When Joseph and Teodora Porta found the house of their dreams in Freeport, Maine it wasn’t for sale. The stunning split level, situated on a bluff with spectacular views of Casco Bay, was owned by a real estate developer that had shown the couple another house nearby. They knew, however, that they had to have this exact house and wrote the owner a letter describing how this particular place was a home where they could foresee themselves settling down and raising a family.

As luck would have it, he agreed, and the house was theirs. But as much as they were taken by the exterior of the home, they knew that they had to make the interior completely their own. They worked with interior designer Tyler Karu to realize their vision: “The space had a collection of pieces from the previous homeowner,” she said. “My clients wanted to start from scratch with a few family heirlooms and items that were important to them, but they were anxious to get rid of what the prior owner left behind.” The main requirement for the design direction is that they didn’t want to purchase too much from the big box stores, essentially they wanted as much as possible to be custom.

The kitchen, designed by Block Brothers Cabinets and featured hand-crafted millwork that was a modern interpretation of Shaker-style cabinetry. “Everything is flush and on one plane,” she explained. “We really wanted a beautiful walnut island as the center of it all, as well as a custom hood by White Knuckle Kustoms.” She even installed wet bar with a unique sisal greek key patterned wallpaper by Schumacher for the backsplash.

Tyler mixed some family heirlooms, vintage and custom pieces of different styles to give their home an eclectic look. Global textiles, Balinese altarpieces, and rattan chairs bring in different profiles and stylistic elements to the young family’s home. “Everything from the rugs to the metal grates in the living room built-in to the pillows was customized to work together,” Tyler said. The rugs, for example, were special ordered for this home from Mougalian Rugs in Portland, Maine. The chaise and the sofa in the living room, however, were selected from Room & Board because they were looking for pieces that were both functional and practical. “With young children, I wanted to be sure that the most loungey pieces weren’t precious,” Tyler shared. “The homeowners feel as though they have a home that reflects their style and that they can grow into as a family. Everything is special and unique, yet nothing feels like it can’t be lived in.”