an island haven

orrs island, maine

What kid hasn’t dreamt of living on an island? Drowning in a sea of rewarding, yet tiring business, many adults find themselves investing in a peaceful retreat on Maine’s coast for the summer months.

Our client, Jim, has one such beautiful retreat that he’s been working to shore up and update for his family for years of summer vacations to come. Much of the renovation was done in pine and cedar, and he wanted a stairway to match. He had sourced some 3.5” thick fir planks from a factory building circa 1910, hopeful to use them on a new set of stairs. When he sent us the pictures of the reclaimed materials he wanted to use, we geeked out a bit over the beautiful, old wood!

our preliminary designs

We drew up this design to follow with Jim’s original request and to work with the size of materials he had. But in thinking through his space and how nice it was to see the ocean from the kitchen (situated at the other end of the first floor), we also presented him with another design potential.  We recommended sawing the fir planks thinner and using them instead as the stair’s treads (the part your foot steps on) and as the landing at the top of the stairs for continuity. We could then give a more seamless look with wire railings for an unobstructed ocean view.

the finished stairs

Those gorgeous reclaimed planks were repaired and stablilized with epoxy to preserve the character and add strength to the antique timbers. We even worked in a little storage area behind the stairs in cedar that works great for a dog bed or a little grandchild playing hide and seek!  We think the finished stairs not only integrates well in the space but will be something that serves Jim’s family well for generations to come.

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