When interior designer Christina Salway and her husband John first laid eyes on what would become their vacation home in Stonington, ME, they thought, “No way!” Yes it was a block from the coast and the price was right, but the home had been abandoned for five years, and time hadn’t been its friend. But with a little help from their talented group of friends and some unmatched dedication, they’ve since turned the abandoned space into a cheery and bright oasis.
The first step in the process was ridding the home of the mounds of trash and leftover junk that occupied it. For three days the couple heaved bags and bags out of the property until all that was left were bare walls… covered in out-there paint colors. One bedroom, for example, had lime walls outlined in pink trim, and the dining area was home to a blinding shade of purple. Even worse, the room destined to be the owners’ suite featured yellow walls with Kelly green trim.
Christina and John quieted these loud touches with coats of warm white paint, effectively creating a backdrop that plays better with many types of decorations. From there, the couple sourced accessories from Craigslist and other secondhand shops. Between the collection of lobster knickknacks waving at guests in the kitchen to the first floor’s wooden sailboats, it’s not hard to find the common thread: the surrounding seaside community.
While daunting, the process of breathing new life into the dilapidated home was made easier by Christina and John’s skillful friends. In exchange for their help fixing up the property, the couple gifted their cohorts with weekends at the home. “Some will be traveling with their young families,” Christina begins, “some will be taking the time as an artist retreat, and some plan to simply go to the beach with friends.” Clearly, this is one home that will be enjoyed by many for many years to come. Scroll down to see the full makeover, and when you’re done check out our coverage of their previous project: Little King Bar. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Christina Salway
Image above: “The first obstacle we encountered was clearing out the house. It had been unoccupied for about five years, and the last tenants had lived hard in the house. There were inches of dog and cat hair, dozens of fish tanks, piles of broken furniture and mattresses… and just so much trash. We filled three dumpsters in three days,” the couple tells us.
White walls throughout – Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
Kitchen cabinetry paint – Benjamin Moore “Gentleman’s Gray”
Son’s room paint – Benjamin Moore “Quiet Moments”
Son’s gingham bedding – Target
Cabinetry – IKEA
Hallway/bathroom floor paint – Benjamin Moore “Wythe Gold”
Lighting – Leanne Ford for Target
Curtains, bunk bed – IKEA