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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.