Is This Beach House New or Old?

This new “old” home idea is totally winning me over. I’ve always dreamed of living in an old home but sometimes while watching TV shows like This Old House, Rehab Addict and Love It or List It, I get a little nervous thinking about the upkeep and sometimes hidden problems found in old homes, things like knob and tube wiring and poor insulation. More and more I’m loving the idea of building a new “old” home.

Whitten Architects is one of the companies out there that’s building new homes. When they build a home in an established community, you would be hard-pressed to guess if the home is new or if it’s old. They look like old homes that have been well-kept since they blend in seamlessly with their surrounding neighbors.

This lovely cottage located on the coast of Maine is a great example!

Oceanfront Cottage Built To Look Old


I love this side view of the home showing all the various gables and windows, something you almost never see on modern day new homes.

Build a New Old House


An oceanside view…

A New Beach Cottage With Historial Design


Love the big screened porch, perfect for enjoying the salt-air breezes and incredible views. We’ll go out on the upstairs balcony in this tour.

A New Beach Cottage With Historial Design 04


The screened porch has a fabulous stone fireplace for chilly nights. The information about this house said it has a rain screen wall system. Even after googling, I’m not quite sure what that is, but it sounds like a great innovation for oceanside homes.

Screened Porch with Stone Fireplace


Beautiful welcoming entry! Love the sunshine color of the hardwood flooring, so light and bright for this cheerful beach home. Love the wall color, too!

Cottage Entry with Bench Seat


Perfect spot to sit while taking off wet boots or shoes.

Beach Cottage Style


A cozy living room with Mission style furnishings. I wasn’t sure if this was Mission or Shaker style furniture. Thanks to Gayle for identifying it as Mission. Here’s a bit of information I found online HERE describing the difference:

The first fundamental difference between Shaker- and Mission-style furniture is the wood. Shakers used local American woods such as pine, maple and cherry to craft their furniture, but for most Shaker furniture, maple was the wood of choice. Mission-style furniture is traditionally made from oak, with an emphasis on straight vertical and horizontal lines and flat planes that help accentuate the natural wood grain. Exposed joinery on Mission furniture brings attention to the craftsmanship, while the minimalist design of Shaker furniture focuses on functionality.

Cozy Cottage Living Room


Love how the glass canisters look on the shelves in this warm, inviting kitchen.

Shaker Style Kitchen


There are so many different choices now for kitchen countertops: soapstone, slate, silestone, concrete, quartz, marble, granite. Wonder what they used for this kitchen? It would be so hard choosing today with so many great options.

Beach Cottage Kitchen with Natural Cabinetry


This may sound weird but this hallway is one of my favorite rooms in the home. I LOVE it when hallways are lined with built-in bookcases. It makes the space feel warm and inviting and completely un-hall-like. It gives the space a real purpose instead of it just being a pathway to another area of the home. If your hallways are wide enough, line them with beautiful bookcases. Make use of that “hidden-in-plain-sight” extra storage space.

Hallway Bookcases


All the bedrooms in the home have wonderful ocean views.

Beach Cottage Bedroom


Love a great attic bunk room. They are perfect for visiting friends and family, especially grandchildren.

Beacj Cottage Attic Bunkroom


This bedroom also has an ocean view.

Nautical Bedding for Beach Cottage


This cozy reading nook is another one of my favorite rooms in this beach cottage. It’s unexpected, quirky spaces like this that  give this home a lot of historical charm. There’s the balcony we saw from below…let’s check it out.

Reading Nook for a Beach Cottage


Wow, what a view!

Shingle Style Beach Cottage


You can see more of this wonderful oceanside cottage at Whitten Architects where they photos were found.

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  1. Lisa N Smith says

    Wiiliam T. Baker and Assosciates in Atlanta has a wonderful reputation and does terrific designs of home that look and feel old! He did our main home in Milton and it feels like New England or Williamsburg, Va.. He, also, helped when we rebuilt our home on Sea Island and it feels like an old place in the Hamptons.

  2. I have ALWAYS loved old homes and my husband I looked at a few in our town’s historic district when we were last looking to move. After much thought we purchased a new townhouse because neither of us have the time or talent to lavish on an older home. If I had the means I would love to build a “new” old home.

  3. crumpety cottage says

    New Old Homes are the best! I love them. I love the porch and ocean view in this home.

    The bunk room is awesome! I’d like that as a master, actually. And I love the cheery and practical entry, as well. I’m also a ‘book cases in hall’ gal and I plan to have mine lighted when (if) we build because that is a design feature I have wanted for years. I like hallways, but if there are no windows, it makes sense to have lighted bookshelves. So pretty.

    This was a great home tour to share, Susan. 🙂 Thanks.

    • I love the lighted idea, especially if it’s the picture lighting that hangs above and shines down on the books. It would really light up a dark hallway! Great idea, Pam!

      • crumpety cottage says

        Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind. I’d like mine to be a little heavier on the molding than those pictured here. Particularly on the top. And the molding that comes down in front (from the ceiling) would hide the little recessed lights. I think it would be beautiful and give a nice atmosphere at night as you moved about the house.

        Also, I forgot (do that a lot these days) to mention the stair ends showing through the wall above the bookcases on the right. What’s that all about? Lol. At first I thought that actually WAS the stairs and they had just put the bookshelves alongside the lower part. Then I realized that was striped wallpaper, not balustrades, lol. Anyway, I’ve never seen that done before!

        • I know, in the picture it looks like stairs because I see treads. I wonder if it has a back staircase. I can’t quite figure that out either.

  4. crumpety cottage says

    I forgot to say, Happy St. Patty’s Day. 😀

  5. Charlotte says

    I LOVE this charming house! I have always wanted to live inMaine, and this house fits the bill. (If only I could afford it!) The hallways lined with books is perfect, just like you said, to make hallways more than areas to just pass through. And it DOES look like an older, well kept home. I’ve said for years this is the kind of home I’d want too, for the exact same reasons you say. Everything about the home and the location is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Charlotte, I so agree, except for the Maine part. 🙂 I’m not a big fan of cold weather. I wish my upstairs hallway was wide enough to do this!

  6. Kathy Schmitt says


  7. The HGTV show with Nicole Curtis is actually called “Rehab Addict” although she often does deal with attics!

  8. Marlene Stephenson says

    It is good to see architects bringing back a lot of the things in new houses they have in old ones. I can remember living in some old houses when i was little and all the hidden spaces that were in them.

    • Marlene, isn’t it interesting how classic design seems to always return. Hardwood flooring got pushed aside for carpeting and now hardwood flooring is all the rage again. You can never go wrong with good traditional design. I love those hidden nooks and spaces…those are what give a house its personality.

  9. What a beautiful and classic home. The kitchen isn’t my favorite, but I can appreciate the classic style. A beautiful home with a beautiful view. All those books in the hallway, fabulous!

  10. crumpety cottage says

    Ugh. I keep noticing other things. (sorry) Susan, do you think that’s a radiator behind the bed in the bunk room?! Wow, I wouldn’t expect to see radiators in a new house, even a new ‘old’ house. 😀 Maybe that room is over the garage and that is one of those separate heat and air units.

    I grew up in an old house with radiators. Seems so funny and old fashioned now. Well, of course it IS old fashioned now. I remember we’d have to be careful because they could really burn you if you backed into one!

    • I don’t think it’s a radiator exactly. The description at the website says that it has “spray-foam insulation, geothermal heating with radiant floor delivery, and heat recovery ventilation.” I think geothermal means it takes the heat from the earth but not sure how it works exactly. Sounds pretty hightech and energy efficient, though.

    • gayle jolluck says

      I noticed the radiator also…not a good idea for bed placement unless it’s a seasonal thing…

  11. This home is breath taking! Those built in book shelves in the hall way are amazing. The foyer is beautiful and practical. The attic bunk room is probably my favorite with the slanted ceilings, such character. I wonder, does the kitchen offer a view of the water? Thanks for sharing Susan!

  12. rattlebridge farm says

    I love new/old houses, too. This house has many beautiful features. I love the book-lined hallway. If I have room in the ranchburger’s hall, I’d love to add (shallow) shelves.

  13. Hi – me again – yes you’ve done it again Susan – finding yet another perfect house that I truly love….. it’s just simply beautiful, thank you. Time to dream about winning the lottery – again ……. xxx

  14. Susan, you outdid yourself with this one, and that’s saying a lot! This home has stolen my heart. Everything is done with such care and attention to detail, and the view is beyond gorgeous!!

    I agree that new ‘old’ homes are the best of both worlds, but there’s something to be said for what Nicole Curtis does. I want to be her in my next life, not only because she rocks, but I WANT HER HAIR!! lol

  15. I love the placement of the canisters and the spice racks. Type of open airy kitchen I want. But not sure if I want white or a light brown color wood like that.

  16. I love this home, it seems to have so many cozy places. The kitchen is so spacious, views from almost everywhere in the home, and I agree the hallway is a great place to get lost in. I would move in tomorrow, if I could skip the cold of Maine. Thank you for sharing

  17. gayle jolluck says

    The furniture and kitchen design you referred to as
    shaker is actually Arts and Craft or mission style as is many other pieces shown…Very suitable for the style of the home, altho not my cup of tea…

  18. I remember this home being featured in one of my magazines a few years ago. I was smitten with it then and now! Can’t remember which magazine, though!

  19. Love love love this house! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. As to the rainscreen wall system : A rainscreen is an exterior wall detail where the siding (wall cladding) stands off from the moisture-resistant surface of an air barrier applied to the sheathing (sheeting) to create a capillary break and to allow drainage and evaporation. (hope that helps)

  20. Billy Joel once said…I think this is exact…”I like the way old things look…but I like the way new things work.” I think he said it regarding cars….but I think it fits for houses too! We had a 100 year old home, our son and his friends lived in it during college….we fixed it up…oh my, what a project! Sounded like a good idea at the time, but, lots of work…and you never knew what you were going to find! That is a beautiful home you featured…best part is it’s new! 😉

  21. Lovely home! I do hope this is a trend that catches on. I just have one question about the bookcase hallway – what’s up with the stairs? From the picture it looks like they are accessed in the room at the end? The placement just looks weird.

  22. This is a lovely home and I appreciate all of the vintage style details. Very livable and a home to pass on to generations. I think that the kitchen counters are soapstone.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  23. You may be interested in another company that is one of the leaders in the “New Old Home” industry. They are based in Vermont and build the most beautiful homes. The vernacular is primarily New England styled, of course. Check out Enjoy!

  24. wow… what a great house.. love everything about it.
    All the gables, dormers etc and as you said you rarely if ever see those features on a typical NEW home.
    I’d love to have a new home built in the old style… best of both worlds 🙂

  25. Susan,
    Love the house. I could unpack a suitcase and settle right in. The bookcase lined hall reminds me of the upstairs hall in my own house. We removed the 8 foot wide closet and made the L shape hall wider. The light from bedrooms isn’t blocked and there is space for the oak curio/secretary (from grandma), reading chair, and floorlamp. The chair is out for new upholstery. It is a cozy room instead of a pathway. Nicest thing we did.
    Can send photos when it’s back.
    I also vote for the newer “old” house. For some it is the best of both worlds.

    • Please do, I would love to see it! Yep, I’m gradually being wooed over to the new “old” house concept. All of the shows on TV about renovating old houses has made me wary of ever buying one. It takes some deep pockets and/or a lot of DIY labor to own one.

  26. This home is beautiful, but I would hardly call it a “cottage”…it’s huge! (even if it is decorated in a cottage style)

  27. I love, love, love when a new home or addition is blended into the neighborhood. Not saying match, but harmonize rather than blaring how different it is.

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