An 1800s Coastal Cottage as Seen on the Magnolia Network
With the help of the entire MHD team, many of whom happen to be family, and a small army of local tradesmen, they pulled off the renovation with camera crews by their side. Blair’s Point of View episode aired last fall, and viewers quickly fell in love with her passion for historic preservation with a strong emphasis on sustainability. We’re thrilled to have Blair (a Design Camp alum) back on the blog as she shares about filming for television and what she learned throughout the process.
A Historic Coastal Cottage As Seen on The Magnolia Network
Project: Coasters Chance Cottage
Location: Cutler, Maine
Timeline: 4 months
Tell us about this project and the scope of work involved.
When Magnolia Network approached us about featuring our design firm on their new network, we really wanted to showcase something that was perfectly “us”. Our Coasters Chance Cottage has been in our family for over 30 years, and she desperately needed some love. We thought, why not showcase her beauty with the whole network?
This cottage in Maine is up near the Canadian border where the landscape is something out of a magical seafaring novel. She’s been the place for our family to cut ties from reality and just be present in nature. But, she’s needed some updates that we simply were not able to get around to until now.
This was a full-scale renovation in record TV time. The work included raising the barn, new foundations, new insulation, electrical, plumbing, exterior cladding, plus designing and building all of our own custom furniture pieces. We completed this project in less than four months. Yes—you read that right! Four months!
“This was a full-scale renovation in record TV time.”
Talk to us about the initial inspiration and the process of honing your vision?
For each project, we tend to go down a rabbit hole of research on the building and architecture. Then, bring in flow, function, and our Moore House flair. Historic preservation is integral to our ethos here at MHD. We knew we wanted to keep the barn feeling somewhat separate from the rest of the original 1800s Cape Cottage, while adding in modern yet somewhat feminine touches.
Slight curves on the rolled arm sofa give nods back to the cottage’s roots. We used a fabric that feels as though it’s been knitted by your grandmother but fits like a modern, crisp slipcover. Those details are what get me giddy every day to be in my dream job!
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What were some of the major pain points, and how did you problem-solve with design?
Timeline! A large part of the barn’s structure needed to be reworked, but we didn’t want to just fill her with new 2×8’s. We didn’t want to add anything structurally that wouldn’t have been used in the 1800s. In places where there was structural rot and deterioration, we found old 1800s mortise and tenon beams to reuse within her instead of new wood, which is not nearly as strong. Searching and application from our construction team was one of the hardest and most labor-intensive components. We are lucky to have such an incredible team to ensure the preservation of the home always stays in tack.
Can you share what it was like filming this project with The Magnolia Network?
We had a dream team on this project—a group of amazing guys from Maine that were as excited to work with us as we were them. The timelines are tight with TV (tighter than you can even imagine), but when you work with some incredible people, time flies and everything gets done.
“We didn’t want to add anything structurally that wouldn’t have been used in the 1800s.”
Did filming this project for television help inform any timeline, design, or styling decisions?
You have to be fast, concise, and determined to execute anything for TV. This was actually a breath of fresh air. We were the clients here, so we were able to make decisions swiftly, and we had an amazing team.
Tell us what made working on this particular project so special?
My biggest thing from the beginning was creative freedom, and Magnolia was the right network to work with on this project. They were incredibly supportive and a dream team to work with!
Want to experience the magic of Maine for yourself? You can book a stay at Coasters Chance Cottage through Moore House boutique stays.
BY: ANASTASIA CASEY
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