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fall 2012 • vol. 15, no. 3

The Importance of Place

beautiful by nature ranch redux room with a view outdoor oasis fall fruit



editor’s note

Editor & Publisher Laurie LaMountain Contributing Writers Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Joyce White, Sarah Françoise Contributing Photographers Trent Bell, Ethan McNerney, Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Joyce White, Peter Pentz Graphic Designer Dianne Lewis Proofreader/Copy Editor Leigh Macmillen Hayes


fall 2012 • vol. 15, no. 3



trent bell

Writing about the Winslow Homer Studio for this issue was especially poignant for me, as it coincided with selling my brother’s apartment in New York City in August, nearly four years after his passing in 2008. I was deeply struck with the notion of the importance of place. This was where my brother lived and painted—the place that fueled his creative spirit— and who, but his family, would know of its importance to his life’s process? The restoration of Homer’s studio by the Portland Museum of Art is recognition of the artist’s ongoing relevance to daily life. Cannon Rock looks the same today as when Homer painted it more than 100 years ago. Opening his studio to appreciators of his art is a way of connecting them with his day to day life and the source of his artistic inspiration. American art would be so much poorer without Homer’s contribution. His paintings serve as enduring examples of a by-gone America, and preserving the place where he created them truly connects us to them. The artist may be gone, but the images he created during his lifetime remain. Each of us occupies a measure of space in our time here on Earth, and I like to think that we leave a bit of our essence there when we move on. Laurie LaMountain


6 the importance of place

by laurie lamountain

10 beautiful by nature

by leigh macmillen hayes

12 ranch redux

by laurie lamountain

14 room with a view

by leigh macmillen hayes

16 outdoor oasis

cover photo by trent bell winslow homer studio—homer family photos on the parlor wall above winslow’s daybed Lake Living is published quarterly by Almanac Graphics, Inc., 625 Rocky Knoll Rd, Denmark, ME 04022 207452-8005. ©2012. All rights reserved. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent from the publisher. Annual subscriptions are available by sending check or money order for $20 to the above address.

by nick nataluk with laurie lamountain

18 the future is now

by leigh macmillen hayes

20 the other fall fruit

by joyce white

23 home is where

you do the dishes by sarah françoise

The Place to Shop for the Season Ahead! A wonderful mix of women’s clothing and accessories, both for every day and special occasions. You’ll also find tasteful homewares and decor, including lovely “Made in Maine” items. Fashionable jewelry and accessories, bargain books, an array of affordable and fun finds—so perfect for holiday gifting!


main street , bridgton • open seven days • 9:00 am


6:00 pm • 207.647.5436


When you enter the Winslow Homer Studio

at Prouts Neck, in Scarborough, Maine, which has just undergone six years of painstaking restoration, the impression is one of stark simplicity. There are relatively few pieces of furniture and decor left from the artist’s personal possessions, but as Kristen Levesque, director of public relations for the Portland Museum of Art, points out, the Studio is more about the importance of place. It is here, on the surf-battered coast of Maine that Winslow Homer lived and worked for the last twenty-seven years of his life. It is here that he found inspiration in nature and created some of his most iconic paintings. Mark Bessire, director of the Portland Museum of Art, states it best in his foreword to Thomas Denenberg’s Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place: “Maine—beloved for the same reasons that brought Homer here more than a century ago—possesses an aura of authenticity and a full measure of potential and risk. Today, as in the late nineteenth century, Maine provides an answer for people experiencing an alienation from nature and desiring a different texture to everyday life.” Fully aware of the significance of place in relation to Homer’s paintings, the Portland Museum of Art purchased the Studio in 2006 with the objective of restoring it to the way it was when Homer


lived and painted there and preserving it for posterity. The connection between Winslow Homer and the Portland Museum of Art dates back to 1893, when the Museum’s predecessor, the Portland Society of Art, exhibited Homer’s painting Signals of Distress. Today the Museum’s permanent collection includes an impressive selection of Homer’s works. With the acquisition and restoration of the Winslow Homer Studio, scholars, artists and visitors will now be able to experience and appreciate Homer’s inspiration first hand. The Studio’s south-facing, first-floor windows frame the same elemental views today that Homer captured on canvas during the 1890s, such as the seascapes Weatherbeaten and Cannon Rock. Homer, by then a mature artist, created some of his best known and most appreciated work during his years at Prouts Neck. Art critic Frederick Morton wrote of Homer in 1902, “all of Homer’s experience and practice in figure painting and landscape have led up to his inimitable seascapes, which he paints as no other artist ever did or can.” Homer achieved early renown in the mid-1800s. Elected in 1865 to the National Academy of Design in New York City at the age of twenty-nine, he was one of few artists who was equally at ease and adept in a range of media, including etching, painting, watercolor and drawing. He worked in New York City for over

twenty years as a freelance commercial illustrator for popular magazines, including Harper’s Weekly and Ballou’s Pictorial, at a time when the market for illustration was growing rapidly. Harper’s sent Homer to the front lines of the Civil War, where he sketched battle scenes and camp life, among them A Sharpshooter on Picket Duty. War work was dangerous and the commercial work that followed the war exhausted Homer’s tolerance for humanity. By the time he moved to Prouts Neck permanently in 1883, Homer felt he had earned the right to solitude within his studio at the edge of the sea. In a letter he wrote to his sister-in-law in 1908 he stated, “All is lovely outside my house and inside of my house and myself.” When the Museum purchased the Winslow Homer Studio from Charles Homer Willauer, a great grand-nephew, it had undergone several significant alterations since Homer’s death in 1910, many of which followed the hurricane of 1938. Moreover, the foundation, viewing porch and one of two chimneys had suffered structural damage, and the Painting Room chimney was missing entirely. In 1883 noted architect John Calvin Stevens was engaged by the Homer family to move their carriage house 100 feet away from their summer home and convert

it into a painting studio/home for the “hermit of Prouts Neck.” Stevens added an expansive porch on the second floor, grandly referred to as the Piazza, which afforded unparalleled views of the sea but started to fail not long after its construction. Attempts to address the problem were just that, and when architects first visited the Studio in 2006 to assess its condition, they discovered vertical posts and beams had been added at the perimeter of the Piazza to support the broad cantilevered porch. Fortunately, the Painting Room, built in 1890 as a gift from Winslow’s brother, was still intact. Although the original plaster ceiling and walls still existed, they had been concealed by wall coverings and a wooden beaded ceiling. Daniel E. O’Leary, the Museum’s director in 2006, initiated the Museum’s purchase of the Studio, and quickly followed the acquisition with a campaign to restore this cultural treasure and make it available to the public. A Historic Structure Report, which was commissioned by the Museum prior to the purchase of the property, provided an initial assessment that outlined the history and existing conditions of the Studio. In 2007, following the acquisition of the property, Mills Whitaker Architects (Bridgton, Maine/Arlington, Massachusetts) was retained and given the charge


to restore the Studio to the cumulative experience of Homer’s residency up to his death in 1910. Photographs in the Homer Collection at the Bowdoin Museum of Art, along with written descriptions of the Studio by Homer’s principal biographer, William Howe Downes, provided crucial clues about the original configuration and details of the Studio. Coincident with the research, the architects developed measured drawings of existing plans, elevations and details, which became the basis for construction drawings and specifications for the multi-phase project. Phase I of the restoration, which was started in 2007, focused on underpinning the foundations, addressing structural damage caused by moisture and water infiltration, repairing the fireplace and its chimney, which was falling away from the building, plus reproducing selective millwork including the reproduction of the Studio’s large, south-facing window. Twentieth-century room partitions were removed from the second floor, returning the “loft” to its original undivided layout. Robert Cariddi Fine Woodworking, preservation carpenters, removed the massive Eastlakestyle brackets on the Piazza and brought


them to their shop for needed repairs. Phase II, completed in spring of 2008, focused on installation of the restored brackets and reinforcement of the Piazza’s east and south-facing façades. The installation of a hidden, internal steel support system designed by the structural engineers, Structures North of Salem, Massachusetts, gave the Piazza the structural support it lacked and allowed for removal of the nonoriginal wooden perimeter posts, returning it to its original and intended appearance. In 2009, Phase III of the project began and Mark Bessire took over as director of the Museum. During this phase of the restoration, which was completed just this summer, the final pieces of 20th-century modifications to the Studio, not present during Homer’s time, were removed. This included removing dormers in the second floor roof and returning the west addition to its original footprint. Prior to the start of Phase I work, project architect Craig Whitaker had located two photos of the Studio in the Smithsonian Museum’s archives of American artist Walter Kuhn, who had summered in nearby Cape Neddick, Maine. These photos provided important evidence of the original Piazza

details and helped identify the types of changes that had occurred after Homer’s death. For example, a new and larger west addition and colonnaded entry had been built after 1934. During Phase III, this portion of the building was removed, allowing for the smaller original Homer-era west addition to be rebuilt, along with a new foundation-level mechanical room that houses fire-protection, electrical and heating equipment. Interior finishes were restored and a small kitchen was added during this phase. Andy Ladygo, a prominent and well-known plaster conservator, carefully restored the original ceiling and wall plasters of the Painting Room. A suspended horizontal ceiling, which was removed in Phase I, revealed two previously concealed roof trusses and beautiful clapboard-clad sloped ceilings. These important historical details were repaired as part of this phase of work— features that have now been highlighted with contemporary lighting designed by Available Light of Salem, Massachusetts. A concealed galvanized-tube-steel structure was installed on top to provide a low-profile structural reinforcement of

the original roof. The four-inch tube steel roof framing also provided a place to hide electrical wiring, lightning protection wiring, sprinkler piping and alarm cabling. Craig Whitaker points out that an important additional challenge of the restoration was the need to carefully adhere to the Museum’s “patina” statement concerning the restoration process. Written by Thomas Denenberg, the statement made clear to everyone involved in the Studio restoration that not everything should be made perfect or returned to plumb. “As steward of the Winslow Homer Studio, the Portland Museum of Art recognizes that the patina of the structure is a key element to the building’s integrity as an adapted carriage house and authority as the studio of the extraordinary American painter.” Preserving the patina of the Studio was essential to recognizing its importance of place. All told, the restoration spanned six years and involved museum staff and trustees, architects, engineers, archeologists, conservation specialists, masons, carpenters, restoration woodworkers, electricians, painters, roofers, plumbers and many more, who worked on the Studio each year from September through June, until the completion of the project earlier this summer. A capital campaign of 10.5 million was needed to cover the cost of this extensive restoration project as well as provide earmarked endowments for educational programs, future maintenance of the Studio, and a curatorial impact fund. While some may criticize the multi-million dollar price tag for a project that may not seem to have obvious social benefits, particularly during the last few years of economic hardship, it’s important to consider the value of preserving those profound places that connect us to our higher selves. Economics will ebb and flow, but without these reminders of our potential, we would truly be an impoverished culture. The Winslow Homer Studio opens to the public on September 25, 2012, concurrent with the Portland Museum of Art’s exhibition Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine. The exhibition, organized by Thomas Denenberg, former chief curator at the Portland Museum of Art and current director of Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont, will run from September 22 through December 30, 2012, and feature more than thirty-five oils and watercolors painted during Homer’s later years at Prouts Neck. The exhibition not only celebrates the opening of the Studio, but also celebrates Winslow Homer and the artistic heritage of Maine. R

winslow homer studio restoration

Owner Portland Museum of Art Portland ME Design Team Architect Craig Whitaker and Don Mills, Project Architects Mills Whitaker Architects LLC, Bridgton ME/ Arlington MA

Civil Engineer Pinkham and Greer Consulting Engineers Tom Greer, Falmouth ME Structural Engineer Structures North Consulting Engineers John Wathne and Beth Acly, Salem MA

HVAC/Fire Protection/ Plumbing Engineer Forte Engineering, Steve Forte Middleton MA Electrical Engineer Bennett Engineering, Inc., Will Bennett Freeport ME


Beautiful by Nature

by leigh macmillen hayes • photographs by ethan mcnerney

“In any organic architecture the ground itself predetermines all features, climate modifies them, available means limits them, and function shapes them.” -Frank Lloyd Wright With visions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture in mind, Heidi and John are building a house that pays homage to nature. Both work in fields that require peace and tranquility to re-charge their batteries and focus their minds. In addition, they share a reverence for all things outdoors—long hikes and frosty ice climbs, cross-country skiing, beekeeping and gardening. The house accommodates the surrounding land and maximizes its view of tall pine trees. Their sloping wooded two-acre site is partially enclosed by a stone wall that wanders the lay of the land. Here and there along the wall, stones have been intentionally placed, creating arches over glacial erratics and even over a creek that crosses the property. “Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. The couple’s strong desire to embrace simplicity went into the design for their home. With a little help from their friends in the design and construction world, they have created a haven tucked away in the woods. This labor of love was conceived by a community and even in the final stages it continues to grow. Assembling a team of talented friends has been an integral part of It’s a home for a couple the project. Dave Googan generwho don’t want lots of ated the original drawing. Artists Christine and George Erikson things, but do want lots of joined the act and re-rendered the time—to stretch and romp floor plan, and Henry Banks put in the outdoors and then it all together in wood. to relax and kick back in a Henry is the general contractor and he insists that things move beautiful warm space. slowly with attention to every detail. They never used a large crew on the house, fearing that too many people making too much noise would create the desire to hurry up and finish, whether the job was done right or not. The small crew and slow place gave birth to some dramatic days. The deck went on the day before last year’s October snow storm. The roof was finished the day before the first big storm in November. Standing beside a fire made of framing scraps in the dim light of the November evening, Henry wryly commented to John, “I love a dramatic finish.” It snowed a foot that evening. The home minimizes environmental impact. At 1,150 square-feet, it is built into a wooded hill—Bruce Warren sited the house and did the beautiful landscaping. The ground serves as an insulator on the


north side. The stick-framed walls have three-inch spray foam and three-inch batt insulation, creating an airtight envelope to warm the house in the winter and keep it cool in the summer. Matt Stacy was more than up to the challenge of installing the radiant heat under the first floor slab and a heating system into a tight downstairs closet. “It’s like a submarine back there,” says John, as excited as a kid in a candy store. “We’ll get away with 100-150 gallons of propane per year . . . The modern propane boiler is 98 percent efficient in its conversion of propane to heat.” The appliances are also energy efficient—the 24-inch stove and refrigerator fit the smaller space. EPA estimates of the cost of running the fridge and freezer for a year are $44. The estimated cost of the 24” Bosch washer, a ridiculously low $14/year. “You’re not off the grid,” I comment. “No,” John replies. “The power comes in underground. We’re going for the ultimate in modern efficiency. We use power from the grid. The plan is to use just a little and keep the cost low. Everything is high efficiency.” With this well thought out and well-insulated house, they’ll surely win the numbers game. Double-glazed Marvin prairie-style windows, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, frame peaceful views of the woods, stone walls and stream. The windows will be unadorned so that no view is compromised. Honed in on natural motifs, they had Ryan Albert of Cold River Craftsmen pour a concrete kitchen countertop with a green tint and glass aggregate. Ryan polished it so the specks of color show through, reminding me of the moss on their creek rocks. Greg Smith of Stone Surface created the granite vanities and dark slate back splash and window sills. Upstairs, an arched doorway leading into the living room reflects the arches in the stonewall and adds variation to the angles of the house. A window cut between this room and the hallway will allow air from the Jøtul wood stove to circulate. John hopes to use homemade tiles and create a mountain motif behind the stove. The staircase is ash, while the living room and master bedroom floors on the second floor are unstained bamboo, which is sustaincontinued on page 22

Double-glazed Marvin prairie-style windows, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, frame peaceful views of the woods, stone walls and stream. The windows will be unadorned so that no view is compromised.



Ranch Redux by laurie lamountain • photographs by ethan mcnerney

here’s a tradition of Maine lakefront homes and a lot of good builders who are familiar with it. So why would you hire an architect if all you want is standard cedar shingles and a green roof?” says John Cole. “I don’t do green roofs,” he jokingly asides. It’s an interesting question, considering that Cole is an architect whose niche is lakefront and coastal home design. It’s also the beginning of his answer to my question of what he feels makes the lakefront home we’re standing in unique. “A lot of people want something informal, but don’t want it to look too campy. You can achieve this with the use of iconic forms and look for ways to give them a modern twist . . . take a traditional form and evolve it to a new level,” he explains. It’s a design concept he refers to as “country urbane,” and one which he incorporates into many of his houses. In the case of the house we’re standing in, it’s evident in the doors Cole custom designed for the great room to capture the million dollar view of the lake. When he first visited the property with the owners, that view was essentially invisible from inside the house. The great room with its dramatic doorway, stone fireplace and Douglas fir framing affords an expansive view to the lake that was previously wasted on a garage. The owners, Michael and Kim Pelzar, have owned property


on serene Thompson Lake since 1997. They outgrew their former camp after having children and purchased this property in 2010. The Pelzars had little appetite for a renovation, and had been seeking a turn-key home on the lake that met their criteria of accommodating large groups. “We absolutely fell in love with the property,” says Kim, “but let’s say the house needed some major TLC. Despite the horror stories you hear about construction projects, this breathtaking view finally overtook our reluctance to take on a renovation.” The house was a nondescript ranch with a massive four-flue, brick chimney that overpowered it. The layout was, as Cole put it, counterintuitive. “You couldn’t see the lake from the kitchen,” notes Cole, and there was nothing on the side of the house facing the lake to allow for enjoying the view. Gregg Seymour, who was the general contractor, refers to the original house as a “dated ranch that was so long it seemed it would be difficult to make it look like anything but a ranch.” He credits Cole with having succeeded in doing just that. Cole says he had the “big idea” about this house right from the beginning. It was obvious the existing garage would have to be torn down and the great room constructed in its place. A new stone chimney and fireplace, built by Alvin Ridlon, of Ridlon’s Masonry,

counterbalanced the existing chimney, to which a stone veneer was added. The stone lintel crowning the great room fireplace is another example of refined detail. “We wanted a lodge-type feel consistent with the Maine woods, yet with the modern conveniences that would make it comfortable and attract families to visit,” says Mike. “John and Gregg clearly had a vision far beyond what we could have imagined, and from the beginning we were on the same wavelength.” The overall footprint of the house remains essentially the same. The only addition to the footprint is an elevated screened porch beyond the dining area that looks out over the lake, creating natural flow from the kitchen through the screened porch and down to the lake. In order to save money, Cole used the existing frame, foundation, and window and door openings in his design for the new house (to call it a remodel is an understatement). Seymour estimates the Pelzars saved around $100,000 by doing so, but he also points out that it led to what he calls a “pretty interactive build.” “You run into things you couldn’t anticipate on paper or with a new construction. Once you start tearing apart, you realize what’s involved.” In the end, the Pelzars, with help from the vision of Cole and Seymour, saw how they could extract the value of the house and get what they envisioned for their dream home. The Pelzars do a lot of entertaining and lead very active lives, so one of the things they wanted was to create separate spaces, or “pods,” within the house for their kids, themselves, and their guests to retire to—no small feat for what is essentially a linear footprint. The master bedroom is now located on the lake-facing side of the house in what was the living room. The stone veneer that was added to the exterior of the massive brick chimney was also added to the fireplace in the bedroom to eliminate the dated feel of red brick. A bathroom and home office complete the master bedroom suite. Two bedrooms with shared bath are located on the other side of the house, and the kitchen and dining area separate sleeping quarters from the great room. A large mudroom off the kitchen accommodates ski equipment and fishing gear. With private areas on one side of the house, and common areas on the other, the house allows for quiet in the bedrooms even as parents entertain in the kitchen, great room and screened porch.

The basement was converted to living space that includes two bedrooms, a bathroom and entertainment room, resulting in a separate space for visitors. Cole designed a detached garage behind the house and connected it with an open breezeway. A guest apartment above the garage contains a bedroom, bathroom and mini kitchen neatly located in roughly 400 square feet of space.

All told, the house has around 3,800 sq. ft. of living space with the added great room and apartment above the garage. It doesn’t feel like a huge house, yet it affords plenty of private space as well as common area, and has an openness that it sorely lacked before. “We told John we wanted plenty of places for people to hang out and relax,” continued on page 24


Room with a View Create your own outdoor room without walls, extending your livable space, and get closer to nature.


by leigh macmillen hayes

usty Partridge is a soft-spoken, humble young man who emits the same sense of quiet strength and love of nature that his timber-frame garden structures evoke. With on-the-job training from the Maine Barn Company in Edgecomb, one of the oldest timber frame companies in the state, Rusty learned to build houses and gained a wide berth of experience. In 2004, he started his own company, Black Dog Timberframe. Because of the current economy, he’s diversified his business to include not only traditional timberframe houses, barns and porches, but also arbors, pergolas and smaller buildings that become rooms without walls in the backyard. He actually came up with the idea to add these decorative structures to his repertoire after he built a timber-frame and birch wedding arbor for his own wedding to his lovely wife, Sara. Friends liked the arbor and encouraged the creation of structures for their own events and homes. With a little bit of planning, you can turn your yard into a cozy, inviting oasis. To build your outdoor sanctuary, you need to begin with a focal point. Custom structures can be designed to fit any backyard or patio area. Last spring an elderly couple in the lakes region stumbled upon an arbor at the Northern New England Home, Garden and Flower Show in Fryeburg. They were immediately wowed. It was one of Rusty’s creations—a garden gate arbor. The framework caught their eye because it was “not just a structure, but an object of art.” They felt something was missing from their yard— and knew the arbor was that something. They admired it for its inherent strength and beauty. “We didn’t want a flat one, we wanted something with a peak,” the gentleman explains. Their arbor features a hand-carved pendant suspended from the peak of an open-roofed pyramid. Curved braces add to the artistic flair they craved. Rusty placed a copper cap over the peak at the clients’ request as an enhancement and to protect the joinery. In this yard, the couple’s colorful gardens surround a patio and sitting areas arranged at different levels. The arbor stands grandly over a brick pathway and serves as a gateway from the driveway to the gardens. As you walk through it, you know you are entering a different space.


A pergola, often covering more space than an arbor, can be used to create outdoor rooms without walls, extending the livable space. Add comfortable furniture, string hanging lanterns or mood setting lights and you have a delightful place to entertain on or near the patio. It becomes a vertical garden when plants climb up the timber columns. Besides serving as a major landscaping element, a pergola provides a shady retreat. The dappled sunlight framed by the overhead wood creates a cool, relaxing environment—like Fanny in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, said, “ To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” And while it’s a backdrop

for plants in the summer months, when they are buried under the winter snow, the structure is still beautiful. Eye-catching, it adds emphasis to the yard. A timber-frame arbor or pergola can stand alone or be used to accentuate other natural features. One of the beauties of these structures is that they can define your outdoor living space without creating barriers—they become rooms with a view. In addition, they add grace, style, comfort and architectural character. Similarly, Rusty has built porches as additions to homes, that could also stand on their own in the garden or on the patio. In Mid Coast Maine, he added a screened back porch to a timber-frame house he had built.

“It’s attached to the house,” says Rusty, “but could also be freestanding.” Three steps up from the ground, it feels like a treehouse. The porch overlooks a ravine to the north and expansive vegetable gardens to the east. It’s open triangular peak reveals a view into the trees and sky. Being nature-centric, the owner wanted her porch to reflect her surroundings. She loves the exposed cedar beams and artistic craftsmanship. Minimal furnishings give it a campy flair. A mud and straw bird’s nest sits atop the lead beam—a robin adding its own industrious creation while the porch was being constructed. The bird flew off before the porch was screened, but the nest remains. By placing one of these timberframe structures in your garden, you too might feel closer to nature. In classic timber-frame style, the wooden joinery of all of these outdoor structures is simple, yet beautiful, using mortise-and tenon joints that are held fast with homemade hardwood pegs. Sometimes the pegs are octagon shaped to give them an oldfashioned look. Dovetails and birdsmouth joints fit with glovelike precision, creating substantial strength. Rusty uses Northern White Cedar, which is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage. Other garden features he builds include benches based on a trestle table design and cedar rain barrel stands that elevate the barrel to provide a stronger flow for flower or vegetable bed watering. Rusty enjoys working with customers to design something they envision, whether it’s straightforward with clean lines and minimal fuss or complex with multiple elements and curves. Whether you visualize a summer barbecue or cozying up to a fire and watching the night sky in winter, your outdoor room will provide hours of relaxation and fun any time of year. The handcrafted beauty and quality of an arbor, pergola or freestanding timber-frame structure will create something more distinctive and give you a room with a view. R

black dog timberworks

Rusty Partridge 86 Bartlett Drive Hartford, Maine 04220 207.380.4012


Outdoor Oasis by nate nataluk & laurie lamountain


ick Nataluk, owner of Fieldstone Landscaping Inc., has designed and built enough patios to know there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. A thoughtfully designed patio can accommodate a crowd or provide an intimate setting for small gatherings. It can be an extension of your indoor space that gets used on a regular basis or a private retreat apart from the home where one occasionally goes to get away. Whether you’re dreaming up a brand new outdoor living space or simply wanting to revamp an existing one, planning ahead is key to creating a patio that’s both beautiful and functional.

Consider the purpose One of the first things Nick does when he meets with a client is determine the function or purpose of the patio based on the lifestyle of the owners. Do they have children? Do they entertain frequently? Are they looking for a gathering place or a getaway space? One design and installation for a client included a large patio surface made from 2’x3’ square-edged bluestone that accommodated an outside table, grill and pergola. The clients have a young family they wanted to include when they entertained friends with children so the playground area was placed within visibility from the patio. This outdoor “living space” also included a large stone fire pit that makes a nice centerpiece for social gatherings and is perfect for cool Maine evenings.

Location, location, location

If entertaining is the primary purpose of your patio, it’s best located within easy access to the kitchen. If seclusion is the goal, it will better serve this purpose in a more remote area of the property, away from roads or neighbors. Walk around the property and determine the location based on the existing landscape, orientation, proximity


to neighbors and roads, and any views you may want to capture. The home of the aforementioned clients faces due south, so they wanted to add an architectural element to the patio to protect them from the hot afternoon sun. A large shade pergola with lattice makes an ideal sunscreen, as well as affording privacy and a sense of intimacy to those gathered beneath it. “I imagine this family sitting under the shade area sipping iced tea with sprigs of freshly picked mint from their raised bed garden,” says Nick.

Size There’s no specific rule of thumb when it comes to determining how big a patio should be, but designing it in proportion to the house and according to how many people are likely to congregate there provides a guideline. Ideas to keep in mind include the following: Do you want your grill placed on the patio? How much space does your outdoor furniture require? Is there a fire pit

“With friends at our outdoor table, I can grill and chat at the same time,” says Nick. “Many people love learning about the many combinations of materials and may even start to visualize their own home areas where they can create a peaceful entertainment space.” and/or a hot tub included?, etc. It’s helpful to lay a garden hose along the perimeter of the intended area and even set up your furniture within the site to help you determine the layout and size that will work best.

Materials Patios can be made of many products and can be one level or tiered. Depending on your house site, you may want a patio that is raised, rather than at lawn level, which may enhance a view of your property. A favorite example of a two-tiered patio is the one Nick created for his own home. The first

level extends from the mudroom door with a step down onto two large antique granite steps. This level is small, but suits the need for a place for a medium-sized grill and allows easy access to and from the house. The surface is composed of flat irregular fieldstones that are randomly scattered and have polymeric stone dust swept in between them. The “filler” hardens with water and deters run off, weed growth, and insect infestation. This area leads to granite pieces that run the length of the edge of the first patio and serve as a step to the next larger level. The larger patio consists of the same irregular fieldstone product and bluestone, various foundation planting beds, a 2’ tall fieldstone retaining wall that is capped with old granite, and a granite stairway leading to the lawn area. Here is where Nick placed the patio furniture. “With friends at our outdoor table, I can grill and chat at the same time,” says Nick. “They ask various questions about the plants and stones that surround them. Many people love learning about the many combinations of materials and may even start to

visualize their own home areas where they can create a peaceful entertainment space.”

Landscaping Nick and his wife chose to incorporate fruits and herbs around their patio, along with perennial flowers. Since it’s somewhat near the road on which they live, they opted to build a large 7’ twig-styled grape arbor that would afford them peace and privacy. The lattice design allows light to filter through, but provides a buffer from road traffic. “As time goes on, the vine that we planted will weave through the arbor giving the privacy that we want with a plant-based look, and the grapes will provide a nice addition to our edible backyard landscape,” notes Nick. Many homes have an existing deck that can be used for social gatherings, but with constantly growing families and friends, the option to create a patio from the deck area adds another outdoor room. Whether you have a small piece of land in a suburban setting, or a large property in the country, there are endless ways to make your outdoor space inviting and fun for everyone. R

Douglas M. Griffin, VMD, CVA Andrine D. Belliveau, DVM Diane Shively, DVM

We are a full-service hospital— open 6 days a week. Specializing in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, oncology and geriatric medicine.

554 Roosevelt Trail Windham, Maine 207-892-7575

Pick-Your-Own Apples Farmstand Vegetables Fresh Baked Goodies, Gluten-Free Options 803 Waterford Road Sweden, ME 04040 (207) 647-9419


The Future is Now This Net Zero Energy house will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. by leigh macmillen hayes photographs by ethan mcnerney


emember The Jetsons—the sci-fi cartoon family that lived in the Space Age of the 21st century? The show featured George and Jane Jetson and their children, Judy and Elroy. They were an average family residing at the Sky Pad Apartments in Orbit City, a futuristic town with amenities like flying cars, video phones, very dry ultra-sound showers and a robot housekeeper. While Justin McIver of Main Eco Homes may be too young to remember the original show, he’s not too young to be designing and building the home of the future. On a 2.5-acre lot with a stunning view of Mount Washington and the Presidentials, Justin’s crew is constructing a Net Zero Energy house. That basically means the house will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. The intention is to build a home that is not dependent on fossil fuels and at the end of the year will cost zero in utility bills. The home features triple-pane windows, air-tight duct work and high-caliber wall and attic insulation to curb energy consumption. Coupled with solar energy, captured through photovoltaic panels, it becomes its own mini power plant that feeds electricity to the grid. Yes, this is a completely electric home. It will need to pull some energy in the winter, allowing for the electricity produced from a traditional energy source to be used when renewable energy generation cannot meet the house’s need, but . . . with 39 solar panels, it will use the sun’s natural energy and provide power back to Central Maine Power during the summer months—ideally creating a balance. “The cool thing about it,” says Justin with passionate intensity, “it doesn’t cost anything to heat.” And the cost of solar panels has decreased in recent years, so though you pay upfront for them, the pay


back period is projected to be ten to twelve years—at which point, if you are conservative by nature and turn off lights when not using them and don’t wash twenty loads of laundry a day, you’ll reach Net Zero. To create the design, Justin began with a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index to determine how many BTUs the house will use on a yearly basis. The HERS Index was established in 2006 by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The

lower a home’s HERS Index, the more efficient it is. Based on volume, square footage, windows and insulation, a HERS rater uses computer software to determine how much energy the house will need. Justin’s intention is to create a super efficient home that is sealed tight as a drum. The envelope is key. By adding more insulation, it will take less to heat this 1,900 square-foot house. A Mitzubishi Mr. Slim Hyperheat air source heat pump will

provide the main source of heat. A secondary source will be an electric baseboard system. The house’s passive solar design is significant in that there are more windows on the south side, taking advantage of the natural heating from the sun. By the same token, extended overhangs help shade those windows during the summer. A lot of engineering went into figuring out where to get the most value for the cost. The exterior wall studs are 2” x 8” with two-inch rigid foam board on the outside to keep moisture out of the wood and eliminate thermal bridging—cold coming in through the wood. The foam board plus spray foam made from recycled bottles and dense pack cellulose made from old blue jeans and recycled newspapers will form a hybrid insulation. Topped with sheathing and sheet rock, the walls measure over ten inches in thickness for a rating of R-44. A standard wall is 6 1/2 inches thick and code calls for R-20. The same rings true for the roof, where a structural insulated roof sheathing featuring two inches of rigid foam over the rafters will enclose the house. Dense pack cellulose is R-53 in the sloped sections of the Cape-style house and R-70 in the flat sections. All wood joints throughout are caulked and sealed tightly and the framing is 24 inches on center, rather than the standard 16 so there are fewer places to lose heat. Even in the basement, there is six inches of foam under the concrete slab (R-30). Once the house is complete, it will be blower-door tested to determine if there are any air leakages. Size matters so the design calls for little wasted space. The master bedroom is off of the open concept living/dining/kitchen layout on the first floor, eliminating the need for hallways and allowing better air flow. Two bedrooms and a shared bath are on the second floor. The daylight basement includes space for a fourth bedroom and an additional 700 square feet of living space. Here’s where Elroy Jetson, the genius son, would get really excited—the house features underground utilities, EnergyStar appliances, an Induction cooktop (no more food pills), Nutone central vacuum system,

a whole home ventilation system allowing for the exchange of fresh air (necessary for such a tight building), whole home audio with speakers roughed in, low flow plumbing fixtures and LED lights. Other earth-friendly elements include sustainable flooring such as bamboo hardwood, custom tile and recycled carpet, natural paint with no VOCs, fiber cement siding, maintenance free composite decking and architectural roof shingles. A federal tax credit of 30% and a State of Maine tax credit of $2,000 on the solar system will help reduce the added upfront costs. There’s also the quality of life value— knowing you are contributing to a better, non-fossil fuel dependent environment. That in itself is priceless. The asking price of this super efficient Mount Washington view house . . . $419,000. With rising energy prices, Justin is banking on the fact that some people may be willing to spend more upfront in order to feel secure down the road. Building homes that produce as much energy onsite as they consume is gaining momentum. Of course, solar panels depend on sun exposure to work, but Justin points out that this house was designed based on local historical sun exposure averages. Also, Maine receives 30% more sun exposure than the world’s leading solar user, Germany. At Home Shows, Justin has met young people who are intrigued with and enthusiastic about the concept. They’re asking questions because they recognize the importance of eco-friendly living. They know we need to live more conscientiously to conserve what we have—especially our most precious resources. Will this Net Zero concept that is creating a buzz around the country and abroad succeed? The jury is still out, but the quest to be independent of fossil fuels is admirable and we need to start thinking that way. The future is now. R

main eco homes

Justin McIver, General Contractor 171 Portland Road, Bridgton, ME 04009 207.647.3883



The berries don’t grow well directly in water and can’t get polor most of us, cranberries are a fall thing. But not for Linda linated if the plants are under water in the spring. and Richmond (Rick) Woodward. Though both have fullThe Woodwards are committed to a small, organic cranberry time jobs in their hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts, farm, but using organic practices means it takes a bit longer to most weekends from April through November find them working get a good crop. They planted at Woodward Cranberry Farm a cold tolerant variety that is in Albany Township, Maine. slow-growing—from two to five This is probably the first years to harvest the first crop. cultivated cranberry farm in It normally takes a minimum the area. Rick had acquired of two tons of vines per acre at some knowledge of the process a cost of close to $15,000 per while working for a builder of by joyce white ton to get started. Vines to be cranberry bogs on Cape Cod planted come in bales rather so he and Linda launched their like a hay bale and must be kept own cranberry operation in moist and placed in the ground 1994—when the price of cranas soon as possible after they berries was high, Rick said with arrive. The Woodwards’ process a rueful grin. As more people was to spread the vines by hand got into growing cranberries, over the area to be planted. Next the price declined. they ran a planter that is rigged Growing organic cranberwith dull tines for poking the ries is a joint venture for this vines into the ground over them. couple who were high school “Then they take off—supsweethearts, now married 43 posedly,” Linda said with a years. Their 10-acre plot had smile that indicated it doesn’t been previously clear-cut but necessarily happen that way. they still had to remove stumps Frost can be a problem. Spring and debris, dig a pond, grade buds that get frosted don’t produce berries and an early fall frost, around the pond and get load after load of sand spread on the before berries have begun to color, can damage them. Once they land as a planting medium to create a two-acre bog. have turned red, they lose some of their moisture and are more Before building their work space—a barn with small living tolerant of cold. quarters, which they built from a kit—they spent weekends in Harvest begins when most of the cranberries take on their a camper beside the spring-fed pond. The clay base, integral for characteristic scarlet hue in early October. The Woodwards use two irrigation, provides the barrier that keeps the water in the pond. ancient self-propelled mechanical harvesters. Rotating “fingers” on Before planting could begin, they installed a sprinkler and irrigathe machines comb the vines and pluck the berries, while “squeetion system. Cranberries need a dependable supply of moisture, gies” act like a conveyor and move them into a box. “So many about 1½ inches a week, but too much moisture fosters disease.

the other fall fruit



things can go wrong with all those gears and belts and chains,” Rick said. The machines require constant maintenance and repair. Cranberries bruise easily and he estimates that they may lose 5% of the crop by using the mechanical harvester. Linda explained that cranberries need to be picked under dry conditions and that usually means they can’t begin harvesting until after noon when the heavy dew of late fall burns off. It begins to roll in again around 4pm, creating a short window of time for harvesting. Sand, leaves and twigs end up in the box with the berries. Rick has designed a winnowing machine that takes out sand and debris, leaving the berries relatively clean. The next step is to put the berries through a separator, which divides the bad berries from the good but still leaves an occasional stone or unripe berry. Some markets will take the berries as they come out of the separator, but others require further sorting. That’s when Rick and Linda do the final hand-sorting. With a wood stove heating their cozy living space, they work together, one on either side of a long, narrow sorting table, to remove further debris or undesirable berries.

ruby chicken

2 1/2 - 3 pounds of cut-up chicken 1 1/2 c cranberries 3/4 c sugar 1/4 c chopped onion 1 tsp grated orange peel 3/4 c orange juice 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ginger powder or equivalent grated fresh ginger

Coat chicken with flour, salt and pepper and brown in heavy skillet. Combine all other ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on stovetop slowly for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is tender (less if chicken is boneless). Good served with rice.

barbequed pork with cranberry sauce

3/4 c minced onion 1 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp cranberry juice 1 tsp crumbled leaf oregano 1 tsp crumbled leaf thyme 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 2 pounds boneless pork, trimmed of fat and cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes 2 tomatoes, cut in wedges 3 green onions minced Hot cooked rice Combine first 7 ingredients in plastic bag. for cranberry marinade Add pork cubes; close bag tightly and marinate for at least 5 hours. Remove meat from marinade and thread on skewers. Broil for 30 minutes, rotating the skewers several times until pork

For the first time last year, they made a profit from their record harvest of 7,000 pounds. When I went to Woodward Cranberry Farm to pick in mid-October, there had been a frost the night before, but Linda lifted a tarp, uncovering a large swath of lovely crimson cranberries they had protected. “Last year everything was perfect. The weather was good for growing, dry for picking and the frost was late,” Linda said. Woodward Cranberry Farm offers PYO cranberries a few weekends in October and either Rick or Linda pick beside customers to help educate them about the berries. They sell packaged or bulk berries to local customers as well as organic suppliers. Linda offers recipes and samples of cranberry squares to visitors. R

woodward cranberry farm 781/344-4818 or cell 781/771-6192

is thoroughly cooked. Remove meat from skewers; garnish with tomato wedges and chopped green onion. Serve on hot cooked rice accompanied by cranberry sauce. Cranberry Sauce: Combine 1 can (or equivalent fresh-made) whole or jellied cranberry sauce with 1/3 cup sugar and ½ cup of water plus ¼ cup honey mustard ( can use dry mustard and honey moistened with ¼ cup of water). Boil gently until mixture is reduced by 1/3. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

woodward’s cranberry farm nut squares 1 1/2 c flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 c sugar 2 eggs beaten 1/4 tsp salt 1 3/4 sticks butter 1 tsp vanilla 3 c whole cranberries 1 c chopped nuts

Cream butter with sugar, add eggs and dry ingredients. Add nuts and cranberries. Bake in 9 x 14 oiled pan at 325º for 50 minutes.

cranberry-orange coffee cake 3 c all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 sour cream, room temperature 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 c white sugar 1/2 c brown sugar

Zest of 1 orange, grated 3 large eggs, room temperature 1/4 c roasted pecans, chopped 14 ounce can of cranberry sauce Glaze: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar 1 1/Tbsp orange juice Preheat oven to 350º F. Oil and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and vanilla. In another bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, both sugars and orange zest until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrape down bowl. Beat in ½ flour mixture, then all of sour cream, then remaining flour, beating until just combined. Fold in pecans, In a medium saucepan, warm cranberry sauce over medium-low heat, stirring until softened. Spread 1/3 of batter in pan. Spread ½ of cranberry sauce over that. Repeat layers, ending with cake batter. Gently run a skewer or thin knife through batter to swirl cranberry sauce in a marble pattern. Bake cake until a skewer comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Unmold onto rack to cool. Glaze: When cake is cool, whisk together confectioners sugar and juice until glaze is smooth. Add more juice or sugar to gain desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cake. Let stand until glaze sets, about 10 minutes. If you want to bake the cake ahead of serving, wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. Glaze just before serving.


Leslie A. Elston, DMD Mountain View Dentistry


42 Highland Road Bridgton, Maine

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Over the past three decades we have grown our basic lawn care services to include landscape design, installation and maintenance, with a commitment to organic practices. As antique granite specialists and suppliers with a very creative crew, we can construct anything you can imagine using natural stone, brick or concrete. Year round services include snow removal and routine property inspection of your camp or home while you are away. Peace of Mind e-mail notifications included in all our inspections. E-mail us at or find us on the Web at www. Creating a better environment . . . one yard at a time. Locally-owned and family-operated in Naples, Maine, since 1977. Members of the Professional Landcare Network, Maine Landscape & Nursery Assoc. and Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute

continued from page 11 able, economical and doesn’t scratch. “I can’t believe I have grass on my floor,” says John. The house is intended for their combined family of five. Murphy beds will be built into the master bedroom, living room and study. Furnishings will be sparse. In the craftsmen style, John is constructing built-in seating for the living room, plus storage cubbies, bookshelves and cabinets throughout the house. Even the staircase will have bookshelves for the “gazillion books” they own. A Japanese shoji screen will fill the oversized doorway between the master bedroom and living room—craftsmen style meets Japanese influence. When they want to enlarge their bedroom, they’ll open the screen. When they want the living room to serve as a second bedroom, they’ll close the screen. The Japanese leaning of this craftsmen-style bungalow is also evident outside. As visitors approach from an intended path that will cross over the creek, they’ll be greeted by the front of the house with its temple look due partly to the raised peak that echoes Asian architecture. The house will be sided with untreated cedar shake shingles. Architectural shingles on the roof will add contrast. The house is about simplicity. It’s about limiting the number of builders, creating close quarters and paring down belongings. It’s a home for a couple who don’t want lots of things, but do want lots of time—to stretch and romp in the outdoors and then to relax and kick back in a beautiful warm space. Once completed, the home will suggest it was simply inserted into the white pine canopy. It’s beautiful by nature. I think Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry David Thoreau would approve. R


sister and I walked through our bedrooms, miming with glee the he shore in front of our summer house at Moose Pond walls that would one day separate us from on another. is an exceptional place in the world to watch autumn We stayed in the house in the burbs for five years. It was neither unpack its props and prepare for its star turn. First, pretty, nor exceptional and we left it exactly as we had found it, the surrounding green of the forest turns a tired shade save for a fast-propagating mountain wildflower called verbascum darker. Then, single leaves start to twirl downward my father had planted in like soundless yellow the yard. The verbascum dervishes. Suddenly, a was perhaps the only one precocious maple goes who considered the house red overnight and you in the burbs a home. It wake to find the woodhad deployed its roots pile attractive. Just then, by sarah françoise up and down the patio, when things really start causing carnage among to get interesting, I leave the salmon-colored pavMaine. Every Septeming slabs. ber, like clockwork, I return to the city where I work and live. Or is it And then one day the where I work to live? In dream house was habitany case, for all intents able. The floors were of and purposes, I leave powdery concrete, the home to go home. dry wall unpainted and If home be the place certain holes in the wall where you feel put, the connected you to the outnest that relieves you side in a manner unfit from always dreamfor the Alpine winter, ing of other nests, then but there were promising maybe I have never mounds of earth around lived at home. Save perthe garden, brand new haps the apartment my bathroom towels and a parents were renting when I was born in the summer of ‘81. Back royal blue kitchen. Unfortunately, by the time we were ready to then, memory was something about to happen, and my place in the unpack the boxes with their now obsolete contents, another house world was defined by the soles of my pediatric shoes. had usurped the title of Home. At least, it had for me.

Home Is Where You Do The Dishes

The Apartment

For the first seven years of my life we lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Annecy-le-Vieux, France. My father, an architect, was working on our dream house. The scale model of the dream house, complete with lichen shrubs and paper silhouettes, traveled around the living room for a couple of years, a reminder of great things to come. This, and some rare visits to a muddy mountain-side lot, trained my imagination to think of home as a place that didn’t yet exist. On the day we moved out of the apartment, I tore off three inches of my bedroom wallpaper, and stashed it in a heart-shaped box. I have never taken a physical piece of home with me since. This act of nostalgia set the standard for all homes to follow. Home was an unreal place that existed between the apartment—with its forbidden balcony and bidet in which I sailed my toy boats—and the dream house, a crystal palace of anticipation. It was fitting, then, that for the next five years, we lived in neither.

The Burbs

From the apartment we moved to a small house in Seynod, a hillside suburbia with high rises and pebble-dashed underpasses. Unopened moving boxes lined the garage walls for years. This house had never been intended as a home for our family. It had been procured as a sort of static caravan, a stepping stone on the way to the dream house. Meanwhile, the dream house was not letting itself be built. I regarded it as a creature of whim and stubbornness, playing fast and loose with our fates. When the first floor finally went up, my

peter pentz

The Dream House

The Holiday House

It was a home born of myth. We were on holiday in a village called Pont-Croix in Brittany. One morning, my father went out for croissants and came back with a farmstead. You can look into the wings of a myth and see the “For Sale” sign, the meeting with the notary, the questioning of bank accounts, conversations between adults late at night, but these are not part of my story. Sleeper trains, beaches, cider, pancakes, harps, langoustines, tadpoles, cows, cousins, bicycles, a fireplace . . . I decided this holiday house was Home.


The back and forth between the unfinished dream house and the holiday house in Brittany continued until I left for college. None of my successive addresses in England was ever home. First, I was custodian of a house intended for my landlord’s eldest and soon-tobe-married daughter. The second address was a basement apartment so damp you could have wrung water out of the curtains. Eventually, my boyfriend and I bought a house.

New York City

A few years down the line, my relationship ended and the English house went on the market. Who needs a house that isn’t a home, I thought. I moved to New York and occupied six apartments in three years—mostly sublets, other people’s homes. My trips back to France shrank down to once a year. The pull of the Brittany continued on page 24


continued from page 23 house, my spiritual home for all these years, started to fade. For a house to be a home, surely you need to do the dishes there at least once a year?

globally inspired finds


From New England and Beyond continued from page 13

Firefly is a hip and colorful

little boutique located in Bridgton’s upper village next to Beth’s Cafe and across from Craftworks. Grab a tasty bite at Beth’s and then browse Firefly’s newly expanded shop. Offering American-made clothing brands and one of the most diverse collections of jewelry and accessories in western Maine, including Butterfly Artworks, made from real butterfly wings set in sterling silver. Open Daily from 10 am to 6 pm at 82 Main Street, Bridgton. 207.647.3672


says Mike. Mission accomplished, ranging from the great room to the screened porch, to the deck, the house is now naturally in sync with the property. Cole admits that he likes to play with geometry, and it shows. The house so little resembles its former self. The screened porch not only provides a peaceful place to fully take in the beauty of the lake (it’s just within the 100’ setback restriction from the lake), it dramatically adds to the profile of the house. Other details of Cole’s design that add to the exterior are the defining profile of the roofline above the great room, where projecting beams in the gable peak create shadow play. Instead of row upon row of standard cedar shingles for the siding, Cole wanted to achieve a different effect by interlaying clapboards with western red cedar shingles. Split granite steps installed at the entryways by Clement Brothers Lawn & Landscape lend an element of longevity that the short-lived ranch lacked. Cole’s clients, who are generally between 45 and 65 years of age, are past the point of seeking starter homes. They want homes that reflect who they are and serve their immediate needs with an eye to the future. “They tend to think multi-generationally,” says Cole. Which is why the Pelzars granite steps will likely be there for a very long time. R

I started coming to Maine in 2007. At first, for a long weekend here and there, staying in the old dairy farm my husband’s family had purchased in the ‘70s. People warned me: it’s lovely now, but wait ‘til you see the winter! So I came in the winter. Having grown up in the Alps, their snow reminded me of my snow. Our Christmas stay stretched to two weeks. They said: wait ‘til you see the rainy season! So I came here in the rainy season. Having spent years in the UK, their rain reminded me of my rain. Three weeks in the summer turned into the whole summer. For my husband, who had grown up overseas, this house was also an anchor. It was Home. It was his Brittany. Maine is where our daughter learned to walk. It’s where she became a chatterbox. It’s where she’ll learn to swim. It’s where the cat vanishes until dusk. It’s where a squirrel comes to die under the porch. It’s where the raccoons sort through our trash. It’s where the canoe drifts off in a storm. It’s where our New York friends mistake the cry of loons for wolf song. It’s where we do the dishes. It’s Home. But it’s a home we leave. It is uncluttered with the stuff that clutters our other home. There is no archive of us here—no boxes full of old electricity bills, letters from years ago, bags brimming with clothes that might be worn again someday . . . It contains daily necessities and fleeting things accumulated during a summer: a pet snail, a piece of bark shaped like a crocodile, the memory of a hike up to the Ledges Trail, a four-leafed clover, a particularly good chip of mica. Twelve weeks of summer are like an heirloom timepiece handed down to us by someone old and wise—someone who knows that nothing lasts forever. Just like the seasons, which are on the turn again. R

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Lake Living Fall 2012  

Lake Living Magazine - Fall 2012

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