It’s Not Complicated

It’s Not Complicated

A home designed for efficiency and easy care.

From the May 2019 issue of Down East magazine

On a rainy evening, Samantha and Ryan Pappas lounged on the sofa in their Yarmouth home, their 2-year-old daughter, Sophia, stretched across Ryan’s lap. A gas fire flickered in a wall-mounted box, and double-insulated walls silenced the rain. “This house,” Ryan says, “it’s my oasis.” With local contractor Bob Brann, the couple designed the two-bedroom cottage to be manageable, efficient, and easy to clean — a place that’s no headache for a family that’s often away hiking or skiing. “The overall premise was to use every square foot,” Ryan said. “We didn’t want any wasted space.”


Maine porch

The Pappases are originally from Florida, where on warm evenings families hang out on their porches until dinnertime. At 8 feet deep, the wraparound porch is a significant part of the home’s overall footprint. The bright-white square posts lend a contemporary touch to a classic country detail. Porch living has been a good way to meet others in their community. “Our whole neighborhood is outside, which is so nice,” Ryan says.



Built just large enough to comfortably fit the furniture, the bedroom is another example of the couple’s knack for efficiency. The black upholstered bed is from Joss & Main. Samantha designed the painting hanging over the headboard to complement the West Elm throw pillows. The gold finish on the long, lean Pottery Barn wall sconces echoes yellows in the powder room and master bathroom.



A white-tile accent wall over the stove lends a distinctive character to the kitchen, which shares space with the living and dining areas. The tile serves as a backdrop for open shelving, on which the couple stores simple white dishware. A custom walnut countertop by local woodworker Steven Hall pairs nicely with shimmery metal bar stools from All Modern and pendant lights with copper-colored interiors from Target. Samantha found the Turkish rug, which is decorated with symbols of fertility and happy domesticity, at an antique store in Dorchester, England. “I was like, yep, I need to bring this home,” she says.


Inspired by a design Samantha found in Southern Living, the 2,050-square-foot home is among the smallest in its housing development, by more than half, in some cases. For the open-concept first floor, Samantha chose bright, neutral tones — First Star by Sherwin-Williams for the walls and Oxford White by Benjamin Moore for the ceiling. A teal area rug from Rugs USA adds bold color to the living area. The George Oliver coffee table, with glass top and tapered walnut legs, is both elegant and easy to clean. The couple collaborated on most design decisions — Ryan, for instance, wouldn’t agree to the burnt-sienna leather sofa from West Elm until he’d sat on it himself — though Samantha, an interior designer and artist, often took the lead.


nursery room

Samantha wanted a bedroom that would suit her daughter as she grows — “girly but not over-the-top in-your-face about it.” The ceiling is painted in Peach Bellini by Dunn-Edwards. Window seats double as toy chests. For additional color and texture, the couple made a wall hanging out of orange and pink tassels that were once part of an Anthropologie store window display. Furnishings include a walnut Oeuf crib, an Ikea Maskros pendant lamp, and a Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker.



Pelicans in the powder room, courtesy of Petronella Hall wallpaper, add a little piece of Florida to the Pappas home. Glossy black wainscoting lends sophistication, and a round mirror from Home Goods offsets the angularity of the Kohler sink. Champagne-bronze faucets, found throughout the house, add subtle color. “It’s a good space to have fun with,” Samantha says, “and if we want to change it down the road, it’s easy to switch up with different wallpaper.”