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MARCH 2016
GREEN & SERENE
Eco-friendly homes that commune
with the landscape
75 Market Street
Suite 203
207-772-3373
www.mainehomedesign.com
If whole or part of this article is reproduced online, we ask that
a link back to MaineHOME+DESIGN be placed. Thank you.
BEACON ON THE HARBOR
In Cape Porpoise, a cottage for a couple
and a community of enchanted guests
by Sarah Stebbins // Photography Myriam Babin
The previous owner was an avid gardener,
and Mike Spenard and Brian Glaser
have been reconfiguring and expanding
on her beds, which burgeon with
Agastache, baptisia, black-eyed Susans,
catmint, echinacea, helenium, ‘Limelight’
hydrangea, joe-pye weed, Montauk daisies,
sedum, and weigela.
64 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 65
To create more counter space and a
buffer between the kitchen and dining
area, situated down a short flight of stairs,
the couple installed a long maple island
punctuated with cherry-red stools. Walling
off a doorway between the kitchen and
adjoining carriage house allowed for rows
of open shelving separated by a smaller
maple countertop.
A week after the couple closed on the
home, a burst pipe on the second floor
necessitated the gutting of the living room
(opposite) and guest room beyond, which
received new drywall, trim, and stained
pine flooring. The slipcovered sofa and
chairs are from IKEA; the end table is a flea
market find.
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 67
a narrow road that curves
around Cape Porpoise Harbor in
Kennebunkport, visitors from near
and far find their muse. The cries
of seagulls fill the air / As we settle back in the porch
rocking chairs / And spend our precious vacation days
/ Enveloped in a kind of Cape Porpoise haze, wrote a
Massachusetts dweller in a 32-line poem penned in Mike
Spenard and Brian Glaser’s guestbook. On another page,
an Ottawa family turned the name of the couple’s road
into an acrostic, composing a phrase for each letter in
Langsford. And another Massachusetts resident reflected,
“May in Cape Porpoise heralds new awakenings…Baby
geese swimming…The buds on the trees transforming into
vibrant flowers and the iris unfolding. The tide going in
and out every day reminded us of the glory and power of
nature.” “People try to outdo each other—it’s amazing,”
says Spenard, who rents out the cottage he owns with his
husband, Glaser, for part of the year. Adds Glaser: “The
overwhelming theme of all the remarks is that there’s
something so special and relaxing about this place. It
takes you away.”
When the Massachusetts couple first visited the
property in December of 2011 they experienced a different
sort of “Cape Porpoise haze”—the kind accompanied by
steady drizzle and bone-chilling cold. “Initially I was just
captivated by the house and had no appreciation for
how beautiful it would be here when it wasn’t miserable
out,” says Glaser. But Spenard, who had spent many
summer vacations in the area, envisioned “coffee on the
front porch” while watching the sunrise over the lobster
boats on the pinkened harbor across the street. In the
afternoons, they might purchase some of the day’s catch
at the Langsford Road Lobster and Fish House, perched
on pilings in the water, kitty-corner to the cottage. The
couple had been visiting friends during Kennebunkport’s
famed Christmas Prelude celebration when one of them
suggested they check out a 1920 shingled Cape for sale.
“We’d been toying with the idea of having a summerhouse,
but we weren’t sure where,” says Glaser. “We hadn’t
looked at anything up here, nor did we look at anything
else after we saw this place. We knew we could make it
what we wanted.”
The first contractor they asked to consult on
renovations had a different opinion. “He said, ‘If I had this,
I’d probably tear it down,’” says Spenard. “But that wasn’t
an option. We loved how it was this rambling, quirky little
house.” Quirkiness, of course, often comes with surprises,
and the couple got a big one a week after the closing,
when a burst pipe on the second floor necessitated a
gutting of most of the original, front part of the cottage.
“There were so many cracks in the old pine floors that the
water just flowed through to the crawlspace under the
house,” says Glaser. “It was a disaster but also a blessing
because it allowed us to change things we would have
put up with otherwise.” Working with Sanford builder
Chris Powers, they removed a giant “clangy, leaky” oil
furnace in the rear dining-office area, freeing up space
ON
68 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM
for a washer and dryer. The accompanying rusty baseboard
registers also came out, replaced with a pair of efficient Rinnai
propane units. The downstairs living room and guestroom
received new drywall and stained pine flooring. Upstairs,
Powers created a spacious owners’ suite with a closet where
a tiny bathroom used to be and a new bathroom in a former
guestroom across the hall.
Phase two of the renovations, overseen by Arundel
contractor Robert Zuke, focused on the galley kitchen and
the adjoining rear dining area and carriage house. To create
more counter space and a buffer between the kitchen and
dining area, situated down a short flight of stairs, the couple
installed a long maple island punctuated with cherry-red
stools. On the dining room side, a banquette built into the
island wall forms the basis of a breakfast nook. Walling off
a doorway between the kitchen and carriage house allowed
for rows of open shelving separated by a smaller maple
countertop. The previous owner had started reinventing the
carriage house, accessed through the addition, with a large
French door trimmed with a fanlight and sidelights that
opens onto the marsh on the southeast side of the home. The
elegant backdrop inspired the couple to turn the space into
a seasonal dining room, with a sisal rug and distressed farm
table set atop the painted cement floor and a curvaceous
metal chandelier suspended from the exposed timbers.
Open carriage doors frame the lively street, creating the
effect of a sidewalk café.
Spenard and Glaser painted the entire house themselves,
transforming the knotty pine walls in the kitchen-dining-
office area, downstairs bathroom, carriage house, and
owners’ bedroom with Decorator’s White by Benjamin
Moore. The same bright, clean color appears on the floors
in the latter two spheres, on the Sheetrock in the owners’
bathroom, and on all of the trim and painted ceilings. Revere
Pewter gives the living room and stairway a slightly more
formal feel. In the guestroom, white linens pop against pale
blue walls (the couple mixed the color themselves), like
clouds in a light-filled sky. “When we’re here, we putz,” jokes
Spenard, who handles all of the brushwork; Glaser is the
paint-roller in the relationship.
Glaser also finished (and sometimes refinished) most of
the other painted surfaces in the home. The stairs were royal
blue before he made them white with a charcoal “runner”—a
near-nautical combination that complements the navy
and white striped rugs in the living room and a hemp rope
railing he installed with brackets. The vintage jelly cabinet
in the living room was seafoam green before he coated it
in Emperor’s Silk, a vivid red from the Annie Sloan Chalk
“This is the best spot in the house,” says Glaser of the front porch (above), where the couple sip coffee on rockers he painted and watch the
sunrise over Cape Porpoise Harbor across the street.
The fireplace side of the living room (opposite) features a pair of flea market chairs, as well as a black-painted urn and a seascape from Canal
Street Antique Mall in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 69
70 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM
Upstairs, the couple created a spacious
owners’ suite (above) with a closet where
a tiny bathroom used to be and a new
bathroom in a former guestroom across
the hall. They whitewashed the bedroom
walls and planned to paint the floor gray-
blue, but after putting the primer on “we
fell in love with the clean simplicity of all
white,” says Spenard. Glaser painted the
Martha Washington sewing cabinet Louis
Blue by Annie Sloan and the antique piano
bench Decorator’s White by Benjamin
Moore.
The deck on an outbuilding the couple is
renovating (right) overlooks a marsh that
segues into Paddy Creek.
In the carriage house dining room
(opposite), antique chairs Glaser restored
and reupholstered stand ready to
accommodate extra guests at the table.
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 71
72 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM
The dining room’s carriage doors open toward the lively street, creating the effect of a
sidewalk café. The table, composed of an old slatted door atop a carved wood base, is
from Cattail Farm Antiques in Wells. Glaser found the ladder-back chairs on Craigslist and
painted them Old White by Annie Sloan; he painted the existing chandelier Graphite.
Glaser and Spenard (opposite) await the sunset over the marsh, martinis in hand.
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 73
Paint collection that has a velvety matte finish. And
the antique school desk by the front door was white
before he painted it (and the chandelier over the
dining table) Graphite, another Annie Sloan shade. “I
love finding sad, old, neglected pieces with character
and making them the proud focal point of a room
with beautiful colors,” says Glaser. “But you have to
get those colors right.” As for all that painting? “Mike
gets tired of it, but I never do. I always have a project
going.”
Other colors were spot-on from the start, including
Benjamin Moore’s Shy Cherry (an oxymoron if ever
there was one) on the exterior doors, Rust-Oleum’s
Royal Blue on the claw-foot tub in the downstairs
bathroom, and Annie Sloan’s green-blue Duck Egg
and pastel Louis Blue on the nightstands in the guest
and owners’ bedrooms. The couple shops for most
of their furnishings at antiques stores, flea markets,
and on Craigslist—sometimes competitively. When
they spotted their dining room table, composed
of an old slatted door atop a carved wood base,
at Cattail Farm Antiques in Wells, “we loved it and
noticed these other two guys were eyeing it too,”
says Spenard. “So we ran downstairs to the cashier
and said, ‘We’ll take it!’ By the time they arrived, we
were signing the credit card statement.”
The couple spends several weeks between spring
and fall at the cottage, kayaking, biking, weekend
warrioring, and dining with friends. Someday, they
hope to retire here. In the meantime, “we feel happy
that the house is lived in, all season long, by people
who appreciate it like we do,” says Spenard—people,
perhaps, like you. MH+D
For more information, see Resources on page 112
Glaser painted the claw-foot tub in the guest bathroom (above left) Rust-Oleum’s Royal Blue; the wooden whale is
from Etsy. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter brings a touch of formality to the living room (above right) and stairway
(opposite). The stairs are painted white with a charcoal “runner”—a near-nautical combination that complements the
navy and white striped rugs in the living room and the hemp rope railing from Knot and Rope Supply.
MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 75
BRIGHT IDEAS
Efficient Rinnai direct-vent
wall furnaces and tankless
water heater
Majority of furnishings were
purchased secondhand

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MHD_March 16_ FEAUTURE_ Beacon on the Harbor

  • 1. MARCH 2016 GREEN & SERENE Eco-friendly homes that commune with the landscape
  • 2. 75 Market Street Suite 203 207-772-3373 www.mainehomedesign.com If whole or part of this article is reproduced online, we ask that a link back to MaineHOME+DESIGN be placed. Thank you.
  • 3. BEACON ON THE HARBOR In Cape Porpoise, a cottage for a couple and a community of enchanted guests by Sarah Stebbins // Photography Myriam Babin The previous owner was an avid gardener, and Mike Spenard and Brian Glaser have been reconfiguring and expanding on her beds, which burgeon with Agastache, baptisia, black-eyed Susans, catmint, echinacea, helenium, ‘Limelight’ hydrangea, joe-pye weed, Montauk daisies, sedum, and weigela. 64 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM
  • 5. To create more counter space and a buffer between the kitchen and dining area, situated down a short flight of stairs, the couple installed a long maple island punctuated with cherry-red stools. Walling off a doorway between the kitchen and adjoining carriage house allowed for rows of open shelving separated by a smaller maple countertop. A week after the couple closed on the home, a burst pipe on the second floor necessitated the gutting of the living room (opposite) and guest room beyond, which received new drywall, trim, and stained pine flooring. The slipcovered sofa and chairs are from IKEA; the end table is a flea market find.
  • 6. MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 67 a narrow road that curves around Cape Porpoise Harbor in Kennebunkport, visitors from near and far find their muse. The cries of seagulls fill the air / As we settle back in the porch rocking chairs / And spend our precious vacation days / Enveloped in a kind of Cape Porpoise haze, wrote a Massachusetts dweller in a 32-line poem penned in Mike Spenard and Brian Glaser’s guestbook. On another page, an Ottawa family turned the name of the couple’s road into an acrostic, composing a phrase for each letter in Langsford. And another Massachusetts resident reflected, “May in Cape Porpoise heralds new awakenings…Baby geese swimming…The buds on the trees transforming into vibrant flowers and the iris unfolding. The tide going in and out every day reminded us of the glory and power of nature.” “People try to outdo each other—it’s amazing,” says Spenard, who rents out the cottage he owns with his husband, Glaser, for part of the year. Adds Glaser: “The overwhelming theme of all the remarks is that there’s something so special and relaxing about this place. It takes you away.” When the Massachusetts couple first visited the property in December of 2011 they experienced a different sort of “Cape Porpoise haze”—the kind accompanied by steady drizzle and bone-chilling cold. “Initially I was just captivated by the house and had no appreciation for how beautiful it would be here when it wasn’t miserable out,” says Glaser. But Spenard, who had spent many summer vacations in the area, envisioned “coffee on the front porch” while watching the sunrise over the lobster boats on the pinkened harbor across the street. In the afternoons, they might purchase some of the day’s catch at the Langsford Road Lobster and Fish House, perched on pilings in the water, kitty-corner to the cottage. The couple had been visiting friends during Kennebunkport’s famed Christmas Prelude celebration when one of them suggested they check out a 1920 shingled Cape for sale. “We’d been toying with the idea of having a summerhouse, but we weren’t sure where,” says Glaser. “We hadn’t looked at anything up here, nor did we look at anything else after we saw this place. We knew we could make it what we wanted.” The first contractor they asked to consult on renovations had a different opinion. “He said, ‘If I had this, I’d probably tear it down,’” says Spenard. “But that wasn’t an option. We loved how it was this rambling, quirky little house.” Quirkiness, of course, often comes with surprises, and the couple got a big one a week after the closing, when a burst pipe on the second floor necessitated a gutting of most of the original, front part of the cottage. “There were so many cracks in the old pine floors that the water just flowed through to the crawlspace under the house,” says Glaser. “It was a disaster but also a blessing because it allowed us to change things we would have put up with otherwise.” Working with Sanford builder Chris Powers, they removed a giant “clangy, leaky” oil furnace in the rear dining-office area, freeing up space ON
  • 7. 68 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM for a washer and dryer. The accompanying rusty baseboard registers also came out, replaced with a pair of efficient Rinnai propane units. The downstairs living room and guestroom received new drywall and stained pine flooring. Upstairs, Powers created a spacious owners’ suite with a closet where a tiny bathroom used to be and a new bathroom in a former guestroom across the hall. Phase two of the renovations, overseen by Arundel contractor Robert Zuke, focused on the galley kitchen and the adjoining rear dining area and carriage house. To create more counter space and a buffer between the kitchen and dining area, situated down a short flight of stairs, the couple installed a long maple island punctuated with cherry-red stools. On the dining room side, a banquette built into the island wall forms the basis of a breakfast nook. Walling off a doorway between the kitchen and carriage house allowed for rows of open shelving separated by a smaller maple countertop. The previous owner had started reinventing the carriage house, accessed through the addition, with a large French door trimmed with a fanlight and sidelights that opens onto the marsh on the southeast side of the home. The elegant backdrop inspired the couple to turn the space into a seasonal dining room, with a sisal rug and distressed farm table set atop the painted cement floor and a curvaceous metal chandelier suspended from the exposed timbers. Open carriage doors frame the lively street, creating the effect of a sidewalk café. Spenard and Glaser painted the entire house themselves, transforming the knotty pine walls in the kitchen-dining- office area, downstairs bathroom, carriage house, and owners’ bedroom with Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore. The same bright, clean color appears on the floors in the latter two spheres, on the Sheetrock in the owners’ bathroom, and on all of the trim and painted ceilings. Revere Pewter gives the living room and stairway a slightly more formal feel. In the guestroom, white linens pop against pale blue walls (the couple mixed the color themselves), like clouds in a light-filled sky. “When we’re here, we putz,” jokes Spenard, who handles all of the brushwork; Glaser is the paint-roller in the relationship. Glaser also finished (and sometimes refinished) most of the other painted surfaces in the home. The stairs were royal blue before he made them white with a charcoal “runner”—a near-nautical combination that complements the navy and white striped rugs in the living room and a hemp rope railing he installed with brackets. The vintage jelly cabinet in the living room was seafoam green before he coated it in Emperor’s Silk, a vivid red from the Annie Sloan Chalk “This is the best spot in the house,” says Glaser of the front porch (above), where the couple sip coffee on rockers he painted and watch the sunrise over Cape Porpoise Harbor across the street. The fireplace side of the living room (opposite) features a pair of flea market chairs, as well as a black-painted urn and a seascape from Canal Street Antique Mall in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
  • 9. 70 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM Upstairs, the couple created a spacious owners’ suite (above) with a closet where a tiny bathroom used to be and a new bathroom in a former guestroom across the hall. They whitewashed the bedroom walls and planned to paint the floor gray- blue, but after putting the primer on “we fell in love with the clean simplicity of all white,” says Spenard. Glaser painted the Martha Washington sewing cabinet Louis Blue by Annie Sloan and the antique piano bench Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore. The deck on an outbuilding the couple is renovating (right) overlooks a marsh that segues into Paddy Creek. In the carriage house dining room (opposite), antique chairs Glaser restored and reupholstered stand ready to accommodate extra guests at the table.
  • 11. 72 MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM The dining room’s carriage doors open toward the lively street, creating the effect of a sidewalk café. The table, composed of an old slatted door atop a carved wood base, is from Cattail Farm Antiques in Wells. Glaser found the ladder-back chairs on Craigslist and painted them Old White by Annie Sloan; he painted the existing chandelier Graphite. Glaser and Spenard (opposite) await the sunset over the marsh, martinis in hand.
  • 13. Paint collection that has a velvety matte finish. And the antique school desk by the front door was white before he painted it (and the chandelier over the dining table) Graphite, another Annie Sloan shade. “I love finding sad, old, neglected pieces with character and making them the proud focal point of a room with beautiful colors,” says Glaser. “But you have to get those colors right.” As for all that painting? “Mike gets tired of it, but I never do. I always have a project going.” Other colors were spot-on from the start, including Benjamin Moore’s Shy Cherry (an oxymoron if ever there was one) on the exterior doors, Rust-Oleum’s Royal Blue on the claw-foot tub in the downstairs bathroom, and Annie Sloan’s green-blue Duck Egg and pastel Louis Blue on the nightstands in the guest and owners’ bedrooms. The couple shops for most of their furnishings at antiques stores, flea markets, and on Craigslist—sometimes competitively. When they spotted their dining room table, composed of an old slatted door atop a carved wood base, at Cattail Farm Antiques in Wells, “we loved it and noticed these other two guys were eyeing it too,” says Spenard. “So we ran downstairs to the cashier and said, ‘We’ll take it!’ By the time they arrived, we were signing the credit card statement.” The couple spends several weeks between spring and fall at the cottage, kayaking, biking, weekend warrioring, and dining with friends. Someday, they hope to retire here. In the meantime, “we feel happy that the house is lived in, all season long, by people who appreciate it like we do,” says Spenard—people, perhaps, like you. MH+D For more information, see Resources on page 112 Glaser painted the claw-foot tub in the guest bathroom (above left) Rust-Oleum’s Royal Blue; the wooden whale is from Etsy. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter brings a touch of formality to the living room (above right) and stairway (opposite). The stairs are painted white with a charcoal “runner”—a near-nautical combination that complements the navy and white striped rugs in the living room and the hemp rope railing from Knot and Rope Supply.
  • 14. MAINEHOMEDESIGN.COM 75 BRIGHT IDEAS Efficient Rinnai direct-vent wall furnaces and tankless water heater Majority of furnishings were purchased secondhand