Sunday, 5 July 2009

Fourth of July inspiration

I spent the Fourth with a friend who is renting a house in Portland, Maine. The property has a vintage, utilitarian, cottage-y feel. I want to keep some aspects of the decor in mind for the RBB.

The shower had a cute and convenient slate ledge in it for stashing bottles, soap, etc. That might work perfectly with my plant-filled, outdoorsy, master-bathroom-as-courtyard plan. That bathroom also had a very thin and characterful shelf made of worn, unpainted wood.

Both bathrooms had very simple wall-mounted sinks, with exposed pipes underneath. Those could be more fun and casual than pedestals in our powder room and our guest bathroom. One of the sinks was a retro cast-iron model, with a little built-in backsplash. Charming.

In the new addition, the owners used salvaged doors and windows, which went a surprisingly long way towards giving the place a feel of age to match the original part of the house. The vintage frosted glass panel in the top of the downstairs bathroom's narrow pocket door was pretty and practical, providing privacy and light.

I loved the beat-up wide plank pine floors in the kitchen and the fact that it was completely unfitted. They'd deliberately chosen small appliances (including a half-height refrigerator and have located the freezer in the basement). Don't want to follow them there - fine for a weekend, not very practical for a lifetime - but the determined, less-is-more approach was interesting. The kitchen had the most fabulous old cabinet with glass doors, repurposed from a laboratory. In it, the owners store their mismatched dishes and cups. And speaking of cups, they had saved Bonne Maman jam jars for use as glasses, which is a nice, summery idea. I also admired their white built-in sideboard with its mix of white drawers and old, unpainted wood drawers.

It was exciting to have the chance to see how these elements feel and work in real life. All in all, a design-educational holiday.

No comments:

Post a Comment