Our 10 Most-Read Stories of the Year

We visited dozens of intriguing Maine houses and craftspeople. From a budget modern build to a cage-fighter-turned-wattle-fence builder, here are our most-read stories of the year.
The Ritters' 570-square-foot screened porch

10. A Family’s Lakefront Retreat Grows Out Of an Old YWCA Camp

By Sarah Stebbins | Photographed by Darren Setlow

From the July 2021 issue of Down East magazine: Set on 40 acres, it has a new cottage where the lodge used to be, a trio of cabins, and a onetime infirmary.

the walls of the shipping container are visible in the home's living room

9. Should You Live In a Shipping Container?

By Jesse Ellison | Photographed by Jeff Roberts

From our Spring 2021 issue: They’re of a piece with Maine’s maritime setting, but require some ingenuity to turn into homes.

A decade ago, Birlem purchased the living room’s French doors for $10 apiece on Craigslist, figuring she’d eventually find a place for them. Fanciful IKEA-fabric curtains provide privacy at night. On the screened porch, a wooden table expands to seat 12.

8. From Seedy Hangout to Family-Friendly Retreat

By Jesse Ellison | Photographed by Myriam Babin

From our Summer 2021 issue: On a Windham pond, a party spot becomes the stuff of childhood fantasies.


Boothbay Harbor farmhouse in winter

7. A Couple Trades Wine Country For the Snowy Midcoast

By Sara Anne Donnelly | Photographed by Michael D. Wilson

From the February 2021 issue of Down East magazine: Megan and Mike Clouse bid on their Boothbay Harbor farmhouse sight unseen.

Crowsneck Boutin pounding stakes for wattle fencing

6. A Cage Fighter Reintroduces an Ancient Art to Maine Yards

By Sara Anne Donnelly | Photographed by Dave Dostie

From the October 2021 issue of Down East magazine: Crowsneck Boutin’s wattle fencing blends seamlessly with the landscape.

South Berwick’s Emily McLaughlin, Tom Beattie, and their 4-year-old twins,Willa and Gus, hang out by the heart they created with ash and walnut firewood.

5. The Art of the Woodpile

By Sara Anne Donnelly | Photograph by Danielle Sykes

From our Winter 2021 issue: These creative Mainers are elevating wood stacking to an art form.

HGTV's Urban Oasis Dream Home in Portland Maine

4. Winning Design?

By Sara Anne Donnelly | Photographs courtesy of HGTV

From our Spring 2021 issue: HGTV’s Portland “dream home” stirs up strong feelings on both sides.


Stella House, Cushing Maine

3. How a Photographer Pulled Off Her Dream Home in Cushing

By Rachel Slade | Photographed by Sidney Bensimon

From the January 2021 issue of Down East magazine: “I hadn’t known any single women who built a house without a trust fund or outside help.”

Bangor’s William Arnold (a.k.a. Stephen King’s) House, an Italianate

2. The Most Hated House Style in Maine?

By Hannah Holmes | Photograph by Kevin Bennett

From the February 2021 issue of Down East magazine: A real estate pro wants you to rethink your assumptions about Italianates.

Ariel Birke and Luke Olson outside of their Lincolnville home

1. With Grit and $130,000, They Built Their Dream Home

By Jesse Ellison | Photographed by Erin Little

From the March 2021 issue of Down East magazine: Peek inside Ariel Birke and Luke Olson’s 960-square-foot modernist abode in Lincolnville.

Happy New Year from all of us at Maine Homes by Down East!

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