Magical Maine


Vogue.com posted a photo of this house in Maine in their Best Hostess Gift guide recently and it reminded me how much I love this house.  Some of you might remember that it was published in the first issue of Vogue Living in 2006.  The house known as Mitchell Cottage, was built in 1916 for Philadelphia businessman J. Kearsley Mitchell who had just married the daughter of a partner of J.P. Morgan.  The house sat vacant for many years after Michell was involved in a murder scandal.  What I didn't remember about the house was that Kirstie Alley and her then husband Parker Stevenson bought the house in 1991 and turned it into the Islesboro Inn.  They also managed to hire the legendary retired decorator Sister Parish to help decorate it.  It was later bought by Gwen and John McCaw who hired their friend from Los Angeles, interior designer Windsor Smith who simplified the house.

A photo of the house from Vogue by Arthur Elgort.

A look at the front of the house.
Gwen and her children on the lawn. The property also boats a three bedroom guesthouse, a swimming pool, classic clay tennis court, small boathouse, and deep water pier. 

An old photo of the porch with the striped awnings.

Under Windsor Smith's guidance, the house because much cleaner but definitely not boring.  In the Vogue article, the owner says, "because it's such an architecturally beautiful house, I felt I could decorate in a really clean way-that it didn't need too much. Of course, we also wanted everything machine-washable and kid-friendly."

The chairs are Sister Parish originals that were reupholstered.

The trellis walls are the pièce de résistance of the house and were originally restored by Sister Parish.


One of the girl's bedrooms.

One of Gwen's daughter's sitting on the Chloe Sofa designed by Windsor Smith.

The boy's bathroom is papered in marine blueprints.

Another old look at the house from Gilkey Harbor.  I am really surprised that the house hasn't been photographed for any other publications.  I'd really love to see the rest of the interior and grounds.  There is nothing that says summer more to me than the relaxing magic of Maine.

Photos by Arthur Elgort for Vogue scanned in by moi


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