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Emmy-Winning Host Renovates Seaside Cottage in Maine

Long-time fans of This Old House will no doubt recognize today’s Featured Customer. Steve Thomas hosted the popular home improvement show for 14 years and calls himself a serial renovator after almost 20 years of renovating two dozen homes. His latest project is a circa 1903, shingle-style cottage in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine. Named Sea Cove Cottage, this renovation is more personal to Steve as it’s the winter home for he and his wife Evy and their two standard poodles.


“It’s one of the iconic houses in the village and I wanted to do a sympathetic renovation/restoration to bring it back to its splendid original state,” Steve says. “It was a full gut renovation using everything I’ve learned about sustainable building techniques — very energy efficient, low maintenance, simple robust design inside and out, and high-quality fixtures, materials and fittments.”


Since winters in Maine are long and dark, Steve and Evy wanted fixtures that made a cheerful statement. The front porch of Sea Cove Cottage welcomes visitors with a gorgeous Zuri compass rose accent in the decking and two Seaside Wall Sconces flanking the front door.


These American-made wall lights are customized with 12″ shades, a creamy Jadite finish, and dusk-to-dawn photocells that turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. The long-lasting porcelain enamel finish on these wall sconces will never fade and require minimal maintenance.


“We love the durability and the color which pops both winter and summer,” Steve notes. “We painted the porch ceiling the same colors — it just says ‘Sea Cove Cottage.'”


“They are distinctive and yet whimsical which matched our vision for the cottage,” Evy adds. Inside, the couple stayed with the wavy shade style but used the Seaside Studio Light over the sink.


“This pendant had just the right look and color and it has a slim profile so we can enjoy the village view out the window,” Evy notes. “Our designer suggested it and we loved it.” The hand-crafted ceiling pendant is customized with a 12″ shade, Graphite finish color, and a standard black cord.


In the upstairs hallway, Steve and Evy chose another ceiling light with plenty of nautical style in the Brisbane Flush Mount Pendant Light. This American-made pendant is perfect for tight spaces and offers plenty of light with its guard-and-glass design. The pendant is customized with a 12″ shade, Galvanized finish, Barn Red guard, and clear crackle glass.


“It was important to us that the lights were American made and we wanted robust, good-looking fixtures that had an informal cottage feel,” Steve says. “The overall selection from Barn Light Electric is really cool and we loved the semi-industrial feel of the designs. The color selections are great and the build quality is excellent as well.” To see more photos of Sea Cove Cottage, check out Steve’s Facebook page where he chronicled the entire renovation process!

Photos courtesy of Steve Thomas

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