Maine Homes by Down East, Winter 2018

Editor’s Note by Sarah Stebbins 

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Sarah Stebbins, editor of Maine Homes by Down EastLast December, I posted a few photos of my house, minimally decorated for the holidays, on our Maine Homes Instagram. Overwhelmed with seasonal stress, I’d given myself permission to display just a handful of favorite adornments, leaving the rest unpacked in their box. My less-is-more approach drew a swift dissent from Amy Bradstreet, who commented, “I want to embrace abundance, comfort, light, and some whimsy, lots of color too. This is a sensual season and keeping things spare is simply not part of my Yuletide experience or expression.” Clicking on her page, I saw irresistibly cozy rooms layered with quilts and crocheted throws, nutcracker figures, nesting Santa and matryoshka dolls, lighted ceramic trees, and a ceiling-grazing evergreen loaded with ornaments and colored lights. Somehow, the bounty — so neatly and artfully arranged — didn’t inflame my clutter-phobia. On the contrary, I wanted to sink into Amy’s pillow-laden sofa and take it all in.     

The next-best thing to sitting in Amy’s cheerful living room is sitting with our story on the 1861 Palermo farmhouse she owns with her husband, Alex (Deepening Roots). I love how their maximalist place is positioned in this issue, as a kind of visual crescendo between David Morris and Justin Burkhardt’s vibrant, modernist Shingle-style home in Cape Elizabeth (Period Drama) and Janice Dunwoody’s elegant, whitewashed Portland loft (Looking Up).

A gifted photo stylist, Dunwoody joined a slew of local designers and creatives, who shared their best decorating tips in Maine for the Holidays. Buoyed by Amy’s example, and the fresh, inspiring ideas in this piece (think: tea lights set into apple “lanterns” — how clever is that?), I’m ready to get my holiday groove back.

P.S. Thank you so much for the positive feedback on our first issue! How do you feel about our sophomore effort? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sarah Stebbins


Period Drama

An architect and his partner infuse their historic home with moody hues and a strong point of view.

By Sara Anne Donnelly

Deepening Roots

A couple is restoring an ancestral farm through hard work and a laid-back sense of style.

By Virginia M. Wright

Looking Up

For a Portland photo stylist, moving from suburban house to city loft brings a cheerful new perspective.

By Laura Wallis

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Grandpa’s house we go for backyard fun and an unfussy meal.

By Sarah Stebbins

Why I Live Here

Thirty years ago, reader Linda Duffy, of Cushing, and her husband unwittingly purchased a piece of the most famous property in town.


The Guide

Colorful modern-art-inspired décor, interior designer Nicola Manganello discusses her rustic-elegant look, the backstory on E. Swasey & Co. stoneware, the magic of Freeport during the holidays, a most enchanting Acadia roadblock, groovy mid-century houses for sale, an antique general store in need of saving, and advice on your home and garden conundrums.

Get Inspired

It’s a mile hike in from Jefferson’s Egypt Road to our current camp crush, a historic living room gets a modern makeover, inside the airy studio where ceramic artist Alison Evans crafts her marine-inspired pieces, and a Surry couple communes with their waterfront land in a pair of linked yurts.


Homey Things to Do This Season


The Money Pit

A harrowing renovation deepens a writer’s connection to her antique home and her adopted home state.

By Kate Christensen

Warming Trends

Do your utility bills leave you feeling burned? Learn what’s new (and not) on Maine’s heating landscape and which technologies deliver the most BTUs for your buck.

By Hannah Holmes

Maine for the Holidays

Here in winter wonderland, the best-decorated homes harmonize with the starkly beautiful setting. The proof is in these 29 ideas from local creatives.

By Petra Guglielmetti

On the cover: David Morris and Justin Burkhardt’s moody Cape Elizabeth home, by Trent Bell

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