A coastal home in Biddeford embraces the great outdoors.
By Meadow Rue Merrill
Photographed by Trent Bell
From our July 2014 issueFacing sunrise over the bold Atlantic on Biddeford’s rugged Granite Point, this family retreat takes full advantage of the view while maximizing indoor and outdoor spaces. Owner Rick Pych, president of business operations for the San Antonio Spurs, has vacationed in Maine for more than a decade. Three years ago, when he saw this property, which had lingered on the market, he snatched it.
“I wanted a very casual, very open space in a comfortable home,” Pych says. “I didn’t want anything formal at all, just a great place to get away to and eventually retire to.”
Biddeford architect Caleb Johnson designed the house around the two rooms Pych uses most: the living room and kitchen, which are adjoined. A snug alcove of a dining room lies beyond a pair of natural white-oak columns Johnson added two covered porches overlooking the water, making it easy to step outside and feel the ocean breeze. Both transition to open decks, which extend into a thick blanket of grass.
“Whether you’re inside or outside, you can enjoy the views,” Pych says. “When the weather is nice, I go out on the porch in the morning with my computer and a cup of coffee, and later in the day, I go on the lower deck.”
Walls of windows counterpoised by wood-beamed ceilings capture the stunning surroundings. The master suite is just off the dining room, a nod to comfort and convenience. Guest bedrooms and an office are on the second floor.
Douston Construction of Arundel built the house and oversaw the stonework, including the living room fireplace and exposed stone chimney. Interior designer Nicki Bongiorno of the design firm spaces kennebunkport chose a neutral palette of cloudy whites and fog gray to better highlight the spectacular setting. Flat finishes, such as pewter bar stools and kitchen drawer pulls, add a weathered, vintage feel, while slip-covered couches and hidden window shades keep the house from feeling stuffy and cluttered. Outside, a meandering fieldstone path leads past tall, twisty thunderhead pines to the front door. The surrounding gardens, designed by Salmon Falls Nursery, include natural river stone quarried in Acton and wispy mounds of blue fescue.
From afar, the gently pitched roof, simple lines, and eastern white cedar shingles lend the year-old house a timeless New England appearance. But Johnson laughs when asked to categorize it. “I wouldn’t choose to,” he says.