cave

Designers reimagine New England ski house decor to create a modern ‘man cave’ up north

Josh E. Linder and Thomas Henry Egan III liken reaching Rangeley, Maine, to a trek to the North Pole. The designers, principals of Boston-based Evolve Residential, drove up in Linder’s hybrid right before the pandemic to install the finishing touches on a client’s new home. “It was a long, slow ascent up a mountain on black ice with fresh powder on top,” Linder said. “We didn’t see any other cars, just a tractor carrying logs barreling at us.”



a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: evolve-residential-rangeley-maine-mudroom


© Sean Litchfield
evolve-residential-rangeley-maine-mudroom

It turns out there is a less precarious route; reassuring given the region gets an annual snowfall of 200-plus inches. Linder and Egan’s clients, a Cambridge family of five, purchased the four-bedroom home last year, primarily to take advantage of the snowmobiling trails that crisscross the area, which also boasts a series of lakes. “The views are showstopping,” Egan said. “There are towering pines, and everything is covered in snow.”

The house, however, was nothing special. Although nestled in the trees on a hill, the structure itself was essentially charmless. “It was a 1980s developer house in the most pristine natural setting,” Linder said. The first step was to remove the unsightly pressure-treated wood deck, which wrapped from front to back. To replace it, Egan designed a wide, covered front porch inspired by the Adirondack-style cottages that dot the area. “It needed a defining architectural feature,” he explained. “Now it looks homey and warm.”

The revamped façade, now stylish and welcoming, set the tone for the interior scheme. While the whole family convenes here from time to time, the husband, teenage sons, and their friends visit most often. The directive was that the rooms feel relaxed. The décor was not to echo that of the stylish summer home the firm designed for the family on Massachusetts’ South