Photographer Heidi Kirn
Photographer Heidi Kirn breaks down the design details during her interview with this beautiful home’s interior designer…
Q: How would you describe the vibe of the space?
A: Traditional New England Cottage with a splash of modern industrial glam.
Q: What was your inspiration for this room?
A: We drew our inspiration for the look and feel of this renovation from the existing coziness of the original cottage. In integrating these new rooms it was important that they felt as if they had always existed—while adding modernity, flow, light and space that could improve upon the somewhat dark, cramped spaces of the original house.
Q: What was the biggest design challenge you faced? What special considerations did you have to take into account?
A: With 5 kids ranging in age from 4 to 16, this family needed the house to be functional for all ages, unfussy, and practical with purpose—while simultaneously providing enough serenity and style to counter the persistent and inherent chaos and kinetic energy that accompanies 5 kids.
Q: Describe the color palette, special furnishings, artwork, etc.
A: The palette is a series of neutrals, whites, grays and browns punctuated with splashes of color to allow for the constant evolution of the family’s inhabitants. The artwork is by local Kennebunkport artists Ingunn Milla Joergensen and Jill Matthews—both friends of the family. The master bedroom barn board came from a barn in Cornish and was torn from the barn by Brian personally. The bluestone bathroom floor was a gift from Gaby’s parents, who own a quarry on the mountain in upstate New York where she grew up—and was handcut and installed in a herringbone pattern by Brian. Most of the furnishings were re-worked from the original house (including a couch and piano from Gaby’s grandmother), with the notable exception of the Restoration Hardware dining table, and Serena + Lily chandelier.
Q: How does this space represent your design philosophy overall?
A: I believe in working with what clients already have—and then enhancing it. I believe in guiding them to keep what they love, repurpose what they forgot they love, nix what they no longer love—and make a few key strategic splurges to create a space that feels comfortably familiar, while being wholly fresh and new at the same time. I believe in the juxtaposition of contrasting materials—old next to new, traditional next to modern, rustic next to shiny, playful next to grounded. And I believe in pushing clients just outside their comfort zone—so I can take them where they were dying to go all along, but can’t quite get to on their own. This renovation embodied all of those philosophies.