Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our Summer + Guest Bedroom in Castine, Maine

Hello, and welcome back ~

Hope you've had a relaxing and fun summer. Didn't this season fly by? There is still plenty of good weather ahead, so let's not bid summer farewell just yet.

I plan on enjoying a few garden walks in DC - Dumbarton Oaks and Hillwood are two favorites. In addition, I've got a ton of catching up to do in our garden. Ridiculous how fast weeds can take over when one is away!

Tom and I were fortunate to spend much of July and August in Castine, Maine. Loved every minute of our time there.....well, almost. We did watch a rare microburst hurl a giant horse chestnut tree from across the street into our backyard, bringing down a section of the power lines. Scary! The tree crushed many of the ferns but, miraculously, missed the house, car and other trees all by inches. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
After the tree cleanup, we readied the house for my family. Three sisters, two brothers-in-law, and two nieces visited and stayed with us. None of them had been to Castine or Maine before, so it was exciting to show them around town as well as the surrounding areas. Here are highlights:
We woke up before the peak of dawn to catch the sunrise over the town dock in Castine. Looks like someone was up even earlier than us - do you see the person rowing out to the harbor (above)?
Stunning, is it not?
BELOW: Another day, another stunning sunrise! This one over at the swimming pool across from Wadsworth Cove. The pool is actually a shallow swimming pond that is tidally fed, and the water is slightly warmer than in the ocean.
My nieces, Monica and Tiffany (cousins), stopping for a photo moment during our walk around Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park. They both just graduated from college - so proud of them! Love you girls!!
With crystal-clear water, framed views of the Bubbles (two mountains), and graveled paths meandering through lush woodlands, this leisurely 3.5 mile hike is highly enjoyable. We didn't make it around the full loop, as it was time to have lunch at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant. The restaurant is famous for their mouthwatering popovers - a light, hollow roll made from egg batter.
On top of the world at Cadillac Mountain! 
Not far from Acadia is the enchanting Thuya Garden with its lovely English-style borders interspersed with plantings of native Maine floras. 
No visit to Downeast Maine is complete without a cruise around the Penobscot Bay to watch the locals go out to sea, check their lobster traps, etc.
 Over at Buck's Harbor in Brooksville, we all wanted to downsize to this teeny-tiny house complete with solar panels on the roof :)
The rocky coastline of Maine is dotted with many historic lighthouses, and seeing them from the sea is exhilarating - just don't get too close to those rocks!

Top left: Spring Point Ledge, South Portland
Top right: Curtis Island, Camden
Bottom left: Grindel Point, Islesboro
Bottom right: Pumpkin Island

 After sightseeing each day, we'd come home to rest for a couple of hours before my sisters would cook up a storm in the kitchen. I, sadly, didn't inherit the family cooking skills, so while they made dinner, I spiffed up the house. 

Here is one of the guest bedrooms finished just in time for my nieces. With five bedrooms, our house is rather big, and rarely are all five used at once. I kept that in mind while furnishing this room located on the third floor. Everything found was budget friendly.
Let's start with the Ikea finds. Twin beds were chosen for flexibility. Selected these Duken beds for their simple, clean lines and low headboards - great for the lower ceiling up there. Plus, the white-painted steel frames and mesh panels are easy to wipe clean. Having less than 30 inches between the beds, I picked the 18" Hemnes nightstand with drawer and shelf. The mattresses and boxsprings also came from Ikea. As did the summery bedding with blue-and-white ticking.
Next up are the accessories from HomeGoods. Remember nothing pricey or precious! Scored these mirrors with rope handles accented with brass anchors - purrrrrfect for seaside Castine! So is the seascape painting. To ground the light palette, I chose a wooden lamp to go between the beds, and a glass lamp with jute webbing for texture (shown below). 
As mentioned, this is located on the third floor (which was once the attic prior to being enlarged during the Victorian period). There are two pitched walls with charming dormer windows flooding the room with light. To keep it cool and private, Tom installed vinyl (gasp!) roller shades for practicality.
It's always a good idea to have a desk or table for guests to work on their laptops, etc. This corner called for something round, so I went with the Odyssey table from CB2. It brings a modern touch to our 211-year old home. Casbah outdoor wicker chair came from Pier 1.
Doesn't this lamp remind you of the old glass fishing floats?
One last accessory: a fun outdoor pillow from Crate and Barrel's clearance bin. 
The girls told us their room was very comfortable. And they were relieved that we had Wi-Fi  :)
 After dinner each night, we'd head over to the Backshore Beach at Wadsworth Cove to catch the spectacular sunsets, which occasionally included a bit of horsing around. That's Monica trying to drop her aunt My (My is my sister) into the frigid water. Monica didn't succeed, how unfortunate! 
 Until next time!
Cheers,
Loi