Get inspired by this inviting Maine beach cottage with an industrial vibe


This inviting beach cottage was reimagined by Whitten Architects, located on the sandy shores of Higgins Beach, a quiet coastal community just south of Portland, Maine. Higgins Beach is a family-oriented beach town and a year-round surfing destination. The location of this town offers easy access to city amenities with the smaller neighborhood feel of a coastal town.

The homeowners are an active, year-round Higgins Beach couple with several children, who owned a home at the end of the neighborhood on a quiet, dead-end street toward the woods, a rather unique lot for Higgins Beach. The house acted mostly as a rental for them and was poorly laid out and dark.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Whitten Architects BUILDER Douston Construction LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Callahan LeBleu Landscape Architects ENGINEERING Albert Putnam Associates BUILT-IN CABINETRY Huston & Co. STEEL WORK StandFast Works Forge FURNITURE Huston & Company Custom Furniture


When the couple decided to move to Maine full-time, they wanted their home redesigned for year-round living. They desired a light and airy design with an improved floor plan layout — a beach cottage with an Old Port industrial vibe.


Located on a one-of-a-kind site, there was ample opportunity to bring the home closer to the front corner of the lot, allowing for a more secluded outdoor space in the back. The house and garage act as a buffer from the street, giving the owners a private lawn space for them and their family. Higgins Beach has strict form-based zoning, which influenced much of the initial massing of the structure.


The site-specific plan utilizes a main house body with a great room wing on the first floor. The great room, with a vaulted double-volume ceiling, acts as the major first-floor living space to the south and east. The main bedroom is on the first floor to the southwest, while the utility spaces like the bath, laundry, and stairs live on the north side.


Upstairs is an open loft-like entertainment/office area with an adjacent bunk room enclosed with obscured glass, giving the room an open feel while still providing privacy. Two bedrooms and a full bath finish out the upper floor. The plan provides a beach house feel with large open spaces and lots of direct connection to the outdoors, while still providing cozy and private spaces for year-round living.


The exterior features Boral poly-ash siding for durability and less maintenance. Metal roofing on low, sloped roofs helps pitch snow, while the steeper roofs feature architectural-grade asphalt shingles. Since the house is for an active family for full-time living, the architects opted for durable finishes on the interior that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life.


The architects utilized as many local resources and craftspeople as possible. Much of the built-in cabinetry as well as the kitchen island and table was crafted by Huston and Company of Kennebunkport. All of the steelwork including the bunk room ladder, stair railing, and kitchen island hood vent was created by Standfast Works Forge of Parsonsfield.


The couple had named their original Maine beach cottage “Sky Apple” after their family tradition of going for beach walks and tossing wild rose buds up into the sky so they fell nearby, calling them “sky apples.” Today, their new “Sky Apple” is poised to house future generations and new family traditions.


What We Love: This Maine beach cottage is the perfect blend of rustic and modern style with its inviting interiors, soothing palette, and industrial accents. This cottage is the perfect place to relax and refresh, with plenty of indoor-outdoor living space for family living and entertaining. We are especially loving the great room with its soaring ceilings, brick-clad fireplace, and large windows that perfectly frame the beautiful natural setting.

Tell Us: What features in this home renovation project do you find most inspiring? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Take a look at a couple of other fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign in the state of Maine: Off the grid: A compact passive house design in Maine and Dreamy seaside home in Maine with New England style architecture.



FACADE CLADDING Painted Nickel Gap Siding, Boral FLOORING Engineered White Oak, Sheoga DOORS Painted MDF, Simpson Redi-Prime WINDOWS Andersen A Series ROOFING Standing Seam Metal and Architectural Asphalt Shingles INTERIOR FURNITURE Custom Furniture by Huston & Company, Custom Metalwork by StandFast Works Forge











PHOTOGRAPHER Trent Bell Photography

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