As one of the most scenic states in the country, Maine is an inspiration for many architects and designers. One architect has managed to use his family’s love of the idyllic state to build a beautiful, solar-powered home on a remote island off its coastline. Architect Noel Fedosh of LUNO Design Studio designed the Seal Cove Residence for his parents, whose love of color and whimsy was embedded into the quirky design.
The 1,500-square-foot home is surrounded by the wilderness found on the remote island of Isle Au Haut. The island had been used for the family for years as a special place to enjoy camping vacations. While in the past they stayed in the local lighthouse bed & breakfast, the family decided it was finally time to build their own home to enjoy the picturesque location on a more permanent basis.
The parents are known for their colorful personalities and hobbies, which include solar eclipse chasing and collecting local art pieces. Tasking their son Noel with the design, they wanted to be sure the home represented their love of quirky art and vibrant colors.
The resulting Seal Cove Residence manages to encompass not only the family’s unique personality but also some practical features that make the home sustainable. The L-shaped volume is topped with dual pitched roofs. The architect decided to use a natural, muted palette on the exterior so that he could add a few whimsical touches, such as the colorful patchwork siding that wraps around the home.
The colorful tiles were actually inspired by Maine’s lobster industry. Local fishermen often hang their specially marked buoys on the side of their houses when they are not being used, creating a playful and personalized look to their homes. Using this as his guide, Noel created a vibrant siding that blended his parents’ love of color with vernacular architecture.
Inside, bright colors abound in various forms. The interior layout follows an open plan with plenty of room for socializing. At the heart of the home is the large kitchen, which also features the same colorful wall tiles as the exterior. Bamboo flooring contrasts with the white walls. Fun accessories, such as netted lamps and an upside-down boat hanging from the ceiling, pay homage to the local fishing industry.
The home was also designed to use both active and passive features to reduce its energy use. The rooftop was installed with a large solar array that generates ample energy for the home, including the solar water heater. Additionally, the home’s orientation was strategic to make the most of solar gain during the winter and minimize its impact in the summer.
Photography by Trent Bell Photography via LUNO Design Studio