Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Long Lake has always been Ashley's happy place. Her dad and his seven siblings camped there for years until her grandfather bought a summer cottage down the road from the campground. The cottage is where Ashley spent her summers growing up and where everyone was always happy and relaxed. When she and her husband, Izzy, met, he had never been to Maine, but he quickly adopted Ashley's love for the place. Together, they decided that if they ever got the opportunity to buy a vacation home of their own, it would be on Long Lake.
In 2014, Ashley and Izzy decided to go for it. Finding the right house though wasn't easy. They searched for a long time and were about to give up when they finally found the perfect property. The house needed a lot of work, but Ashley and Izzy were ready for the challenge. Based on a friend's recommendation, they hired Floyd J. Brown Construction to do the renovations. The town has strict guidelines on how close a house can be to the water, therefore certain changes needed to be made in order to expand. They lifted the house, dug a new foundation that met the water distance requirements, moved the house back onto the new foundation, and added a walk-out basement and a garage. To make sure they didn't waste time during the cold winter, the contractor placed a heating tarp where the new garage was going. This avoided having to wait for the ground to thaw before digging it out. Construction started in November and Ashley and Izzy spent their first night in their new vacation home the following May.
Ashley did an incredible job furnishing the house. Designing and decorating is a passion of hers and she hopes to make it more than just a hobby in the future. With each room, her main focus stayed on proportion and scale. This helped her create a harmonious space while mixing materials and furniture styles. She also chose one wall color for the entire house and kept the big ticket items neutral colored. Pops of color were then added with decorative accents.
An eye-catching detail when you walk in the house is the Adeline Crystal Chandelier. Ashley loved the way it looked even before she knew it would cast reflections on the walls that look just like reflections from the water.
There used to be a small office between the kitchen and the screened-in porch. Ashley asked the contractor to open the space so that the lake view could be seen from the kitchen. She also had the idea of adding a Marvin Lift & Slide Door that could ultimately disappear during the warmer months. An air conditioning system wasn't installed during the renovations because Ashley and Izzy like to embrace the summer season and not worry about keeping the windows shut. The rooms are equipped with Minka Aire ceiling fans, which create a wonderful breeze throughout the house.
Ashley and Izzy enjoy their Long Lake home in the winter as much as they do in the summer. The house is heated with radiant floor heating, controlled by the Nest Learning Thermostat. Radiant flooring can take a few hours to heat up, so Izzy turns it on before leaving his Massachusetts home via the Nest app on his phone.
In 2012, Izzy co-founded the cloud computing systems management firm Stackdriver. In less than two years, the company got acquired by Google. Following the acquisition, Ashley got this custom-made sign by Rustic Marlin as an anniversary gift for Izzy.
Snowmobiling and ice skating on the lake during the winter season are Ashley's family's favorite activities. The large mudroom is really convenient to store everyone's gear, and the boot and glove dryer is simply genius.
Shiplap was added behind the beds in each bedroom, to add character and give them a cottage feel. In some rooms the wood was left natural, while in others it was painted white.
Turning their dream home into a reality has required a lot of hard work and perseverance; however, it's been a real labor of love. It's a reflection of Ashley's most cherished childhood memories. She couldn't be more thankful that her own children will grow up surrounded by family and enjoying all that the lake has to offer, just like she did. Some say that good things happen to good people. In this case, it couldn't be more true.
Some Before Pictures...
Lifting and moving the house.