Paris Nord Exposition Center at Villepinte.

10 AM
We arrive at the show ready to tackle all seven jam-packed halls filled with furniture, bedding, home accessories, and artworks. The Maison et Objet show has over 5,000 brands represented, 1,800 exhibitors, and close to two million visitors each year. This is Paris’s semiannual source for designers throughout the world to get the first look at new design trends and products.

We will be bringing back new and exciting items for our clients and customers. This is not just a show, but a market. Only vetted professionals are allowed to exhibit, and there will be a tremendous amount of buying during the brief days of the event.

8 PM
After all that walking, it is time to take advantage of what Paris is known for: its food! We have made a reservation at La Boîte aux Lettres, a popular Montmartre restaurant that attracts a vibrant Parisian crowd. Our dinner includes a watercress velouté, a pollack fillet wrapped in shredded vegetables, and the favorite cut of beef in this city, the onglet de boeuf—always served rare.

SUNDAY

10 AM
No designer’s road trip would be complete without a visit to the largest flea market in Paris, the Marché aux Puces at Saint-Ouen. This flea market spans over six city blocks and offers almost every item you could imagine. We’re both attracted to the oldest section of the flea market, the Vernaison. This warren of ancient stalls offers the most eclectic selection in the flea market.

But first, coffee!

The Vernaison was the first of the flea markets to open in 1920 after World War I. The prefabricated “stalls” were quickly built and leased to dealers and rag pickers to ply their wares. To visit the Vernaison is to step back in time. Inside the walls that enclose the market it feels like a medieval village. The small shops that occupy the stalls mostly have their specialty in one type of vintage or antique item. You can find clothing, silverware, ceramics, furniture, fountain pens, scientific instruments, paintings, fine prints, African art, toys, and glassware. It is best to wander aimlessly and see what treasures you can find.

One of our most fun fashion finds are authentic French working jackets worn by municipal employees. They are now worn by cool young Parisians as a fashion statements and are a coveted item. You will definitely see these jackets in Portland this year.

2 PM
A fabulous lunch is an absolute necessity while shopping at the flea market! We head to Au Roi du Café. We decide to make it a lighter lunch and go with salads (but as you can see, these Parisian salads weren’t exactly light).

9 PM
With COVID restrictions lifted in Paris, some nightlife was definitely on the agenda: a late-night stop at L’Avant Comptoir at Place de l’Odéon in the sixth arrondissement. By day, this quiet little eatery is an attractive place for a light lunch and a glass of wine, but by night a much more clublike atmosphere prevails.

How to Create the Colorful Bunk Room of Your Dreams

Bunk beds and enclosed sleeping nooks satiate some of our most universal longings: our love for secret places, the feeling of being aloft, and the comfort of enclosure,” reveals author Laura Fenton in The Bunk Bed Book, recently published by Gibbs Smith. Bunks aren’t just for kids—we’re seeing them more and more in guest rooms here in Maine. They’re an efficient use of space and add a bit of whimsy. We’ll be using this bunk room designed by Dana Small for inspiration for our dream coastal cottage. The room feels pulled together and airy, with double built-in bunks and nickel-gap walls, while the painted lime green and blue floor adds just the right touch of rustic charm. Small played with different patterns and mixed textures: bright green ikat Roman shades, blue-striped folded duvets, and printed throw pillows pair nicely with an oversized rattan pendant light. A simple basket on the floor is an easy catchall for guests’ bedtime items. All that’s left to do is to grab a good book, crack the window, and settle in.

1. Hampton Bunk Bed // pbteen.com
2. Cameron Sconce // luluandgeorgia.com
3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass // longfellowbooks.com
4. Été Duvet Cover // us.hay.com
5. Playful Posies Multi Sheet Set // annieselke.com
6. Fringed Macrame Woven Basket // balinista.com
7. Picnic  // sherwin-williams.com
8. Avila Pendant // serenaandlily.com
9. Sand Beach Semi Abstraction | print on canvas // sarahmadeiraday.com

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