Take a Look Inside This Snow-Covered Farmhouse

Photography by Jeff Roberts Photography

By Karen Callaway

When Jonny and Susie Marshall’s four daughters grew up and left home, the large, century-old house in Portland, Maine, where the family had lived for three decades no longer suited their empty-nester needs. The couple turned to longtime friend Nicola Manganello, the creative force behind the design company Nicola’s Home in nearby Yarmouth, to build a farmhouse cottage that embraced this new stage of their life.

The Marshalls have known this designer extraordinaire since she was a child and have enjoyed watching her artistic talents develop, so it was a natural fit for them to work together. Nicola was hands on with every stage of the home-building process, from working alongside the architect and choosing materials to selecting home furnishings and fittings. “She guided me every step of the way,” Susie says. “It was a seamless project, from the architect to the contractors to the men who put in the cobblestone driveway—it was all under this great ‘Nicola umbrella.’”

Located near the Atlantic Coast in a small enclave developed by Nicola’s Home, the structure may resemble a simple Maine farmhouse on the outside, but inside it’s a breathtaking juxtaposition of old and new elements. “Susie wanted it to feel like a mountain house, so she selected very rustic finishes, like the pebble shower in the master bath and hand-scraped oak floors,” Nicola says. “They wanted great storage and amenities and, the best part, all new furniture.”

Photography by Jeff Roberts Photography

For the main level, Susie and Nicola collaborated to create a tranquil master retreat bathed in light, where birch bark-patterned wallpaper lends texture and ties the space to the surrounding woods, visible from the cozy window seat. It’s perfect for curling up with a cup of coffee and a good book. A pebble shower brings rustic yet refined style to the master bath.