A Space of Their Own

Covetable rope bracelets, handmade in Maine.

The view from above: Spaces Kennebunkport.

Jot it down in an anchor-themed journal.

Jot it down in an anchor-themed journal.

Never underestimate the power of a pillow, say the stylish duo who refresh their in-store offerings frequently.

Lovely Moroccan towels lend exotic flair to any bathroom.

Votive candles, soaps, and more make Spaces the perfect destination for gift givers.

Votive candles, soaps, and more make Spaces the perfect destination for gift givers.

Trendy tunics—just right for a day at the beach.

Moroccan-inspired prints and patterns abound.

In addition to home goods, all manner of soft creatures, toys, and books.

FIELD TRIP – March 2013
By Veronique Mcaree | Photography Amanda Kowalski

Anna Dixon and Nicki Bongiorno blend a modern design sensibility with a little seaside chic in their charming retail space in Kennebunkport. The shop offers something for everyone—on every budget.

When it comes to retail, I rarely play favorites. But if I had to choose from among my favorite design shops in Maine, Spaces Kennebunkport would top the list. Every time I visit, there are new things I covet, and I don’t think there’s a single thing in this store I wouldn’t happily welcome into my house.

The lovely jewel box of a shop is just a stone’s throw from the village of Kennebunkport and full of fresh, modern designs exquisitely displayed by theme and accessorized with books and small gifts that complement the design story.

You’ll find plenty of well-known design darlings like John Robshaw, Michael Aram, and Roost. But you’ll also find an equally wide array of indie designers. There are piles of pillows, books, tabletop accessories, and other bits of goodness like Maine-made jewelry and charming children’s items.

Nicki Bongiorno and Anna Dixon, both Kennebunkport residents, opened Spaces in 2008. They describe themselves as the finish-each-other’s-sentences kind of friends, and they thrive on their constant hunt to find mod and unpredictable home furnishings.

The duo trolls near and far to find fresh designs that complement a variety of decorating styles and aesthetic sensibilities. Dixon focuses on interacting with customers and Bongiorno combs for new products and inspirations (for the shop and her interior-design business too), and they trust each other’s judgment. Both bring a sense of joy and fun to the work that governs how they run their business—and how the shop looks and feels.

To weather the tough economy and the off-season, Bongiorno and Dixon focus on curating a collection of quality products with more affordable price tags. Notes Bongiorno, “We have a few items for over $200, but the majority of the merchandise costs less than $75. We’ve cut way, way back on the furniture we offer and have increased items with price points under $25.”

In addition to the retail shop, and at the request of their loyal customers, Bongiorno and Dixon recently launched a website and blog that showcase an edited selection of what you’d find at the store. Spaces Kennebunkport makes house calls too, offering consultation and design services to make over your very own space.

Dixon: Vintage Pyrex.
Bongiorno: Anything from Astier de Villatte. [Astier de Villatte is a French ceramics company that produces a line made from black terra cotta.]

Dixon: The Ramp (year-round!). [The Ramp is a small, funky bar and grill (part of the Pier 77 restaurant) at the end of the winding drive to Cape Porpoise.] Bongiorno: Old Vines Wine Bar (or the Ramp with Anna). Oh, and in the summer you can find me at Earth. [Earth is a farm-to-fork, open-air restaurant within Kennebunkport’s Hidden Pond Resort.]

Bongiorno: For ambiance, add votives (we have a great selection!) and dim light. For instant impact, change out your pillows (we love colorful styles) to brighten a room. Plus, try adding something reflective like a large mirror.