Lighting Up Hidden Pond

by | Nov 12, 2020 | News

Photo: Jeff Roberts Imaging
While the pandemic has brought the bulk of travel to a screeching halt with its arrival, there are still plenty of places to get away, and even though travelers need to remain six feet apart from people outside their bubble, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a few bursts of fun—and there are several new hospitality properties opening on a regular basis as proof. We recently came across Hidden Pond, an award-winning coastal Kennebunkport hotel tucked away on 60 wooded acres. As one of the properties included in the Kennebunkport Resort Collection, Hidden Pond is described as “part wilderness retreat, part gated community, part summer camp.” This relaxing destination offers rustic luxury, plenty of privacy, serene, and a close proximity to area attractions.

As one of the top luxury hotels in New England, Hidden Pond is made up of 40-plus free-standing cottages, bungalows, and lodges surrounded by a beautiful pristine birch forest. Located just one mile from the beach, the resort also includes a luxury spa; an organic garden named The Farm; two pools; and two food and beverage options. Earth is a farm-to-fork restaurant that features fresh organic and seasonal ingredients in all of their dishes, and the Back Porch Bar serves up local brews and fruit-infused cocktails by the pool.

Although it has been in operation since 2008, this year Hidden Pond has unveiled 10 new Treetop Lodges. Nine of these lodges were constructed earlier in 2020 and were part of a soft launch that took place in July. The tenth structure — a new signature two-bedroom Treetop Lodge suite designed by renowned menswear fashion designer Todd Snyder — was just introduced this September. Inspired by his forthcoming Fall 2020 runway collection, the suite — dubbed the From Away cabin by L.L. Bean x Todd Snyder — was created in collaboration with heritage Maine-based brand L.L. Bean. Providing considerable space between each cottage, guests can now choose between a one-bedroom bungalow, a one- or two-story, two-bedroom cottage, or one of the brand-new Treetop Lodge accommodations that feature studios and one-bedroom suites.

Outside of Snyder’s creative contribution, the remainder of the Treetop Lodges were designed by Louise Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Designs in collaboration with Maine-based designer Krista Stokes. Inspired by rustic, design-forward treehouses, Hidden Pond’s newest accommodations illustrate a playful balance that seamlessly combines indoor and outdoor living. Influenced by the resort’s location, the color scheme features various shades of gray that are reminiscent of the woods at daybreak and dusk. They are complemented by a range of hues found throughout the Kennebunkport region: deep blues, greens, dark russet, and a picture-perfect palette of earth tones. The expansive windows showcase peaceful environs, and many of the furniture pieces and decor are made of materials sourced from the outdoors. Reclaimed burled wood frames the mirrors; the showers are tiled with pebble stones; and the floors and walls are lined with shiplap wood. Meanwhile, the custom furniture pieces are made from reclaimed Russian pine and the headboards from reclaimed Russian oak. The curated wall art also features by tree branches and stones foraged locally.

Photo: Jeff Roberts Imaging

As collaborators on the design, Hurlbutt and Stokes found lighting always played an integral part in the creative process. “Lighting has played a major role in the design of the Tree Cottages at Hidden Pond particularly because of the setting of the cottages surrounded by trees,” they explain. “The natural light is constantly changing inside the cottages throughout the day from sunlight streaming through the trees, sunrise to sunset, so we chose light fixtures that would add to the natural light and give a soft, ambiance at night.”

While natural light inspires the setting, both indoors and out, nature itself serves as the inspiration for the range of fixtures that were selected for the various rooms and spaces throughout the property. “Sticking to the woodland esthetic at Hidden Pond, we were inspired to choose quality lighting fixtures that were influenced by nature — the sun, wheat grass, woods — providing an easy transition from outdoors to indoors,” they explain. “The entry boasts a pendant light reminiscent of a pine cone, and the living room has a statement sunburst chandelier, coordinating with the wheat grass pendants over the kitchenette peninsula.”

Photo: Jeff Roberts Imaging

When it comes to choosing fixtures, Hurlbutt and Stokes have been influenced by a variety of elements that integrate seamlessly with the overall design aesthetic of the property and its furnishings. “The lighting style at the Hidden Pond cottages is modern,” they reveal, “yet sticking with the rustic-refined vibe of the resort we chose antique handrubbed bronze, gilt, and black finishes to accent the stained wood and custom Russian pine wood furniture.”

Photo: Jeff Roberts Imaging

“Mixed metals in light fixtures have become very on trend.”

Photo:  Douglas Friedman

In terms of what’s hot in the design space right now, Hurlbutt and Stokes say that mixed metals — especially in light fixtures — have become very on trend. Although COVID-19 is having an impact across all industries, including design, the team remains hopeful and  full of gratitude for everyone working behind the scenes to bring projects to fruition. “Regarding COVID-19, patience is key. As designers, we must remember our vendors faced the same challenges with factory closures due to quarantine and many are still not operating at full capacity,” they note. “We must be understanding as lead times are delayed and things are not in stock as they might have normally been prior to COVID-19. We are very grateful to all of our vendors — especially the people that helped us push through quarantine to get our lighting delivered and installed at Hidden Pond before the resort opened July 1.”

And while inspiration can be difficult to access in quarantine, Hurlbutt and Stokes are finding new ways to keep invigorating their process and creativity. “Due to COVID-19, our current inspiration comes from social media pages, design magazines, and virtual tours of vendor showrooms,” they conclude, “which are a recent addition that have quickly become a great way to view new products and get inspiration while remaining safe and distant! Prior to COVID-19, we were more influenced by travel, museums, and art shows.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of designing lighting.