Tower House

History of a Seacoast landmark

Tower LvRmPhotographed by Rob Karosis / Produced by Marsha Jusczak Simple furnishings and hues echoing sea, sky,
and sand complement the views.

As World War II engulfed Europe and raged in Japan, the United States was increasingly vigilant about protecting its coastline. German U-boats prowled the North Atlantic and submarines were detected alarmingly close to shore. The threat of a large-scale attack could not be ruled out.

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Artful Kitchen

The Music Hall Kitchen Tour celebrates 25 years

KT Ocko 4973Photographed by Greg West

Walk into this condo overlooking the Piscataqua River in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and you would think the layout had always been this way—a long, rectangular room seamlessly flowing from kitchen to living room to stunning view, complete with a balcony. But before designer Mari Woods and the new owners got involved, the space was broken into three little rooms—a study, a galley kitchen, and a dining room. Redoing the kitchen, on display for the 25th Annual Music Hall Kitchen Tour, involved completely gutting the condo.

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Creative Colonial

A marina warehouse morphs into a Newburyport colonial home

Guertin House CarPhotographed by Rob Karosis/Produced by Marsha Jusczak

Once, there was a neglected marina on the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with dozens of abandoned wooden boats scattered about the property. A decade ago, Ron Guertin and his wife Barbara purchased it while living in nearby Newbury, Massachusetts. Ten years on, the marina is an entirely different place, with new docks, two homes, and one floating cottage. There are still plenty of boats, but they look fresh and well tended.

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Elegance Meets Efficiency

This stylish Stratham home has a tiny carbon footprint

Bastine KitchenOverall 30 650xPhotographed by Nathan Allen Swingle

The site is idyllic—a gentle rise overlooking the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth holes at the Golf Club of New England, an Arnold Palmer-designed course situated on 450 acres of verdant farmland in Stratham, New Hampshire. The home is elegant, yet understated—a low profile contemporary craftsman in muted earth tones, with a wood and stone exterior that melds seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Step through the front door, however, and modest gives way to magnificent.

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Kennebunk Retreat

Inspired renovation revives the spirit of an 1800 cape

KBH LvRm2Photographed by Kindra Clineff/Styled by Terry John Woods Of all his many treasures, Grdich’s most prized antique is the seventeenth-century painting of a fortune teller hanging above the nineteenth-century Anglo-Indian sideboard in the living room.

Frank Grdich has no explanation for what prompted him to do it. Even 16 years since he first laid eyes on the little cape on the Maine coast, he still draws a blank. All he can come up with is, “Something drew us here; it was destiny,” when probed about how he and his partner, William Floyd, came to their Kennebunk home. But clearly, the ocean had something to do with it. It might have been the fog rolling in off the coast, or perhaps Grdich’s Croatian roots played a part in the impetus, or maybe it has to do with the fact that Frank Grdich is a Pisces. But, if you figure that the couple’s last port of call was Ipswich, Massachusetts, you begin to see a pattern.

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Warm and Welcoming

Fabulous ideas for a festive décor

T LP Office1Photographed by Penny O'Sullivan The (Nadeau) family den was reimagined as Santa’s workshop. Santa’s suit is at the ready; his typewriter shows a last checking of lists. The family added personal stockings, ornaments, and a toy train.

The holidays are a time of fun, festivity, and family gatherings, and your décor can boost the merry mood, whether your taste runs to glitter and dazzle, warmth and coziness, nostalgia, or fantasy. Coastal Home looks inside two houses, part of the 2014 Exeter Holiday House Tour, that present a wealth of holiday decorating ideas.

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An Architect at Home

Lisa DeStefano marries function and flair in her Portsmouth condo

DeStefano Kitchen2HorizPhotographed by Rob Karosis/Produced by Marsha Jusczak Lisa DeStefano’s kitchen is a masterpiece of organization. Careful planning allows her to have items she uses everyday easily accessible. Cabinetry by Dovetailed Kitchens provides abundant storage space, with the dark wood picking up the tile’s color accents.

Lisa DeStefano is one of the busiest architects in New Hampshire, with many commercial and residential buildings bearing her stamp. In the spring of 2011, she embraced the challenge of designing her own home, a journey that had particular meaning for someone used to creating spaces for others.

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A Sunnyside Revival

Preserving the past is one man’s passion

Blaisdell LvRmPhotographed by Rob Karosis/Produced by Marsha Jusczak George found the parlor’s copper chandelier in the attic; the giant Buddha dates from the nineteenth century.

The deep-red-and-yellow Victorian house in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, commands your attention. Surrounded by stately trees and a sprawling complex of outbuildings (including a windmill!), it conveys a unique sense of history. There are stories here from the past and one man’s story of rejuvenation. His story guides the home’s rebirth.

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A Historic Sensibility

Furnishing and maintaining an antique home

chandler LvRmPhotographed by Greg West/Produced by Marsha Jusczak The living room features artwork both old and new, including a wooden sculpture of the Madonna and child paired with a painting of September 11, 2001. Two semi-miniature slipper chairs beside the fireplace were a family collaboration.

Old houses harbor the triumphs and tragedies of people who lived in a different era. Owners of antique homes become stewards of history, and Sally and Jim Chandler are no exception. They love their historic home in the Point Shore area of Amesbury, Massachusetts, and cannot imagine living in a newer house.

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Coastal Collaboration

Artisans revamp a former summer home

Murp DnRm KitchenPhotographed by Rob Karosis/Produced by Marsha Jusczak

A marine welder in Maine. An art show held after hours at a gallery in Portsmouth. A New Hampshire fabric designer. A store dedicated to decorative plumbing, another specializing in building custom staircases. It took a team of Seacoast creatives to turn a summer home in North Hampton, New Hampshire, into a year-round residence.

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Garden Getaway

Design for outdoor living

AC ViewOfOceanPhotographed by Greg West Designer Anne Cowenhoven blended indoors and outdoors using custom fabrics and a color palette inspired by the mature gardens at Secret Cove. A table, rocking chairs, and planters invite guests to step out onto the porch to enjoy views of the Piscataqua River.

Instead of choosing the typical beach theme for a waterfront guest cottage, interior designer Anne Cowenhoven of Accent and Design Inc. in York, Maine, created an unexpected garden getaway. The guest cottage sits at the base of Secret Cove, a property overlooking the Piscataqua River and site of the Museums of Old York’s 2013 Decorator Show House. Cowenhoven was one of 16 designers who participated in the fundraiser, located in historic Kittery Point.

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Life at Water's Edge

Gardening and lobstering in coastal Maine

Karlin Hartzog 347Photographed by Lynn Karlin The view from the Hartzog house encompasses the lower cottage gardens, the ocean, and the islands beyond.

In 1984 on a Christmas trip to Europe soon after Gretchen Hartzog gave birth to her seventh child, her husband, Larry, broke their no-gift agreement and presented her with “just one little gift.” It was a deed to a house on the water’s edge at the end of the Damariscotta peninsula. They named the house Le Cadeau Noël, which means “The Christmas Gift” in French, in honor of where they were vacationing. Le Cadeau Noël has been the family home ever since.

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SoHo by the Sea

An Ogunquit home with loft-style panache

Brandt House GardenBackPhotographed by Rob Karosis/Produced by Marsha Jusczak A waterside view of the home, which was under construction when the homeowners fell in love with it.

Interior designer Sharon Bottner follows a ritual with many clients, but with one Ogunquit, Maine, homeowner, she was not sure of the result.

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The Music Hall Kitchen Tour

Visit Kittery kitchens for a worthy cause

MH AK LvRmPhotographed by Greg West The overhead lighting, like all the home’s lighting, was chosen with the help of Rockingham Electric staff. The kitchen flows into the living space with an Eco Firebox providing ample heat in colder months.

For Ann Kendall, this year’s Music Hall Kitchen Tour offers a new perspective on the annual event. Kendall is a long-standing member of the Music Hall board of trustees and co-chair for the Kitchen Tour Committee, but this year her brand-new kitchen will also be featured on the tour. “I’ve been on this committee forever, and now I’m on the other side,” she says. “It is so different being the homeowner after so many years running the tour.”

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