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Coastal Maine: New England Style Houses

This post is all about getting inspiration from the New England houses that dot the coastline of Maine. Inspiring would actually be putting it mildly when we’re talking about New England style houses…

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

Being from the Midwest, but spending most of our summers on the coast of Maine, people from back home inevitably ask… “Why Maine?” That’s a tough one to answer to someone in the Midwest that probably hasn’t even been to New England, let alone Maine. But if you’ve been to the coast of Maine, you would ask… “Why not Maine?” (I keep hearing JFK in my head say: Ask not why Maine, but ask why not Maine… Well something like that) 😉

Maine is chockfull of beauty and the houses and structures are certainly part of that beauty.

There is so much of our country’s history in New England. We’ve seen many privately owned houses from the 1700’s!

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

This is a very common style we see out here. the little saltbox shaped white plaque on the front left of the door gives the year it was built and the name of the original owner. This one says 1820 and it was actually a school, Crow Hill School. It’s now a private residence. (though not found on Mapquest, Crow Hill is written about in the local history of Cape Porpoise)

This lovely white house has one of the features many old houses here share,

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

The symmetrical bay windows flanking the front door.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may remember that I posted a picture of this cottage a couple weeks ago:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

It has the charming symmetrical benches built into the front porch.

Here’s another one on the same road in Cape Porpoise:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

It’s common for the front doors to be painted fresh, welcoming colors, like this blue door on the house above.

And like the house below:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

That bright chartreuse green front door is perfect for this white house. I also love the black sashes on the windows!

Along with houses and cottages, it’s very common to see commercial buildings and businesses tucked right into the residential area.

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

This Lobster shack is again on that same road in Cape Porpoise, and is a great place to catch a bite like some of their homemade chowder or to take today’s fresh catch home for dinner.

Oh, another beautiful example of the double flanking bay windows….

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

and the lovely old trim detail. I’m loving the subtle all white exteriors that are super common here on the coast too.

Hey, remember a few years back when I showed you the single pedestal antique sink we installed in the bathroom of our former house? Well, this is the farm:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

The people that owned this farm in Kennebunkport, actually had it along with a toilet next to the road for free. If you missed the story, you can check it out here.

Another structure in the country that is now a business, is this one ‘Vinegar Hill Farms’:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

It’s on the outskirts of Kennebunk and though it sounds like a place to buy local tomatoes, it’s actually a place for concerts and performances. Like we see so often, it was once a residence and over the years, I don’t how long ago, but many years, it was turned into a playhouse. Just recently it was acquired and given an overhaul… Gorgeous! The black on black is beautiful for this purpose. The name ‘Vinegar Hills’ is from some local history of what this little area was called or something… more history to look up…

Traveling inland a couple miles one day last week, I came across this:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

An old mill house on small dammed river, well creek almost. It was a charming sight to happen upon as I turned the corner of a country road.

Back to the beach:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

This is the typical New England coastal house. Sided in shingles and with shutters detailing some windows. Just beyond that path on the left of the picture is Goose Rocks Beach.

Across the street from the beach is this cute four square. Well mostly a four square, except with a round corner…

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

Hmm… I wonder if it used to have another story on that round turret thing?

It’s hard to tell on some of the houses if they’re new or old:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

Many are very old, but have been so well maintained and added onto that from the road it’s difficult to try to date them.

Another beautiful setting on Goose Rocks Beach is this lovely home:

SimpleDecoratingTips.com Coastal Maine, New England Style Houses

I love the wonderful trim detail they put around the garage windows to add interest, but yet avoiding a view into their garage. So clever!

In New England there is this thing called Yankee mentality. It’s a thought process of using what you got… sure make it better, but appreciate it and make it work, thus the old houses turned into businesses and visa versa. Instead of just tearing down the structure, make it work for the new purpose. I love that!

And I love that it leaves us with so many wonderful old, old houses and structures from hundreds of years ago, still in use.

I think in the Midwest, we are too quick to tear it down and re-build, so sadly, we’re not left with the antique structures we could have. Maybe it’s quicker, easier, cheaper to just build a new structure… but sadly, they never seem to have the character, craftsmanship and certainly not the historical stories that the original would have.

I could go on and on, and will for sure need to do a 2nd installment of the ever inspiring New England houses from the Maine coast. But for now, you can get a glimpse of one aspect of the beauty here… Not to mention the ocean!!!

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This post is linked up at Between Naps on the Porch.

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Comments

  1. Judy says

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pictures! I’m from the Midwest, too, but the coast of Maine is my sacred spot, my happy place. So happy to see this blog post as I am currently planning a trip to the area. And now when people ask me “why Maine,” I’m going to borrow your words and say “why not Maine?” Thanks for pointing out the beauty of the history and re-purposing of so many of those old buildings.

  2. Tina says

    Loved to see these photos as an appetizer to my trip to New England in about two weeks. A few days in Boston, then a self planned round trip up the Maine coast, then west to Burlington, south to Northampton and back east to the coast, including Cape Cod.
    Then on to Indy to meet friends!
    Any tipps for absolutely not to miss places???

    • Liz says

      Tina, what a fun trip! I’ve been to Cape Cod, the Maine coast is so much less populated than it, though we do get ‘traffic jams’ especially on the weekends when everyone is coming or going.
      Not to miss places… so hard to say, but for sure take in a few lighthouses. Depending on time, Pemaquid up by Boothbay is wonderful to see, Wood Light by Biddeford is a wonderful tour, but does take a few hours. They give you a boat ride to get there, which is fun. And the little island and walk once there are lovely. A visit through the town of Kennebunkport and a peek at Bush’s summer home, Walker Point is always our 1st thing we do when we get here in the early summer… that and grab a clam strip lunch box at The Clam Shack right next to the bridge when you come into town. I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
      Write back and let us know what you did and saw!

  3. mjhooper2013 says

    Liz, thanks for the old house photos.,..I’ve been away from maine and mass a very long time and still miss the sense of history we don’t have where I live now. I grew up in a simpler version of your pedestal sink farmhouse. Nostalgia will eventually carry me back up north……fingers crossed. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Karen R Dennis says

    I live in NH and was born and raised in New England, I think it is the most beautiful place around. I love all your pics of the beautiful style homes we have in New England.

    • Liz says

      Thank you Karen! I’m so glad you found my blog, being from NH yourself… I agree New England is so lovely, and the homes are so beautiful. I never get bored with just going on ‘site seeing’ tours of the neighborhood homes. 🙂

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