Searching for the perfect home can take some creativity in where to look — especially if you aren’t looking for a traditional house. When the Little family was looking for studio and living space in the midcoast Maine area, commercial listings won out over residential real estate and they found this 1852 church to call home.
Erin, a wedding and editorial photographer, Mark, a fine artist, and their daughter, 8-year-old Elisabeth, moved into this church building three years ago. Before they owned it, it had been transformed into several businesses, but never a home. Erin had to work to get it zoned for residential use and luckily found a small local bank that could help. “Both being artists, Mark and I knew we needed a place to house a home and studio in one. That was a tall order,” says Erin. “We also wanted to stray from the normal idea of a home and instead looked at old railroad stations and churches. It is perfect and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It didn’t pop up on any of the searches because it wasn’t listed residentially. It was my husband who suggested we go look at it because he had been driving by it for years. All it took was 10 steps inside before I turned to my realtor and said, ‘I’ll take it.’ The light was enough to make me swoon!”
Erin, Mark and Elisabeth’s art can be seen in almost every room of this charming space. Their passion and talent for creating can be seen in their photographs and paintings and also in the way they have shaped and transformed their home. “Our only decorating goals were to have our space reflect us as a family. We put a lot of thought into everything that comes into our house and it has to be meaningful. I tend to be more of a minimalist, while Mark loves all things funky, loud, and colorful. So we have blended the two and I think it’s really worked.” While nothing about this building was residential before, it is a house perfect for the Littles with all the elements of an artistic, beautiful home. —Lauren
Photography by Erin Little