A Love Affair: Long Ledge
I fall in love with houses. Not every house, mind you; they have to be a special house. The first time I fell in love with a house, I was 7 years old. My mom took me to visit Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s childhood home in Portland, Maine. We took the tour, went outside to explore the gardens, and I asked if we could go inside again. I just couldn’t fathom leaving that place without taking it all in one more time. I was in love.
Since that first tour of the Longfellow house years ago, I’ve fallen in love with many more homes. It’s a polygamous affair. Usually they’re historic – the Tate House, the Victoria Mansion, Castle Tucker – and drenched in history. You can almost feel the stories seeping out of their walls. It wasn’t until recently that I found a home online that evoked the same desire to absorb its riches. It wasn’t until I came across Long Ledge.
Located in Isleboro, Maine, Long Ledge, is owned and lived in by the Holmquists. The sisters are the self-proclaimed female version of the Wyeths. In fact, all the siblings’ professions are in the artistic realm – from painters to novelists to gardeners to welders, boys and girls alike make their livings through art. There is something so romantic about a family of artists. The story becomes even more enchanting when you see where they live; a home that truly only artists could have made.
This is the type of home that is lived in and loved. The perfect shade of green covers the front stairs, but generations of footsteps have worn their treads. The most amazing mural covers the dining room walls. With such amazing moulding and wall coverings, you might thing such a room would feel stuffy and formal, but that gingham table-cloth makes everyone feel right at home.
Did you happen to check out that lamp up in the hallway? (!!!) The little details peak your curiosity and make you want to delve more. You can tell this home wasn’t decorated in a month; these are layers and layers of family members’ additions and tweaks. Plus, this kitchen. Original cabinets, plates, cut flowers, and that table. I love thinking about the meals that made here, the stories told. Kitchens are always the best part of an old home. They’re generally less formal than the other rooms and where the work took place.
And that hall! It feels so bright and fresh and simple compared to the rest of the house. I love the contrast. It almost wakes you up. Finally, a photo of some of the sisters’ beautiful artwork. How nice to decorate your home with things you’ve lovingly made.
What do you think? Did you fall in love with this home too? Visit Maine Home for the full story on the Holmquist family and Long Ledge.
Photography by Trent Bell