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From Cookie-Cutter to Memorable in Maine

by Garrett Fleming

From Cookie-Cutter to Memorable in Maine, Design*Droits-Humains

Sometimes, a home’s history or architectural details are what make it appealing to a buyer. Occasionally it’s the location or price. For one specific type of house hunter, though, the requirements are much more rudimentary. To be satisfied, all this group needs is a blank canvas where their imaginations can run wild. Such is the case with artists  and her husband  of Portland, ME.

The two-bedroom townhome they purchased last year is located in the same community as Ryan’s mother, but other than that it doesn’t boast any other universally-appealing trait. No dramatic windows, chef’s kitchen or storied past here. It’s so simple, in fact, its layout has actually been photocopied dozens of times and used for other units throughout the complex it sits in. This freedom from the constraints of an architectural style, while unappealing for some, is exactly what’s afforded this duo the opportunity to do whatever they please with the space.

Making their townhouse stand out was fairly easy once they started blending their two aesthetics together. Ryan used the blank slate as a canvas for artwork that is more streamlined and numeric. Rachel, on the other hand, has offset the home’s stark nature with pattern. Combined, the smattering of shapes and colors throughout each room somehow feels both delightfully haphazard and intentional at the same time. All in all, it makes their home hard to categorize but easy to love. Enjoy! —

Photography by  &

Image above: This exuberant print felt too special for a grey wall, so Rachel and Ryan tracked down a wallpaper energetic enough to complement it.

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Ryan’s dad made this table for his son and daughter-in-law using wood from an old bowling alley and the legs from their previous dining table.

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Rachel’s mom lives in the couple’s complex, so babysitting help with daughter Zoe is always nearby.

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The living area acts as the home’s laboratory. Here Ryan and Rachel experiment with mi patterns and color. “This has been an evolving practice and different fabrics get swapped in and out frequently,” they say.

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The couple wanted their bedroom to feel “cozy and calm” so they opted for a wall covering made by the company Rachel works for.

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“The first night the wallpaper went up, we slept with our heads at the foot of the bed. It felt like we were just taking a nap in a forest.” – Rachel Gloria Adams

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“What I love most about our home is: 1) The family-friendly atmosphere. 2) The cheap drink specials. 3) The ‘pants optional’ dress code.” – Rachel Gloria Adams

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“[Zoe’s] room was so much fun to put together. I love the combination of patterns and colors. When we found out we were having a girl, I was on [a] mission to not bombard her room with pink but to have it be an accent color,” Rachel explains.

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This mounted Marimekko fabric was the star of Zoe’s room in the family’s old house and is also given top billing here in her new one. Rachel tells us, “I will be sad if she ever doesn’t want it in her room.”

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A few months after they got married, Rachel and Ryan had a big party at a local brewery to celebrate. That night the space also happened to be showcasing the work of one of Ryan and Rachel’s favorite artists, . A few of the party guests bought the couple some of his work – which now hangs here – as a keepsake.

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“When Ryan and I were dating, we would fantasize about a shared studio where we each had a side and [where] we could work simultaneously. It feels really special that we were able to create this space.” – Rachel Gloria Adams

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The studio is rarely this clean, they admit. It’s typically a bit messy and buzzing with activity.

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The home’s floor plan.

SOURCE LIST

Kitchen
Tea towels – Marimekko, Hearth and Harrow
Wallcovering – Blik
Vintage print – Portland Flea For All
Chairs – Amazon

Living Room
Artwork – Marimekko, Dirty Bandits, Will Sears
Wall planters, rug, lamp – Target
Faux succulents – Amazon
Wood panel painting – Rachel Gloria Adams
Painting with wood frame – Tessa O’Brien
Pillows – Marimekko, Orla Kiely
Chair – IKEA

Rachel & Ryan’s Room
Wallpaper – Designtex
Pillow – Marimekko
Painted wood panels –Rachel Gloria Adams

Zoe’s Room
Bunny canvas – Marimekko
Flags, quilt – homemade
Bedding – Anthropologie

Bathroom
Wallpaper – Jenny Mcgee Doughtery for Designtex
Vessels – Target
Prints – Keith Shore

Studio
Desks – IKEA

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