Maine Coastal Home Tour

Land of David

The winding dirt road that leads to “Loon Camp” has only two houses. But come summer, the population of the road increases by leaps and bounds with the visiting friends and family of John Wentworth and Jamie Gluck. Named after their address on secluded Loon Road, the Southern California couple’s cottage in Madison, Maine sits just 15 feet from pine-lined Lake Wesserunsett. “Ever since I was a kid, I’d been visiting this lake with a whole host of people I call ‘fake cousins,'” says Mainer John, whose grandparents owned a house by the lake.

Every summer, John’s “parents by choice,” who also owned cabins there, hopped from camp to camp, a tradition that continues to this day. John and Jamie usually stayed at a local motel for annual “family” get-togethers, but about seven years ago they spotted a “For Sale by Owner” sign that would change their summers forever. “It wasn’t the perfect cabin, but it was the perfect place,” says Jamie.

Built in the 1940s, the 1,800-square-foot home had been remodeled in the 1970s, resulting in interiors that 50 years later left something to be desired. Inspired by the camps of John’s parents, the couple worked with contractor Steven Dionne and architect Rick Eskelund to bring back the old-world atmosphere of the home. Drywall is out and tongue and groove pine panels are in. Also gone: the popcorn ceilings, replaced by exposed beams, and the 70s carpet, replaced by pine floors with flat-headed iron nails. The couple added even more nostalgic charm with salvaged hardware, antique glass door handles, push-button light switches, and a mix of newly acquired heritage and vintage decor.

But there’s a return to Loon Camp feature that’s pretty hard to beat. “My favorite thing is jumping into this lake almost every day, like I did when I was a kid,” says John. Leave it to a renovator to know that sometimes a deep dive is better than a hesitant toe dip.

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Pallet Old Cabin

John Wentworth (standing) and Jamie Gluck left the original cedar siding of their 1940s home untouched and painted the new, energy-efficient, double-glazed Andersen windows in what John calls ‘camp green’ – a forest green color in harmony with the chalets by the lake in the region. They accented with a cheerful yellow door.

Have the look:
Front door paint color:
Summerdale Gold by Benjamin Moore

Ships, oh

Shades of the coastal blue hue flow back and forth throughout Jamie and John’s home, as seen on the collection of vintage ship paintings, sofa, Danish armchair cushions and the old American chippy linen rack that serves as a coffee table in the living room. They found the 1970s floor lamp in mint condition dusty and disassembled on the floor of a local antique store for a price of $50. “Our furniture runs the gamut, from high-end to garage sales,” says John.

Have the look:
Sofa:
London by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Cover:
for similar, Vintage by Evangeline Linens

Nautical touches

The framed collection of sailing knots was a gift.

Comfortable neighborhoods

A built-in log nook keeps firewood handy for the cozy woodstove. The 1940s Wentworth sign above originally hung in John’s grandparents’ house, two doors down.
Meet the dog! Hazel, a 14-year-old Jack Russell-Chihuahua-corgi mix, loves canoe rides but hates getting wet.

Have the look:
Wall paint color:
Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams
The furnace:
Oslo by Jotul

Retro details

Accomplished host and resident chef Jamie whips up local specialties like haddock and Maine potato fishcakes in the couple’s small but mighty kitchen. The remarkable cast-iron sink from the 1950s was found by their contractor frozen in the ground under his mother’s barn. (Really!) The custom hinged cabinets are tongue-and-groove pine and the countertops are zinc, two choices inspired by other camp homes in the area. For an extra retro touch, the owners opted for a cream color Smeg refrigerator.

Have the look:

Cover: for similar, Vintage by Evangeline Linens

Vintage Keys

John and Jamie chose classic push-button light switches for some extra vintage charm, but there was only one problem: “We grouped together so many switches that we couldn’t remember what who controlled what!” says Jamie. The solution: handwritten hang tags for handy identifiers. “I thought they would be temporary, but seven years later they’re still here.”

Eclectic Antiques

“We wanted our house to feel like it had survived several generations of one family, so the furniture would reflect what they may have bought as they changed hands over the years. 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and today,” says Jamie. . This mix-and-match mood is on full display in the breakfast nook, where matching antique chairs surround a turn-of-the-century table and an 1870s tomato-red deacon’s bench provides plenty of additional seating. A green drop-leaf table serves as a “bar”.

THERE IS A GOOD STORY BEHIND THESE…
Decorative panels
These farm scene panels were studies for a theater backdrop at the opera house in Long Beach, California, which was destroyed in an earthquake in the 1930s. Before moving to Maine, they hooked up at a restaurant the couple owned in California’s Santa Barbara wine country. “We sold the restaurant and took the paintings,” says Jamie.

Have the look:
To throw:
by Evangeline Linens

Repurposed Treasures

Around the corner from the breakfast nook, an assembled “butler’s pantry” houses ironstone dishes in a hanging plate rack, linens in the vintage cooler, and their collection of antique French and English silverware in an antique tool bag that makes it easy to transition indoors out. This space also contains other vintage paintings, including a small landscape by a New England artist Daphne Confar.

Improvised games room

Lazy days are spent playing board games on the shapeshifting antique game table (it turns into a chair!). John and Jamie found the vintage rattan-seated chairs at a neighbor’s garage sale.

Dinner at the quay

The open-air dining area is called “the undulating bridge” because it is a local custom to salute all passing boats. Whether it’s morning coffee, dinner, or Negronis and Aperol spritzes at happy hour, the old picnic table made from old flooring (found nearby Hathaway Mill Antiques) is the perfect gathering place.

HOW SMART IS IT?
Recycled upholstery
John and Jamie used vintage 1950s cotton tablecloths to tie up the old folding chairs. “We like the frayed edges and don’t worry about the fabric fading,” says John.

Have the look:
Bowls, plates and cups:
Ember Maine Campfire Pottery

Recover with soul

In the guest bedroom, an old iron bed contains a colorful quilt made from quilt panels that belonged to Jamie’s grandmother. The vintage poster hanging in the windows is from the Lakewood Theatre, the oldest summer theater in the country, located just across the lake.

A mixture of textures

A vintage pedestal sink is the centerpiece of the guest bathroom, which also features a pair of vintage ship’s wheel sconces lined with fisherman’s rope.

Room with a view

To take advantage of the lake view, the owners added full-length windows to the master bedroom. “Now it’s like a cruise ship there,” John says. The pine blanket chest has been in John’s family for over 100 years and the bedding is from Maine stalwart LL Bean.

Sentimental wall art

In the dressing room, four green shutters with pine cutouts that once hung at John’s grandparents’ camp add a personal touch. “When the current occupants renovated their home, they removed the shutters and gave them to my sister and me,” he says.

Have the look:
Jug:
vintage of Antiques perchedSkowhagen, Maine

An outdoor shower

The outdoor shower provides a convenient, pine-scented place to clean up after a day frolicking in the lake.

See more coastal cabins!

Do you like the look of John and Jamie’s lake cottage? Find even more coastal decorating inspiration in these favorites country life visits to houses by the water:
*Step into this tiny Maine cottage that is the epitome of modern farmhouse and New England charm.
*Learn how a couple transformed an old fishing shack into a gorgeous summer retreat on Martha’s Vineyard
* Visit author Mary Kay Andrews’ colorful 1932 beach cottage in Georgia, which is full of salty second-hand finds.

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