sneak peek: tyler karu and brendan ready

Tyler Karu Ready and Brendan Ready’s classic 1920s farmhouse is located on Ferry Beach in Scarborough, Maine. They are just yards from one of Maine’s most peaceful and beautiful public beaches. Brendan is a lobsterman, and Tyler is a designer who uses the work of local craftspeople and materials in her designs; she also loves working with items from local marine supply stores. When the couple bought their home two years ago, it had been subjected to a number of bad renovations, so Tyler worked to restore the home’s original character, adding architectural details that felt organic to the space. The couple’s ultimate goal was to create a bright, lived-in beach house that mixed pieces with history, weathered nautical ephemera and fun, shiny ’70s accessories. (Tyler and Brendan’s love of the sea extends to the name of their Brussels Griffon dog: Haddock!) Thanks, Tyler & Brendan! And a big thank you to Justin Levesque for the lovely photographs! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: I grew up in Kennebunkport, Maine. This chair was always in the living room growing up. It’s very Maine to me — the scale and the organic color of the wicker. The lamp is an eBay find. I am drawn to everything ’70s. The juxtaposition of a modern brass lamp next to a beach rock fireplace or a cluster of Blenko glass are the unexpected elements that I love. I removed the mullions from the octagonal window to give it a porthole sensibility. (Paint color is a custom mix from Sherwin Williams, created to match Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin.)

Image above: The fireplace was created by our friend Chris Pascal from rocks we collected from beaches in Maine. His masonry is what makes this project so striking. It is THE highlight of our home.

See more of Tyler and Brendan’s Maine home after the jump . . . 

Image above: My favorite rock in the bunch.

Image above: Hudson Bay blankets are having their moment right now, but they are classic Maine. This was an old LL Bean blanket, and I found the wingback chair at an antique store in Maine that sadly no longer exists. It was inexpensive and had needlepoint upholstery on the back and seat. The arms were a lovely dark olive wool, so I kept them the way they were and covered the needlepoint with the blanket. The Seabags pillow was a wedding gift from my sister-in-law. The coffee table is West Elm. I added legs to it for height. The other major pieces in the room are the Bludot sectional and the Serena and Lily rug. (Paint is a Sherwin Williams custom mix to match Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin.)

Image above: I’ve had this bed since high school. The nautical elements carry throughout the house, from this bed to the old ship’s lights on the wall. More ’70s elements appear in the form of the paper art above the bed, a truly unique Etsy find, and the mismatched nightstands, both purchased on eBay. Plantation shutters provide architectural detail as well as practical light blocking. The silver rush bench is from Calypso Home. Paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Ice Cube Silver.

Image above: The twin beds were in my husband’s childhood room.

Image above: Over the past two years, I’ve renovated pretty much the entire interior from floor to ceiling, but most of the budget went toward the kitchen. I was able to salvage the lower cabinets, but had to build new uppers as well as pantries to match. In almost all the homes I flip or renovate, I use crown molding above the cabinets to eliminate wasted space above and make the ceilings look higher. I bought new appliances, installed honed granite countertops, a subway tile backsplash and rugged oak floors, but the most striking piece is the island. Purchased from Portland Architectural Salvage (as was the Jason Wein chandelier above it), the island is a repurposed cart from a railway station. A local artist, Sandy Macleod, added the bar once it was inside my house, as it just barely fit through the doorway. All hardware and knobs are from marine supply stores.

Image above: The three vintage stools are eBay finds.

Image above: This dresser was in our garage when we moved in. Brendan’s cousin, Christian Webber, repurposed it into a bathroom vanity. The drop-in sink is Kohler. The towel bars and hooks in our bathrooms are all from Hamilton Marine, as are the cleats that hold the bracelets. Marine supply stores are great resources for unexpected home hardware. The paint is Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Embers.

Image above: My best friend Sarah knew I had to have this poster to remind me of my days in New York. She tracked it down in Brooklyn.

Image above: This mirror was from a staging project I worked on in Florida. It’s huge and walks the line between cool and tacky. I like using mirrors to make small spaces seem larger; the larger the mirror, the better. The diptych in the background was a gift from my endlessly talented mother-in-law, Holly Ready. My husband and I treasure these paintings. The dining table belonged to my husband’s great-grandparents. The Donghia chairs are from Allen & Walker Antiques in Portland, ME, and the spun fiberglass chairs are an Etsy find.

  1. Bea says:

    How the heck do you turn the water on for the sink on the dresser?

  2. Chelsea says:

    I didn’t even notice that but yeah… how do you turn it on?

    Also, the last picture of the front door… feels like coming home. I really enjoyed the space.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi guys

      we’ll ask about the sink. my guess is it’s one of those touch-less ones that senses your hands and turns out. but i don’t know how you adjust temperature for those..


  3. Sarah says:

    Absolutely love this home and most especially the little love seat Haddock is sitting on towards the end…did you find this somewhere in Maine? Also, the light fixture over your kitchen island is fantastic! Can you reveal the source? Gorgeous home!

  4. What a fabulous home! Love the Hudson Bay Blanket upholstered Wing Chair. Stunning.

  5. Courtney says:

    That bed is awesome! So are the mismatched kitchen stools. What a clean and inviting space.

  6. Teresa says:

    Tyler & Brendan, thanks for sharing your home. I simply adore everything about it. But that bed with the curved head and foot boards is giving me heart palpatations: it is absolutely GORGEOUS!

  7. shelly says:

    That heart shaped rock is so sweet!! When we put down our hardwood floors we picked through all the pieces of wood to find fun shapes to put together and we have a heart too!
    Great home BTW, I am loving the fun vibe and of course as so many people have mentioned; the headboard/footboard is awesome!
    Right on!

  8. karoline says:

    LOVE the vintage stools and the neon poster.

  9. ethanollie says:

    it is a touchless faucet…you can see the little sensor dot. we had one and they are the best in a bathroom. usually the temp is adjustable under the sink on the unit. super cute home, nice and comfortable.

  10. Wow! I have to say this is one of my favorites. The juxtaposition of the pieces used is simply brilliant.

  11. Carolyn says:

    Home sweet home!!

  12. Charlene says:

    Outta’ control!!! The lighting alone! The juxtaposition of that lamp by the fireplace and the wicker rocker is just a revelation…love your POV and aesthetic!

  13. Charlene says:

    haha! Just read the article…You said “juxtaposition” too. :D

  14. Love your home. The kitchen is divine!

  15. Joanna says:

    The last image is what did it for me. Such a lovely home.

  16. Joanna says:

    P.S. She’s also a fan of perfume! I spy a Byredo, as well as an Annick Goutal in her collection. I wonder what scents they are?

  17. Kinley says:

    What a great house! Where are the blankets in the twin bedroom from?

  18. Hi Design Sponge,
    Great post and i love this house! But i wouldn’t be a proud canadian if I didn’t point out a small error on behalf of our history. Hudson Bay blankets are not “classic Maine” as your post indicates, but rather is a Canadian icon that has a deep rooted history here both good and bad. “Hudson Bay” refers to the Company that started in Canada and helped pioneer our country by having outposts in Winnipeg, Calgary Edmonton and Vancouver for settlers to have access to mercantile goods. The Hudson Bay namesake is the large body of water in Northern Ontario (far from Maine) that was part of the fur traders route that opened up our country.

    Nothing makes me prouder than to see Hudson Bay Blankets surge in popularity world wide as it is a symbol of Canadiana. It is also pleasing that it has been a staple of Maine for many years. But if it must be written … it should be considered Classic Canadian that has been incorporated into Maine’s charming rustic style.

    keep up the great posts I enjoy reading something from DS everyday!

    Emily Barnett

  19. Linda Sawyer Pearmine says:

    I am so proud of you! It is so fun to see who you’ ve become. It is sad that we cannot spend more time together!

  20. Tyler says:

    Thank you all for the kind words! A couple of source answers for you. Twin blankets in guest room are Pendleton, bubble light fixture in kitchen is from Portland Architectural Salvage and Haddock’s settee is from the now closed antiques store Pillars. Thanks again for the compliments!!

  21. Jeremiah Pasternak says:

    Maine is full of great design!
    check out


  22. SuzyMcQ says:

    I too enjoyed your home. You are stylistic masters and the care you have put into your living space is so approachable and fun.

    Since no one else has asked and I am a dog-person, could you tell us a bit about the oversize portrait of Haddock, please? I have small painting of my pups, but find the size of this piece just perfect.

  23. SuzyMcQ says:

    Sorry, also, wanted to ask about the oversize fishing floats. They are amazing! Please don’t tell me you found them floating in the Atlantic or washed up on the beach in your front yard, I’m already jealous enough.

  24. Great post! We re-upholstered the wingback with the blanket here at Home Remedies! So great to see it in situ!

  25. Lovely! Please feature more queer couples in this section! Thanks!

  26. Pierrette Bolduc says:

    Very proud of you Tyler! So talented. Love, love it all..

  27. Candace Karu says:

    suzymcq, I’m Tyler’s mom. I gave her the portrait of our beloved Yorkie, Meggy. It was painted by Laura Alexander, an artist who studied at the Maine College of Art and who now works in Hoboken.

    I love these pictures of your warm and inviting home, Tyler. I couldn’t be prouder of your style, your hard work, and your eye for the unusual and the unusually beautiful.

  28. Marcia Markoff says:

    My favorite neice, you clearly got your talent from your mother. LOVED seeing the house and all the elements you incorporated. Fabulous finds at various outlets. You have a gift. So very proud of you.

  29. Jennifer Evans says:

    I love it. Maine is beautiful and so is your home. Tyler…could you please share the source for the plaid throw (on the chair/couch) in the living room? I’m looking for something similar. Thank you!

  30. Eva says:

    oooh, I see a lot of things I like here… thanks for posting! I love interiors with contrast.

  31. Tyler says:

    So happy you guys like the house! Some more answers for you. . . 2 glass floats were purchased at flea markets, big red was purchased at Portland Architectural Salvage. They have some there now! The throw was purchased at Black Parrot here in Portland and the brand is Lochcarron. Hope this is helpful!!

  32. Sheila Aldrich says:

    Tyler beautiful job! I love the Yorkie portrait,Hudson Bay chair covering,fishing floats & kitchen table.Holly’s paintings are great.& you are so right about mirrors they certainly in large the space.

  33. Nathan says:

    This house is exactly the style I am looking for! Everything feels rustic and welcoming, while not appearing rundown or shabby. Love the grandeur of elements like the mirror and the kitchen island/cart. LOVE the idea of reclaiming the dresser as a sink and vanity. This is a truly unique home, that perfectly exemplifies the best of living in coastal New England. Definitely gonna check out my local marine store for inspiration!

  34. Elissa says:

    where can I buy one of Holly Ready’s paintings? I’m looking for a series just like this one — beautful.

  35. Tyler says:

    Hi Elissa! Holly’s paintings are unparalleled. She is an incredible Maine talent. Here is her contact info and website: and

  36. Kasey Paulk says:

    Where is the glass fire screen from? I LOVE it and have never seen anything like it!

  37. Tyler says:

    Thanks Kasey! They glass screen was found on Etsy. It took a few months of searching the eBay and Etsy scene to find exactly what I was looking for.

  38. Heather E says:

    This is a lovely home overall, but I have to comment on the awesome vintage stools in the kitchen! I’m sure they’re one of a kind, but since my last name is Eddy, I wonder where (if!) I’d be able to track down another one like it?

  39. Tyler karu ready says:

    Heather, feel free to email me about the stool :)

  40. Noelle Bell says:

    Loving the rustic look of the kitchen, and the design is just wonderful!

  41. orlando says:

    Omg the glass lamp in the dining room is so funny! I love the ridiculous proportion. Guests must smile when they walk in for dinner :)

  42. Mr. and Mrs. says:

    What a great place. I just love seeing a home that isn’t too stylized and speaks of the owner! Well I’m off to go find me a heart rock!

  43. Emily says:

    Would love to know the source of the bathroom mirror! Love it and your home! Thank you!

  44. Kathi says:

    The last picture with the entry door open- is that original to the house or can it be purchased some place? Beautiful!

  45. Carol Maxson says:

    the area rugs in your rooms are gorgeous. where can similar ones be found. what style would you say they are?

  46. Jane Moulton says:

    My husband & I owned this house from 1971 to 1999 and raised our two children there. You would loved to have seen the house when we bought it!!! Falling down disaster!!!
    My husband also was a fisherman.


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