House with the Essence of a New England Barn
Calahan’s house in Maine’s Penobscot Bay. Around 350 people live on North Haven year-round, and they’re fiercely proud of their island.
The pair have summered on North Haven for years; Callahan bought a house there in the late 1970s and has been back every year.
Though it may not strictly ad here to the local aesthetic, the house takes its cues from a humble and prevalent form of local architecture: the boat barn. “We wanted the essence of a New England barn,” says Callahan. “The house is like a sculpture, a piece of jazz, like a riff on barnness.” The couple had initially planned two structures on their land, but when Campbell delivered exactly what they had imagined, the desire to build the second evaporated. “The fantasy with this house,” he continues, “was that someone had built a boathouse and then abandoned it. You go to some of these old structures in Maine and think to yourself, I could live here. You know, this really isn’t far off from livable.”
Campbell’s Little Bird swing flies high alongside modern classics like the Eames shell chairs and Saarinen Tulip table.
The kitchen, complete with an Aga stove, is framed by modular shelves and helps heat the sleeping nook directly above it.
Looking from the kitchen out to the sea, one sees the simplicity of Campbell’s design. Whether the long balmy nights of August or the raging winter winds, little seems to alter the tranquility achieved inside Callahan and Hayes’s summer home.
The master bedroom opens up to the sea “like a maw,” says Callahan, who is delighted with the high ceilings and expansive space. Callahan and Hayes’s full-time residence in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a 1734 farmhouse with, as she puts it, “small, dark rooms and very low ceilings.” Rolling drawers under the bed and window seat allow for considerable storage while keeping the room clutter-free. His-and-hers desks flank the window seat in a room one is loath to ever leave.
Campbell placed twin sinks in the master bathroom.
The roll-up garage doors on the ocean-facing facade open onto a large deck. From the living room the deck appears to extend right out to the sea like a floating dock.
A stop at the outdoor shower reveals the red steel frame beneath the wooden siding.
Views of the Penobscot Bay from the house’s small beach remain spectacular even with a blanket of February snow.
Photos by Raimund Koch