Amanda and Bryan were born and raised in Michigan. Amanda grew up in a rural, farming community and Bryan in suburban Detroit. Both still have strong family connections there and enjoy every opportunity to visit. Each holds a Bachelor degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. After completing her degree, Amanda then headed to Seattle, to begin her master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Washington. Bryan remained in Michigan, where he was already working toward his master’s in Architecture at Lawrence Technological University. In keeping with the values of hard-work instilled by their families, both also worked in architecture firms throughout their education.
After her professional studies were complete, Amanda went to work for a large architecture firm in 2001 in nearby Kirkland, WA, where she concentrated on commercial projects. Once he had his master’s degree in hand, Bryan moved to the Seattle area. He secured a job as an architect at a smaller firm in Kirkland that focused on high-end custom residential and multi-family dwellings. Spending the better part of a decade in Seattle, they both enjoyed all the Pacific Northwest had to offer and took full advantage of its cosmopolitan vibe set against a backdrop of natural beauty.
In the meantime, they made a few trips to Maine, a place that had made a strong impression on Amanda as a young girl, when she visited with her family. She grew up in a Sears & Roebuck 4-Square, typical throughout the Midwest, that her parents worked on as she grew up. The family TV was regularly tuned to This Old House. Maine and its old houses beckoned to her parents.
Eventually, it was time to make Maine their permanent home. In addition to its great old houses, the Midcoast is rich with culture, its slower pace, the sea, the outdoor spaces, and a mountainous terrain that all create an ethos they love.
When Bryan and Amanda moved from the Pacific Northwest in 2009, they purchased and continue to renovate their own piece of Midcoast Maine – an 1880 Victorian Farmhouse with an attached original, three-level barn. Their own Old House. Painstaking and lovingly transforming the house and property into their Dream Home fills much of their spare time.
They are able to do most of the work on our own, thanks to Bryan’s experience working for a construction company during college, which he then expanded upon in subsequent years as most of his skills are self-taught. He’s done most of the carpentry himself, and they work together on the finishing touches. It would be fair to say that their home is Bryan’s hobby and passion.
They have rebuilt the ell that connects the house to the barn – which now contains a powder room and laundry. They have also created a new master bedroom, added a back porch, and the guest bedroom is ready for visitors. Next up is the upstairs bath and Amanda's craft room. Their vision for the barn, which is two times the size of the house, includes a woodworking shop for Bryan and making a larger creative studio for Amanda in the loft. Their golden retriever Watson loves having a spacious backyard and thankfully, he doesn’t seem to mind living in the ongoing construction project they call home.