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Green Cottage Getaway in Maine

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On an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, a writer, with the help of his daughter, built not only a room but an entire green getaway of his own.

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  The Porter cottage makes the most of its unwieldy site. The cottage was sited as close to the water as legally allowed to take advantage of the views and far enough away from the graywater leach field where the soil is deep enough to allow for proper run off. The screen porch was angled to capture direct southern exposure for the solar panels.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The Porter cottage makes the most of its unwieldy site. The cottage was sited as close to the water as legally allowed to take advantage of the views and far enough away from the graywater leach field where the soil is deep enough to allow for proper run off. The screen porch was angled to capture direct southern exposure for the solar panels. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The interior is furnished with Lubi Daybeds from CB2, which Howell and Porter designed to include hidden cubbies behind and beneath the cushions.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The interior is furnished with Lubi Daybeds from CB2, which Howell and Porter designed to include hidden cubbies behind and beneath the cushions. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Alex devised a system that takes advantage of ocean views while protecting the cottage from that same northeasterly orientation. The large windows and doors can be shuttered with corrugated aluminum panels.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Alex devised a system that takes advantage of ocean views while protecting the cottage from that same northeasterly orientation. The large windows and doors can be shuttered with corrugated aluminum panels. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The deck off the front is also minimally furnished with elegant lines of beach rock and two Leaf chairs by Arper.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The deck off the front is also minimally furnished with elegant lines of beach rock and two Leaf chairs by Arper. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The interior is clad exclusively in white pine, the diagonal orientation adding visual interest to the neutral palette. Alex sourced utilitarian features like cattle fencing and plumbing pipe for the loft sleeping area.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The interior is clad exclusively in white pine, the diagonal orientation adding visual interest to the neutral palette. Alex sourced utilitarian features like cattle fencing and plumbing pipe for the loft sleeping area. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The diminutive Morsø wood stove and its hearth of local Criehaven beach stone gives off enough heat to warm the entire cottage.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The diminutive Morsø wood stove and its hearth of local Criehaven beach stone gives off enough heat to warm the entire cottage. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Alex enjoys a sun-filled breakfast at the built-in dining table and bench, one of many space-saving designs.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Alex enjoys a sun-filled breakfast at the built-in dining table and bench, one of many space-saving designs. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The rain-catchment system next to the outdoor shower collects and disposes of the first five gallons of rainwater to ensure that the cleanest water is diverted into the cistern.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The rain-catchment system next to the outdoor shower collects and disposes of the first five gallons of rainwater to ensure that the cleanest water is diverted into the cistern. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The screen porch serves as an auxiliary dining area and extends past the house to capture views and cross breezes.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The screen porch serves as an auxiliary dining area and extends past the house to capture views and cross breezes. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Since septic systems are impossibilities on Criehaven, the Porters chose a Sun-Mar self-contained composting toilet as the ideal alternative.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Since septic systems are impossibilities on Criehaven, the Porters chose a Sun-Mar self-contained composting toilet as the ideal alternative. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Alex designed the entire home based on a 24-inch grid. "I was in New York and Josh [Howell, the contractor] was up here in Maine, so I tried to make it very easy; you could always tell what size everything was going to be."  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Alex designed the entire home based on a 24-inch grid. "I was in New York and Josh [Howell, the contractor] was up here in Maine, so I tried to make it very easy; you could always tell what size everything was going to be." Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  One of the early challenges of building the house was defining the property lines of the lot, which had come to be known as "the floating acre" among the local fishermen.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    One of the early challenges of building the house was defining the property lines of the lot, which had come to be known as "the floating acre" among the local fishermen. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Alex relaxes on the first-floor couch, with is filled with an array of pillows from Crate and Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Muji, and Blu Dot.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Alex relaxes on the first-floor couch, with is filled with an array of pillows from Crate and Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Muji, and Blu Dot. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  When Alex or Bruce leave the island, closing up shop is as simple as sliding panels of corrugated metal into place to protect the windows.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    When Alex or Bruce leave the island, closing up shop is as simple as sliding panels of corrugated metal into place to protect the windows. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The screen porch serves as an auxiliary dining area and is furnished with a Teak outdoor table from Ikea surrounded by three chairs, including two vintage chairs and a silver 1006 Navy chair by Emeco from Design Within Reach.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The screen porch serves as an auxiliary dining area and is furnished with a Teak outdoor table from Ikea surrounded by three chairs, including two vintage chairs and a silver 1006 Navy chair by Emeco from Design Within Reach. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The Sunfrost refrigerator nearly disappears into the simple kitchen.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The Sunfrost refrigerator nearly disappears into the simple kitchen. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The entire cabin is powered by the rooftop solar system from Solarwinds Northernlights. "I still can't get over the fact that I can get an ice cube from the sun," Bruce says.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The entire cabin is powered by the rooftop solar system from Solarwinds Northernlights. "I still can't get over the fact that I can get an ice cube from the sun," Bruce says. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  The view from Bruce's cabin is a sight for sore eyes. One of the outermost inhabited islands on the American eastern seaboard, Criehaven (technically Ragged Island) is located 20 miles off the Maine coast and one mile south of Matinicus Island.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    The view from Bruce's cabin is a sight for sore eyes. One of the outermost inhabited islands on the American eastern seaboard, Criehaven (technically Ragged Island) is located 20 miles off the Maine coast and one mile south of Matinicus Island. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
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  Though Bruce has thus far only managed a week or two here or there on the island, he's hoping to make it a more frequent—and extended—part of his regular routine. "I'm thinking about going out for a month to write," he says.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Though Bruce has thus far only managed a week or two here or there on the island, he's hoping to make it a more frequent—and extended—part of his regular routine. "I'm thinking about going out for a month to write," he says. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
  • 
  Howell was creative in his space-saving techniques as well as for practical matters. The handrail for the stairs to the loft was pieced together with lengths of PVC pipe and plumbing hardware.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    Howell was creative in his space-saving techniques as well as for practical matters. The handrail for the stairs to the loft was pieced together with lengths of PVC pipe and plumbing hardware. Photo by Eirik Johnson.

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