Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

A couple looking for the perfect house lot ends up right back where they started.

ABOVE: The rattan pendant lamp over the dining table is Selamat’s Cordial design. Caitlin chose it because it reminded her of the hanging lamps that Thai craftspeople make with fishing nets. The table and chairs are family hand-me-downs.


From the May 2020 issue Down East magazine

While working toward advanced degrees and living on students’ budgets, Stuart and Caitlin Gurley made do in a 500-square-foot guest studio behind Stuart’s parents’ house in Falmouth. But when they learned they were expecting their first child, they asked friend and architect Stephen Blatt to design them a three-bedroom home. The plans came together easily, but numerous road bumps, including a property search that stretched to the midcoast, meant construction didn’t wrap until days before they welcomed their second child. For a location, they ended up right where they started — about a ¼-mile from Stuart’s parents’ house, in a field he used to play in. “The long dirt road that connects the properties is great for riding bikes,” he says, “and having built-in babysitters is nothing to complain about!”

white kitchen


“With two young kids, everyone warned me white walls would be high maintenance,” Caitlin says, “but it’s simple, clean, and timeless — absolutely the right choice.” To reduce construction costs, Stuart built the maple-wood kitchen cabinetry himself. 

Timothy Wilson painting


The Gurleys display family members’ art throughout their home. This seascape is by Caitlin’s brother, Portland artist Timothy Wilson. The dark-green stool comes from Rachel Gurley Antiques in Scarborough, owned by Stuart’s cousin.

the Gurley's 1,800-square-foot Falmouth home


Bordered by conservation land on two sides, the 1,800-square-foot home is clad in gray cedar shingles on the front and pine shiplap on the sides and rear. Shiplap, painted white, also is used in some interior spaces.


1) Caitlin’s father, Bruce Wilson, of Wilson Woodworking in South Berwick, built 2-year-old Auggie’s maple crib, and 5-year-old Anna painted the rainbow picture. 2) Anna chose Sherwin-Williams’s pale-pink Demure for her walls, and her painted cast-iron bed is a Craigslist score. 3) Inspired by a mural at a Portland restaurant, the Gurleys commissioned Timothy Wilson to paint the seascape on the master bedroom’s accent wall. “A mural is an unconventional but beautiful way to get art on your walls,” Caitlin says.


Caitlin selected colorful floral wallpaper from Anthropologie to brighten the windowless powder room and to serve as a feminine counterpoint to the otherwise minimalist décor. “It’s the first time my husband has ever hung wallpaper,” she says. “And, I’m told, the last.”