“Our living room is a bit eclectic. Colorful, yet calming. It is not formal or stuffy,” says Lisa Whited, 56, of Portland.
The oft-used room is anchored by a large fireplace, set off to the left, and balanced by built-in shelves and drawers fabricated by a local millworker. She painted the built-ins and flush façade of the fireplace a rich espresso. A pop of orange colors the hearth, which holds candles and glass bottles. Not afraid of color, Whited painted this focal wall a deep cranberry to match the couch. Large windows and cream walls otherwise allow the space to feel light and bright.
“Diversity is important to me. I want connections to the artwork or artists that surround me.”
“It is our ‘living’ room in every sense of the word. My husband and one son play guitar, my daughter and other son play piano. We read, hang out and use this room every day.”
Much of the furniture in the space, with the exception of a grand piano, is a mid-century nod to her father who designed the house in the 1960s. She purchased her childhood home in 2003 from her father, a retired architect and engineer, after her mother died. She resides there with husband, Pete Chanis, their sons Alexander and Gabriel, two cats Basil and Dodger, and dog Oliver. Claire, her adult daughter, lives nearby and visits often.
“This room has literally evolved over the past 15 years. I live with a room for a while before purchasing something,” says Whited, like the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chairs, black and white striped stool by ceramic artist Larry Halvorsen and various lighting fixtures. Other items she acquired from others —the Noguchi glass coffee table, a leather “stressless” chair, the black marble Knoll Saarinen side table and even the piano, which she is kindly keeping for a friend until he has the right space for it.
“Diversity is important to me,” Whited says. “I want connections to the artwork or artists that surround me.” For example, the artwork above the television was created by a late friend who was a world traveler. When she passed, her family invited Whited to take some of her photography. Whited says, “They are a lovely reminder of my friend.”
Emma Bouthillette authored “A Brief History of Biddeford,” about her hometown. She is a yoga instructor and a corgi mom. (emmabouthillette.com)