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A simple yet elegantly styled seaside cottage in Maine

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This seaside Cottage was designed by Whipple Callender Architects, located in Cape Elizabeth, a town in Cumberland County, Maine. The property for this house is stunning, with water views on three sides and a surf that laps at a rock retaining wall at the edge of the lawn. The original dwelling was dark and tired, with windows that not only failed to take advantage of the views, but leaked. The situation called for tearing down the original structure and building one worthy of the site.

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As in many similar situations on the coast, restrictions were many, from set-backs on all sides and a zoning ordinance that limited volume and height, to limits on the amount of impervious area allowed. The architects recorded every bit of existing impervious area, modeled the existing volume of the house, and carefully mapped setbacks. Although defined by these limits, the new house sits naturally on its incredible site. It used every bit of allowable volume without, like many similar products, looking as though it had swallowed steroids. It is a house to be lived in and looked out of more than a house that asks to be looked at.

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The homeowner’s tastes were simple and elegant. She asked for interiors in shades of white, to allow the colors of the ocean and the sky to dominate. She asked for a summery feel in a fully insulated, storm-proof winterized structure. She asked for places to store and display her cherished collections and places to put away blankets and boats, plus food for her goats. The result is a house that is stamped with the personality of the owner, works like the architect intended, and fits the site as though it had always been there.

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What We Love: This lovely seaside cottage showcases bright and airy living spaces that capitalize on the seaside views. We love the architectural lines of this home, both indoors and out. The setting is stunning, creating a warm and welcoming environment. Although the furnishings and accessories are styled to the owners personality and taste, it feels a little too cluttered. However, we do love that the homeowner has made this space feel lived-in and homey. She has made this her personal haven, which is essentially all that matters.

Readers, what do you think? Do you find this home too cluttered or do you feel that it is cozy and brimming with personality? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Above: A cozy guest bedroom features built-in bookshelves and nightstands.

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Above: The master bedroom boasts a cathedral ceiling and a picture window that frames the view of the ocean.

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Photos: John Whipple

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  • Sherry Gregory

    Love so much about this home, but I prefer to see books in book shelves…too much of the same on display on the shelves.