When you think of a traditional cottage, you are typically met with folksy ideas of a colloquial living space. It's a comforting vision but sometimes we get tired of the same old same old and want to change things up! That's where modernity comes in. We catch up with interior designer Krista Stokes who tells us how she was able to integrate bursts of contemporary design into a cottage, while still keeping true to its cozy roots.
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 the family felt as if it had always existed—while adding modernity, flow, light, and space that could improve upon the somewhat dark, cramped areas of the original house.
With five kids ranging in age from 4 to 16, we 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 five kids.
The Color Palette, Artwork and more
The palette is a series of neutrals, whites, grays, and browns punctuated with splashes of color to allow for the constant evolution. The artwork is by local Kennebunkport artists Ingunn Milla Joergensen and Jill Matthews. The master bedroom barn board came from a barn in Cornish. The bluestone bathroom floor was a gift from our clients parents, who own a quarry on the mountain in upstate New York where she grew up and was hand cut and installed in a herringbone pattern. Most of the furnishings were re-worked from the original house (including a couch and piano from our clients grandmother,) with the notable exception of the Restoration Hardware dining table, and Serena + Lily chandelier.
The design philosophy
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. Also, 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.