Interiorssneak peeks

A Charming Maine Home Crafted by Seasoned Renovators

by Rebekah Carey

When you see the sentimental details in Michelle and Ed’s home, the care that was taken with their space, and how personal and loved it feels, it’s hard to believe that they have only been living in it for the past two years. The couple’s timber frame Cape Cod style house could pass as being over a hundred years old, but it was constructed in 1986. In addition to creating homes together in the familial sense, Ed and Michelle have also been renovating houses as a team for 21 years — and they’ve lived in 15 of their projects.

Michelle and Ed spent most of their marriage in North Carolina, where they raised their daughters, and the last few years were spent between North Carolina and Maine. The couple created a lavender farm and wedding venue in Maine where they lived seasonally, but after selling the property they decided to relocate permanently to Alna, ME. While their girls are grown and off on their own, Michelle and Ed did have their two dogs (Abby and Mason) and three chickens that accompanied them in the move to their new home. Winters are spent with their dogs by their sides as they snowshoe along their property and summers bring grandkids swimming and playing in the water, and fresh-cut flowers from their gardens for Michelle’s floral work.

Amazingly, Ed was finishing a work project when they purchased their home — Michelle bought it without Ed ever seeing it in person. Being a seasoned pro, Michelle took a sledge hammer and started demo the day after they closed on the sale of the house. Their renovations took two months, and the cottage they had just sold had included all of their furnishings in the sale, meaning that the new home was a blank slate in every sense. The couple’s renovations on the 1,800-square-foot house helped to create a more open floor plan that makes it feel bigger than it is in reality. The home works for the couple’s careers as well, with Ed having a basement studio and Michelle having gardens and a screened-in porch that functions as a three-season floral design studio. Making a house a home is something Michelle and Ed are no strangers to, and this latest project of theirs is a testament to their deep understanding of that special skill. Rebekah

This post is brought to you by the Affordable Art Fair NYC. Find the artwork that brings your home to life at our spring fair, March 22 – 25! Explore two levels of original contemporary art, showcasing over 300 artist by 72 galleries from around the globe, with artworks priced from $100-$10,000.


Photography by Meredith Perdue 

Image above: Original ceilings left unpainted bring the eye up in the kitchen, add more visual space, and show incredible original details like the beautiful beams. 

The Homeowners In Their Maine Home With Full Tour On Design*Sponge

Michelle and Ed Peele in their home.

An Updated Kitchen In This Maine Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“My favorite view of our kitchen,” Michelle shares. “By adding a coat of paint to the existing cabinets and removing the uppers, we created a much lighter, more open space.”


A Vintage Inspired Rocking Chair In This Charming Maine Home On Design*Sponge

“We bought this rocker early on in our marriage and it makes for a great spot to sit with a cup of coffee in the morning,” Michelle explains.

A Bitty Mudroom With Welcoming Wallpaper On Design*Sponge

“When we were adding our tiny powder room just off of the mudroom this past fall, we decided to carry over the Hygge & West/Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper in the mudroom as well,” Michelle shares.

A Piece Of Art That Holds Special Memories Hangs Above The Bar On Design*Sponge

Sentimental details are peppered throughout the Peele home. “Our bar with a painting we picked up on a trip to Charleston, SC early on in our marriage.”

An Updated Fireplace Creates A Lighter Living Room In This Maine Home With Tour On Design*Sponge

While restoration was definitely kept in mind, updates that would bring in more light were also prioritized. “When we demoed the wall to the right of the fireplace, I also removed the raised wood panel on the chimney and the mantel, and then whitewashed the bricks to lighten everything up a bit.”

The Living Room In This Maine Home Tour Features Beautiful Lofted Ceilings Tour On Design*Sponge

“Coming from a history of living in much older homes with lower ceilings, we love how the vaulted ceilings in our living room help to make the room feel much bigger than it is,” Michelle shares. “A view of our living room and the stairs leading to the second floor.”

Locally Made Furniture Is Featured In This Maine Home On Design*Sponge

Locally made pieces also fill the home, “This handcrafted chair from local Maine furniture makers, Huston & Company, pairs perfectly with our teak dining table when we need an extra seat.”

Beautiful Beams Are Featured Throughout This Maine Home On Design*Sponge

Another angle of the living room shows the beautiful exposed ceilings that Michelle loves so much.

A Teak Dining Table Is Featured In The Historic Maine Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“Our dining area with a view of the river is one of the sunnier spots in our home,” Michelle shares.

Michelle Peele Working On A Floral Design In Her Maine Home On Design*Sponge

Michelle at work with one of her favorite mediums, floral design.

The Newly Updated Powder Room In This Maine Home On Design*Sponge

“Until November of this past year, we didn’t have a guest half bath on the first floor and guests were having to pass through our bedroom to use our bathroom,” Michelle explains, “so we repurposed half of our small mudroom to make a tiny powder room. “

A Small Powder Room Gets A Friendly Update Maine Home On Design*Sponge

A simple powder room gets special details in its update with wallpaper and bright paint. “It’s a tiny room, but the Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper for Hygge & West makes such a huge impact on the space — we love it!”

Living Room Stairwell In Classic Cape Cod Home On Design*Sponge

“Our last property was a lavender farm that we built from the ground up,” Michelle explains, “so to memorialize that time in our lives, we purchased this small painting from Jessie Mackay, a friend and artist from our hometown in North Carolina.”

Cape Cod Style Home Guest Bedroom On Design*Sponge

“One of the guest bedrooms upstairs — the slope of the classic Cape roof makes it feel quite small,” Michelle admits, “but luckily the ceiling is vaulted which gives a little more headroom to our visiting family and friends.”

Michelle Peele's Office Features Natural Light And One Or Two Dogs Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“My workspace, where one or both of the dogs can often be seen napping at my feet while I work,” Michelle shares.

A Maine Master Bedroom With Historic Details Seen On Design*Sponge

“We love waking up in this light-filled bedroom in the morning and watching the sunrise over the Sheepscot River.”

Shiplap In The Bathroom Draw The Eyes Up In This Maine Home On Design*Sponge

The lofted ceilings can be seen continued in the master bathroom as well, creating vertical space where it is otherwise limited.

Master Bathroom In Historic Cape Cod Home On Design*Sponge

A reconfigured bathroom plan created more space and a better layout.


“When we bought the home, the bathroom had the most awkward layout in order to accommodate the laundry facilities — the small vanity was flanked on either side by the washer and the dryer,” Michelle explains. “We were able to keep the laundry facilities in the bathroom, but by stacking them, we opened up enough space for a double vanity.”

A Bedroom Nook Perfect For Grandkids In This Maine Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“The grandchildren are still young enough that sleeping on this daybed is extra special, although we might need to come up with another plan as they get older.”

Cape Cod Style House In Maine Tour On Design*Sponge

“A snowy view of our Cape Cod style home.”

A Winter Wonderland Outside This Maine Home On Design*Sponge

“The view from our back deck of snow-covered Alna,” Michelle explains.

The Peele's What I Love Most About My Home Maine Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“What I love most about our house…the small but open floor plan, that’s both cozy and spacious.”

Maine Floor Plan Full Tour On Design*Sponge

Michelle and Ed’s floor plan.


Living Room
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Sofa- West Elm
Chairs- West Elm (no longer available)
Rug- Capel Rugs (no longer available)
Side Tables- West Elm
Rocking Chair- Wayfair (no longer available)
Media Cabinet- West Elm
Lamp On Media Cabinet- West Elm (no longer available)
Chair- West Elm (no longer available)
Vintage Grandfather Clock- Howard Miller
Rooster painting- Joan Williams
Painting above fireplace- Trish Deerwester
Painting near stairs- Jessie Mackay
Coffee Table- West Elm
Cairns- Mad River Glass Gallery
Floor Lamp- Target
Window Treatments- Smith & Noble

Cabinet Paint- Farrow & Ball, Pigeon
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Marble countertops + Soapstone Island- Midcoast Marble
Stools- Wayfair
Scones + Pendant- Cedar & Moss
Hardware- MyKnobs
Window Treatments- Smith & Noble
Art- Ned Parent
Bench- Vintage
Pillows- Home Remedies
Rocking Chair- Bob Timberlake
Lamp- Target

Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Marilyn’s Dress
Vanity- Wayfair
Window Treatments- Smith & Noble
Fixtures- Wayfair
Encaustic Art- Michelle Peele

Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Bed- West Elm
Trunk- vintage
Pillows + Bedding- Garnet Hill, Pottery Barn, Brahms Mount
Side Table- West Elm
Dresser- West Elm
Lamp- West Elm
Encaustic Art- Michelle Peele
Window Treatments- Smith & Noble

Guest Bedroom + Upstairs Nook
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Bed- Garnet Hill
Bedding- Garnet Hill + Pottery Barn
Art- Roberling + Len Block

Dining Room
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Table & Chairs- Island Teak
Shovel Chair- Huston & Company
Rug- Capel Rugs
Pendant- West Elm
Bar Cabinet- West Elm
Lamp- West Elm
Art- Jennifer Black
Bar Tray- Dwell Studio

Office Nook
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Wall Paint- Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace
Desk- Wayfair
Chair- Wayfair
Lamp- Target
Corner Chair- Charles Jacobs

Powder Room + Mudroom
Wallpaper- Rifle Paper Co. for Hygge & West
Trim Paint- Benjamin Moore, Simply White
Blue Door Paint- Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy
Bathroom Light- West Elm
Bathroom Mirror- Target
Sink, Faucet, Toilet- Signature Hardware
Window Treatment- Smith & Noble

Siding Paint- Sherwin Williams, Navajo White
Doors Paint- Farrow & Ball, Pigeon

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  • Wow, absolutely stunning. Love all the wood everywhere.
    (I also love that you don’t just spotlight young/hip/trendy folks, that you spotlight cool people like these guys!)

  • This home is stunning — one of my favorites in a long time! You’re right that this could easily pass for an historic home. It’s great inspiration for those of us looking for an older home in a market of 1980s+ houses.

    Thank you to the homeowners for graciously sharing their space.

    • My own home was built in the 80s and now I’m looking at it totally differently — you’re right, it’s really helpful inspiration!

  • I love this house! It’s beautiful. Thank you for featuring the homes of older individuals. (spoken as an older individual!) :)

    • Kim

      Thanks! We are working hard to make sure we do a better job of celebrating the stories of artists, designers, home owners and creatives with longer life experience. We’ll be posting more soon-


  • This house really speaks to me. Ed and Michelle have created a beautiful home and seem to have a beautiful life together. Wonderful!!

  • It’s so refreshing to see a home refinished by some folks with some life experience. We don’t all live in uber-hip pre-war Brooklyn apartments (not that I wouldn’t love to!) I absolutely love the warmth and artistry in this house. It’s so personal and yet well styled. They are such a lovely couple, too! #goals! Please continue to showcase a greater variety of homes and homeowners – this is a great start!

    • Nicole

      I hear you- and we will. It’s a big goal of ours to show home owners who aren’t all 20/30-something and in huge metro areas. I know it’s been a missing spot in our coverage and we are working to remedy that. Thanks for your patience. :)


  • There’s no way I would have guessed this home was built in the 80s. I like how the owners mixed more “trendy” things from places like West Elm with unique pieces and original art. It’s such a nice balance, and feels like they just picked things they loved rather than trying to create a particular look. I love it all, and really enjoyed Michelle and Ed’s story!

  • Also love their home and how well suited the furnishings are to the gorgeous frame. How refreshing to have such stylish and cool people of their generation featured. It feels like we’ve been missing this perspective!

    • Jen

      I agree. We’re working hard to make sure we include more voices from people of all ages, but especially those with more life experience :)


  • The warmth in this house is my favorite. I love all of the wood trim and beams. Plus the light- WOW! Thanks for featuring this “seasoned” couple of home renovators- their work is beautiful!

  • Question: why do people label ‘master bedroom’ when they only have a one bedroom home? Master bedroom to me means it is the largest bedroom, if there is only one, then it is simply the bedroom.

  • What a delight to know that there are talented home dwellers in all age groups! Thanks for sharing a home that is filled with charm, character, and love.

  • I would love to learn the source of the floor tile in their bathroom. It’s lovely! The entire abode is a perfect balance of charm and style.

  • I love this – it reminds me of and makes me nostalgic for my Aunt’s home where I spent s lot of time as a child. So sophisticated and yet so welcoming.

  • Wow! Truly amazing, the team who worked on this one does really have a good taste in making houses, they make dreams come true..

  • This is one of my favorite post yet, what a beautiful home! Where did you find that magazine rack in the small powder room afixed to the wall?

  • Love the light colours and especially the pastel blue on the kitchen cabinets. So much wood but evened out with use of some modern lamps.