Tucked away on a small island off the beautiful coast of Maine, we found ourselves on a heavily wooded site, littered with fir trees and rocky shores. Our clients—a family of four including two teenagers—came to us in the hopes of a summer compound that could serve as a timeless retreat for generations to come.
When we started this project, there was an existing barn on the island. With this foundation in place, we designed two additional structures in alignment with the original barn, creating a cohesive feeling throughout all three structures while maintaining the integrity of the site. With the original barn serving as inspiration for what was to come next, each new structure strove to blend into its environment featuring natural wood interiors and trim with views out to the surrounding woods. It was important to us, and to our clients, to honor the natural beauty of the site from the woods to the water. Cedar shingle siding and Douglas fir trim and beam details blend gracefully into the surrounding woods, while more muted and natural tones of tan and green offer a cozy sense of place.
Each of the added structures was designed with their own life in mind—the first includes a hot tub and sauna, a workshop for staff, and kennels for the family dogs, while the second serves as a space for storage along with a home gym. The existing structure was redesigned as the hub for the family and their guests, including a large gathering space (both inside and out), a pool table area, and space to comfortably relax grillside under the stars.
We worked closely with our clients, their interior design team, and our builder to develop spaces that would complement their needs as well as the island locale that surrounded them. Designing additional structures and reimagining the existing one called for thoughtful, proactive planning—especially when securing transport to the island—and an honest understanding of our client’s hopes and goals.
At the end of this project, all three structures felt right at home on the island, as if they had always been there.