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A Modern Maine Farmhouse Embraces Color and Style

This new-construction farmhouse honors the past with its form and architecture, while acknowledging the present through unexpected pops of color and modern furnishings.

Every so often, a client-designer relationship is instantly symbiotic. Such was the case when I met Dan and Beth Kleban at our Crossfit gym in Portland, Maine. They were in the process of building their dream home and heard I was a designer. I knew after our first meeting, their dream house would become my dream job. As we dug into the process of selecting materials and finishes, the vision of a color-infused modern farmhouse emerged, a space where the Klebans and their friends and family could gather and enjoy movie nights on the oversized leather sectional, dinners at the custom walnut dining table, and stargazing amidst the acres of mature pines surrounding the property.

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Living Room

The living room is anchored by Angela Adams' Betty rug. This was the piece that laid the foundation for the design of this room. The goal was a to create a textural and visual marriage of color and form. The sculptural, sinewy side table is juxtaposed with a streamlined Bludot coffee table. The Tilton Fenwick for Duralee upholstery on the custom loveseat is a modern take on a traditional herringbone style textile. The icing on the cake is the Rebecca Atwood pinch pleat drapes. The organic nature of the pattern and the neutral gray backdrop of the walls keep the orange from being too jarring.

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Custom Built-In

A decoupage John Derian seagull plate is perched at the top of the television built-in, a nod to what should be Maine's state bird.

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Dining Room

The open floor plan allows for functionality and aesthetic opportunities. The custom walnut table, created by Portland, Maine, based furniture manufacturer Furniturea is the heart of the space. A large iron lantern over the table is a reference to the farmhouse architecture.

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Walnut Table Detail

The clean lines and rich wood character are accented with Serena and Lily chairs that tie in other colorful elements within the space.

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Classic white cabinetry was topped with rugged, leathered granite. The variegated hexagon tile has hints of blue, a subdued, yet modern use of color.

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Stools and Lighting Detail

The industrial lighting by Cleveland Art coordinates with the iron island brackets and farmhouse-style stools.

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Mudroom Built-In

I designed the mudroom built-in for functionality, storage and practicality. The family members have ample coat, shoe and winter accessory storage. The blue Schoolhouse Electric hooks are a similar blue to the built-in, creating a tone-on-tone effect. Playing with different uses of color was my favorite part of the design of this home.

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Powder Room

The powder room receives a jolt of color by way of the yellow Schoolhouse Electric mirror. The black finishes and gray walls allow the mirror to be the main event in the small room. The soft curves of the carved granite backsplash balance the rugged quality of the stone.

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Exterior Light

The bold, red Barnlight Electric exterior sconces punctuate the white siding and black windows. Copper gutters add a warm, organic element.


Form and function dictated the design of this home, while calling upon color and texture. The result is a warm, inviting space that the family can enjoy for many years to come.


Photography by Justin Levesque