Modern Coastal Maine Cottage

What does it take to turn a dream into reality? If you’re Meghan and Brent Walter, it takes nine trips to Bar Harbor, Maine along with solid design intuition.

While living in New Hampshire, the couple fell in love with Bar Harbor. They visited for many vacations and finally purchased land there in 2018. Fast forward a few years and they moved into their custom-built “modern coastal Maine cottage” in August of 2020.

Playing a featured role in their new home is a two-level L.J. Smith stairway system. The couple specified White Oak handrails married with square iron balusters with a Low Sheen Black finish. Here Brent Walter talks about that stairway and how vital it is to the design success of their home.

LJS: Why did you decide to mix metal and wood for your stairway system?

Walter: We were inspired by the designs around us during our time living in northern California. We spent five years in the San Francisco area and found the mix of old woods with iron truly beautiful.

LJS: How does the stairway style you selected “tie in” with the rest of your home interior?

Walter: The White Oak of the stairs and handrail is carried throughout the house. You’ll find it in our kitchen cabinets and interior doors. The black iron is reflected in all our lighting fixtures, door hardware, and fireplace surround. The staircase is in the center of our home, and it ties all the finishes and materials together.

LJS: Your home is a little over 2,400 square feet. What are the special features inside your house?

Walter: There’s a minimalistic look in our home’s design. There is no interior trim or mouldings. We have white paint on all the walls and ceilings. Again, there are really only two design accents in our home: the White Oak and black iron.

The White Oak complements the minimalist style. It’s in all the kitchen cabinets, doors, built-in shelving, stair treads, and hand rails. And the sleek iron balusters in the stairway immediately connect your eye to the black iron wall sconces, chandeliers, and pendants along with the door hardware.

LJS: Can you describe your stairway system in just a few words?

Walter: We think it’s got a modern aesthetic with an old soul.


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