Stella Maris



At the turn of the 20th century, shingle-style or “colonial” shingled houses had become a staple for Portsmouth architects and builders.  In 1902, this home was built to serve as a summer home for a local stockbroker.  With a welcoming large open hallway, formal rooms to either side and an off-set stair in the rear leading to the second floor bedrooms, the home epitomized the colonial shingle-style trend of the area.  A century later, at the turn of the 21st, the home served as the parish residence for many Christian ministers and their families.  The home, fondly nicknamed “Stella Maris” meaning “The Star of the Sea” was privately purchased in 2015 and delicately renovated.

The renovation’s motive was to restore the exterior and breathe new life into the interior.  Darker, small interior spaces were re-imagined to accommodate a brighter, more active lifestyle with frequent gatherings.  The homeowners wished to be able to accommodate overnight visits from family members and create space that allows flow for frequent entertaining.  The main hall was restored with traditional detailing and bright colors.  A kitchen in the rear was relocated to the front of the house to create connectivity between bustling kitchen activity and the front porch and street views.  Upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms were modernized and enlivened to accommodate visiting family members and friends of ranging age groups.  The home’s infamous exterior shingles were given a wash of a unique, bright color unlike any other in the neighborhood.   A dilapidated rear porch was remodeled into an outside living space with a simple screen system and intricate detailing inside.  Overgrown landscaping was cleared to allow the homeowners direct line of sight to street and yard while accentuating the home’s aura to visitors and passersby.


D|A worked extensively with the Portsmouth Historic District Commission to appropriately and accurately refurbish the classic home.


**Winner of the 2017 AIA New Hampshire Excellence in Design People's Choice Award

**Winner of the 2017 New Hampshire Home Magazine Excellence in Historic Renovation Design Award


  • Greg West
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