Mobile Design Studio Creates a Home away from Home

A Boston-based family worked with Mobile Studio Design and Bowley Builders to design their perfect Maine getaway
Words By Anna Mangum
Photos By Liz Daly
Architect:Mobile Studio Design|Landscape Architect:David Maynes Studio|Builder:Bowley Builders|Structural Engineer:Structural Integrity Landscape|Cabinetry:Derek Preble|Landscape Installer:Salmon Falls|Select Furnishings:Tyler Karu
The home reflects the updated vernacular of beach homes trending in Kennebunkport, proving there are more ways to fit in than just cedar shingles.

A Boston-based family fell in love with Maine and wanted to put down roots somewhere they could bring their kids for weekend getaways. They turned to Jessica Jolin of Mobile Studio Design because they appreciated her understated style. She and fellow architect Leah Schaffer worked closely with cabinetmaker Derek Preble to design a clean and modern home with neutral colors. She says, “A warm, natural palette of white oak, black slate, and neutral colors repeats throughout the house on varied planes, bringing a cohesiveness to the home.” Derek, Jessica, and Leah have been working together on projects for years and have a deep understanding of each other’s stylistic choices.

Derek Preble made all the built-ins in the kitchen, as well as the dining room table welded to look like a folding table.

Inside, every room fits together seamlessly. The cabinetry doesn’t demand attention but fades into the home’s design. “I made a lot of built-ins that were meant to go away,” Derek says. “I wanted what I created to become a part of the house.” In the dining room, a table was inspired by the shape of a folding table and matches the stools. Everything that Derek made was intended to have a subtle look—everything, that is, except the primary bath vanity, which was meant to be a statement piece.

Materials repeated throughout the home show up in unexpected ways, like these slate vertical subway tiles.
The design emphasizes the importance of indoor/outdoor living with a courtyard in the back and plentiful windows.
Another example where slate appears in the home—this time as a countertop to the bathroom sink. 

Outdoors, the house is adjacent to conservation land. Landscape architect David Maynes used this to focus on privacy and a sense of containment. Unlike most front doors, theirs is not on the street side, giving the house a tucked-away sensation. There is an intimate and laid-back feeling once inside. The bedrooms were intentionally designed small to encourage the family members to spend more time in the common spaces. Framed views allowed for carefully selected glimpses of the outdoors, such as the impressive, exposed rock faces from blasting the ledge on-site.  

Overall, their collaboration with Bowley Builders led to a beautiful home—one of the many that this group has worked on together. Even the clients’ children were part of that collaboration. Jessica laughs, “I remember their three-year-old son showed up to a site visit with a toy tool kit!”

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