Making Over A Guest Suite

Oenophiles who also love to travel create a stylish new space at home where they enjoy wine.

Neighbors and friends enjoy the new wine room. From the left are interior designer Jeannie R. Poore with her husband Richard; homeowner Jackie Eastwood at the table with Mary Ann Esposito, New Hampshire Home contributor and host of Ciao Itallia on public television; and Jackie’s husband Mike McClurken with Guy Esposito.

A floral sofa, black paint and thousands of wine corks helped transform Jackie Eastwood and Mike McClurken’s guest suite into a chic space for entertaining.

Retired business executives, Eastwood and McClurken enjoy traveling, entertaining and all things wine. The couple often entertains friends, family and business associates in their Durham home, which was completed in 1999. (The house was designed by Thane Pearson of Pearson Traditional Design in York, Maine, and built by Southwick
Construction Inc. in North Hampton.)

After Eastwood’s mother—Peggy, who lived with the couple—passed away, they decided to renovate her suite of rooms. “We wanted a space for entertaining with a wine theme that incorporated many of the things we’ve collected from our travels,” Eastwood says.

For help, she turned to designer, friend and neighbor Jeannie R. Poore. Eastwood and Poore discussed different options and settled on a space that was friendly but elegant. “I wanted the space to be more than a room with a table and some wine,” Poore says.

A portion of Jackie Eastwood’s extensive wine cork collection is showcased in a seven-foot-long table (the top was built by Douglas A. MacLennan of Durham, while Steve Hanson of Hanson Woodturning in Cape Porpoise, Maine, built the base). Jeannie R. Poore designed the cork mosaic; Eastwood helped glue the corks down; many are signed by friends and family.

Adding drama

The suite—which includes a full kitchen, wine tasting area and sitting room—was originally off-white. Its new color palette—soft peach, greens, blue and oatmeal—is inspired by a sofa and ottoman, covered in floral print linen, that belonged to Eastwood’s mother.

Playing off two black, anodized wine coolers that sit in the wine tasting room, Poore suggested painting all the woodwork a charcoal-like black, called andiron. “Everyone thought I was crazy,” she says, “but I’ve used that color in other projects and it works.”

Woodwork throughout the suite—including a large bookcase and fireplace mantel in the sitting area as well as all the kitchen cabinetry—is painted in the warm, custom-mixed color. Contrasted with the wall colors—actual cork, sliced paper thin, in the wine-tasting area; a soft blue-green in the sitting area and peach in the kitchen—the andiron trim unites the spaces. “It’s dramatic and trendy,” Poore says.

A floral sofa and ottoman inspired the color palette. The spaces showcase fine and decorative art from Jackie Eastwood and Mike McClurken’s travels throughout Asia. The wall trim, fireplace surround and built-in bookshelves were painted a rich charcoal color, which helps unite the rooms.

Another consideration was incorporating Eastwood’s immense wine cork collection (approximately eight thousand, collected over thirty years) into the room design. Poore’s solution: a bar-height table that doubles as a gathering spot for guests and showcases the corks in a mosaic under glass.

Creating the table was a team endeavor. Carpenter Douglas A. MacLennan of Durham built the tabletop/cabinet; Steve Hanson, of Hanson Woodturning in Cape Porpoise, Maine, built its base. Poore sketched out an intricate design for the mosaic, and Eastwood glued down the corks accordingly. “I wrote the names of everyone who participated in the project on corks in the case,” Eastwood says. “Now members of my family have to sit down with a glass of wine to try to find the corks with their names on them!”

Corks also make up the backsplash in the kitchen, tying the theme together with the tasting area.

In the sitting room, Poore created a showcase for Eastwood and McClurken’s collections from their international travels (Eastwood and McClurken are among the co-founders of The Global Child, a school for street children in Cambodia). The room’s focal point is over the fireplace: a large mirror found at R. Jorgenson Antiques in Wells, Maine. Gathered by the fireplace are two chairs covered in a bright tiger-stripe print and the signature sofa and ottoman. A rug carries through the sofa’s warm peach, apple green and oatmeal colors, and unites the furnishings.

Poore assembled many of the couple’s Asian-inspired artworks and sculptures throughout the room, including a large, silver-and-black screen and paintings by Savann, a young Cambodian artist and an art teacher at The Global Child. Across the room from the fireplace is a large bookcase showcasing family photos as well as unusual accent pieces, such as an antique rice cutter from Thailand and an antique Buddhist sculpture.

Jennie R. Poore (seated) and Jackie Eastwood worked closely together to redesign the guest suite. The antique mirror over the fireplace in the sitting area is from R. Jorgensen Antiques in Wells, Maine.

The ideal reflection

With its eclectic mix of fun and classic furnishings, the area is perfect for the wine tastings and fundraising events hosted by Eastwood (she plans to honor her mother with a small plaque on one of the leather bar stools).

“It takes everyone’s breath away,” Eastwood says.

Poore agrees: “When people come through the door, the first thing they say is, ‘Wow.’ That’s exactly the reaction I wanted.”


Hanson Woodturning
(207) 967-6085

Douglas A. MacLennan 
(603) 868-2682

Pearson Traditional Design 
(207) 351-2711

Jeannie R. Poore 
(603) 397-5827

R. Jorgensen Antiques 
(207) 646-9444

Southwick Construction Inc.  
(603) 964-1904

The Global Child

Categories: Architecture and Interiors