Funky Birchwood Condo in Maine Homes by Down East

Maine Homes by Down East got an inside look at one dated Birchwood condo (that came with three decades of rental wear and tear) with creative new owners who embraced the project, giving the property a fun makeover using eclectic flea-market finds and pops of retro color.

Most Birchwood condos were built in the 1970s, but Sugarloafers love their classic post-and-beam style and convenient location off the Snubber trail that’s also within walking distance to the Base Village.

Ali Malone and Ben Ray tackled the remodel with a playful spirit, sourcing furniture and decor from flea markets and budget-friendly shops like Marden’s and Target. Learn more in this excerpt from the story, Slopeside Retreat, photographed by Erin Little.

The downstairs open floor plan is just 450 square feet, so the couple selected furnishings that can do double duty. The Danish mid-century dining table easily extends to accommodate friends, while the HD Buttercup upholstered chairs, purchased at Marden’s, are comfortable enough to serve as extra seating in the living area. The feathery pendant lamp is similar to one they loved in a previous home. “It’s a lot of dark wood in here,” Ali says. “We wanted something that looked organic and gave a nice, soft light.”

With three children, ages 8 months to 6 years, Ben says, “We have an assembly line of ski gear and hand warmers in the morning. And about seven cups of coffee each.” Season passes dating back to the family’s first winter in the condo decorate the pine post. Ben and Ali installed the glass door to bring in more natural light, and they replaced the kitchen’s worn-out linoleum floor with cork. Above the microwave, an antique grocer’s box from A&P, where Ben’s grandfather once worked, holds pasta and grains.

About the Author
I came to Sugarloaf in 2017 for the first time as a snowboard instructor for the Perfect Turn Ski & Snowboard School, looking to try the "ski bum" lifestyle in the beautiful Western Maine Mountains. After my first season, I fell in love with the area and decided to move here full-time and joined the team at Mountainside Real Estate as the Office Administrator and Marketing Assistant. I have a rustic camp in Wyman with my boyfriend, who was a zipline guide at the Outpost (located conveniently right next door to the real estate office, giving us excuses to have lunch together every day when we first met that summer). He comes from a long line of Sugarloafers, with his grandparents living in Stratton along Flagstaff Lake and his parents owning a chalet in Sugarloaf Village (with Deb Pierce as their buying agent). I am an avid snowboarder, hiker, mountain biker (and fat biker in the winter) and learned to kayak on Flagstaff Lake. You can usually find me somewhere in the woods with our trusty dog Balto.