Name: Laura, Bob, Conor, and Frederick Ker
Location: Back Cove; Portland, Maine
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Owned
When Laura and Bob moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Portland, Maine, they knew exactly what they wanted: to be closer to family and to have more space. They've not only created a stylish home for their family, but also opened Find, a buy-trade-sell boutique which has become a staple in the Portland shopping scene. When she's not parenting, DIY-ing, or running a business, Laura somehow finds time to document street style in and around the city on her blog, Maine Streets.
It is challenging to keep a home stylish when there are kids in the equation. Decorating with clean lines and robust materials is a smart way to keep things attractive, as the mid-century Scandinavian furnishings in the Kers' living room perfectly illustrate. Timeless, functional, and modern, these period pieces have been made to stay. The same thing applies in the dining room, where a sturdy black wooden table makes the space feel sophisticated. It also doubles as an atelier table when the kids decide to get in touch with their inner artists and spread the surface with paintings and colorful, liquid, sticky substances.
The sunny living room, with its gigantic window, makes it tempting to forget the outside world. It is an ideal spot to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon sipping mimosas, listening to old vinyl records, and catching up on a pile of magazines most of us never seems to have time to read.
The bedroom has a very Impressionist, cottage-chic feel; blame it on the filtered light that only skylights can create. This special glow from above is the best home accent, bringing a magic mood in which time seems to have stopped. Instead of hiding her jewelry, memorabilia, souvenirs, and curiosities in drawers and cabinets, Laura displays it all. It is a spontaneous, stylish mess that looks like a private art installation and makes the room very warm and personal. Displaying personal belongings and sentimental objects is a great way to reclaim a space and tell our unique story.
Laura and Bob have been busy creating a homey, intimate atmosphere in this cozy mix-n-match nest, which is full of favorite treasures, why-nots, and so many other possibilities.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Bold and graphic, mid-century modern.
Inspiration: The house itself. It was built in 1959, and even though it's a standard style for the times, it is a great solid house with good bones. The mid-century modern style works well in it; we can just buy furniture when we find it and know it will look great.
Favorite Element: The living room. We love the big window; the daylight is great there. We are proud to finally have a great living room without a TV in it!
Biggest Challenge: It's a small house and we are now a family of 4 , so keeping clutter under control is a huge challenge.
What Friends Say: It's so colorful! (I am not sure that's a compliment, ha ha)
Biggest Embarrassment: I cannot for the life of me keep the dining room table clutter-free for more than one day!
Proudest DIY: The Mario Bros. mural on Conor's bed. My dad made that bed for me from scratch when I was 6, so I am very happy that Conor is using it now, and that I could customize it for him.
Biggest Indulgence: The chairs and couch in the living room were a big splurge for us. But they were so perfect for the space, and we bought them from this lovely couple who have a shop in our hometown. No regrets there!
Best Advice: When house-hunting, don't judge a house by its exterior!
Dream Sources: All of Scandinavia.
- Furniture: vintage
- Wall hanging: Marimekko
- Rug: Nate Berkus for Target
- Side table: vintage
- Dining table and chairs: Marden's
- Highchair: Stokke, in custom color
- Pendant lamp: Ikea
- Wall hanging: Pendleton
- Curtains: handmade
- Curtain rods: Ikea
- Bedspread: Target
- Dressers: vintage
- Bed: handmade by Laura's father
- Mario Bros. mural: DIY by Laura
- Crib: Dwell Studio for Target
- Wolf wall hanging: Vintage
- Rug: Target
- Dressers: vintage, Target
- Bookshelves: vintage, Target
- Curtains: handmade
- Lamp: Target
- Chair: Target
- Moon chair: DIY by Laura
- Pillow: Forever 21
- Watering can: Lowe's
- Toy collection: Playmobil
- Shower curtain: Target
- Window curtain: handmade
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