Before and After: Maine Home

before after basementAbout two and a half years ago our family of five was bursting at the seams in our tiny townhouse we bought when we first moved to Maine. Although we had made it as cute as could be, we were dying for a little breathing room and craving some of the ocean views Maine is known for. The first home we looked at ended up being the one we ended up buying… but not right away… so it really was a blessing it waited for us. The home was in the Stover’s Cove area, we loved the home, but we weren’t too sure about the long drive out of town as we would be taking our daughter into town on a daily basis on a Superintendent agreement until she graduated. So that was me committing to driving her 30 minutes each way, each day… and then if there were any additional appointments more driving would be necessary.

We found a couple other homes we were interested in, one with no ocean view, but potential to add on and make it a really great home, but that one failed inspection due to a bad foundation. The other had the most breathtaking, unobstructed ocean views, but the home was such a hodgepodge house, that even with my design skills, it would have been a money pit and didn’t give us all that much more space. It had been added onto several times and so it was really a Frankenstein.  So after a series of disappointments, we finally bit the bullet on the first house which was the one we really wanted all along.

It was is a very short walk to Stover’s Cove beach and I loved watching the sunrise over the water. Also, I wish I could give you a Disney moment and mist the scent of Harpswell in the summer as you look at these pictures much like one would experience on Flight of Passage and Soarin at Disney World because if I could capture the scent of it and bottle it, I would be a millionaire. Sweet salty ocean air mixed with a pungent florally scent= heaven.

This view was one of the biggest selling factors, but the house wasn’t too shabby either!!

harpswell view So here are the MLS photos and what the house looked like when we bought it. You can’t tell from this picture but the front yard was totally overgrown with trees and bushes… breaking the #1 cardinal sin of curb appeal… if they can’t see it, they won’t buy it.



The whole house was a butter yellow with orange doors. Honestly, I think most people would fall asleep looking at this and because of these reasons, I think it kept it from people buying it.


I never loved the brown roof, but it was not that old, so we actually had no plans to change that for several years to come… more on that later.


The idea of having a two-story barn always appealed to me, and secretly I am hoping to one day convert it into a private cottage for my husband and I to stay in during the summers of our golden years. But when we first saw it, it was super boring… still clad in gray primer… dying to have more personality.


The yard just totally overgrown. In the end, we took down 2 dozen trees and about the same amount of bushes. And what is crazy… is there are still a ton on our 1-acre property.


As far as the interior, it had really good bones to work with. This time I am going to start with the basement and work our way up… next time will be the 1st floor followed up by the 2nd floor. One of the many things I love about our Maine home is the fact that the yard slopes and we have a daylight basement that also gets to take advantage of ocean views. The home was really well built and insulated. In the summer it is perfectly cool and in the winter it doesn’t get bitterly cold.

Peach wouldn’t ever be my first choice for a wall color… so obviously, that had to go. We debated on what to do with this room because it was right next to where my husband’s home office is we really couldn’t use it as a family room and we really didn’t need it as a playroom because we had that on the main floor. Ultimately we decided on turning it into a home gym. I had all kinds of design plans including aqua walls… but my husband thought they were a little too girly and he said he needed to feel manly working out in his gym. He NEVER makes design requests, so what we ended up with was definitely a team effort.



So… the only exterior picture I got in full bloom is the front. We were in such a mad rush to get on the road, it is all I got… so after this one all the exterior shots are in early spring before things greened up and leaves filled in. So even with removing a half a dozen trees and a half a dozen bushes from the front of the house, we painted the entire exterior Revere Pewter with Stratton Blue on the doors and the giant star. I can’t remember the white we used on the trim, but adding the two tone really dressed it up. You will also notice a new roof that matches the new color scheme. We have mother nature to thank as hurricane-force winds hit the town of Harpswell last Halloween (which got rescheduled due to the heavy damage sustained). 110 mile winds gusts off the water wiped out a good chunk of our shingles and a couple trees landed on our barn so the shingles had to be replaced. Darn it! 😉 That week was an adventure and deserves a blog post all to itself. I consider it preparation for moving to Florida!


On the garage, we put some magnetic carriage door accessories that were really inexpensive but made a huge impact. The doors got new hardware. Unfortunately, I did not get everything completed I wanted to. I really wanted to (and still plan on) add shutters on the windows and a flower box under the small window. I also had the light fixture for the patio, just ran out of time. The exterior really needs these final touches, but this is a massive improvement from the before.


Here is the view from the back. Way more cleaned up than before.


You can kind of see the pond where our neighborhood ducks, Henry and Martha, like to hang out. We also added a firepit that got a lot of use. The decks still need staining.


One of my favorite things was when I finally decided on a color for the barn… which I debated on forever and am so thrilled with. This is Naval Blue with the same white trim as on the house and Stratton Blue front door.



Now for Greg’s manly gym. The walls are Rever Pewter with a wall of bathroom mirrors that are carried stock at Home Depot. My husband is a huge Nike fan.

home gym


home gym 2

We scored on all the gym equipment in one form or the other.

Finally, I don’t have a before picture of the bedroom but it wasn’t too different from the before of the gym. But this little room is one of my favorites… because it was thrown together last minute primarily with leftovers and odds and ends from here and there.

The walls are painted in Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage. The end table was one I have had for years that used to be black and spray painted. I can’t remember what color. The art was an $8 find at the Goodwill.  The headboard I bought off Facebook Marketplace for $80. The duvet cover I purchased from for $40. The rest of the bedding I made clear back in Arizona, the “dream Big” pillow is from TJ Maxx for $16.99.


The dresser has been in my daughter’s bedroom for several years. I bought it off an online yardsale group for $35 and then I painted it. The “Blessed” sign was on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $6.


All in all prior to moving I spent less than $200 prior to moving using stuff I already had and I think that is why I like this room so much.

Next time, the main floor. Huge transformations.


4 thoughts on “Before and After: Maine Home

  1. Jessica says:

    Hi Nata Lee,
    Your house looks amazing!! The barn is to die for, it’s beautiful! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your new home update.

  2. Ernie Parnell says:

    The interior of the home is wonderful and I will design my home with the same design as this home. Even the garden area looks beautiful. Thanks for such a nice article!

  3. Matth says:

    OMG! I know that place. It has a cozy and relaxing place where houses are built for the convenience of the people. I could have imagined my family living there.

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