A Simple & Historic Scandinavian-Inspired Home in Maine

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Name: Danny and Lyndsay Gugger
Location: Portland, Maine
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 2 months

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Danny writes: “My wife and I live on the historic Deering Street in Portland, Maine. The building was built in the mid-1800s and our unit is around 950 square feet. We have 10 foot ceilings and black marble fireplaces in both the living room and bedroom. We recently moved from Wisconsin, where we lived in another mid-1800s home.”

Danny continues: “In January, I started my own design studio and our apartment doubles as my workspace. We chose to live in Portland for the slower pace of life, the incredible culinary scene, the creative environment and the easy access to nature. The location of our home gives us easy walking access to Old Port and the Arts District, but is on a more residential street and feels more homey. The city just reconstructed the street with wide brick sidewalks and kept many of the large old trees.

I have Swiss heritage and my wife has Norwegian, so our style is heavily influenced by both strong design cultures. We recently painted the entire apartment white with white trim to tone down some of the massive architectural details and focus on the black fireplaces. This gave us the freedom to start from scratch, decorate minimally and load up on plants. We love having a home that reflects our design style!”

Get the look! → Humble & Clean Scandinavian-Inspired Style

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our style is simple and clean, Scandinavian inspired.

Inspiration: We took a trip to London, Zurich, and Oslo around a year ago and fell in love with the stunning simplicity of Scandinavian and European design. We incorporated lots of neutrals and white into our home with pops of green from our plants and other natural materials.

Favorite Element: We love the drama of the black marble fireplaces set against the bright, white walls. They are the stars of the show for sure.

Biggest Challenge: Our kitchen is very small. We have a food blog, so we do a lot of cooking and photographing food. We were originally sold on the place because of the amazing light that comes through the kitchen. The beautiful light makes for an easy shoot. After cooking a meal, our kitchen is a disaster, but it’s totally worth it. We also do work for our design studio from home sometimes, so having a desk is a must, but can be a challenge because the best spot for it is in the bedroom.

What Friends Say: Our friends always comment on how open and bright it feels with the high ceilings and white walls. The friends that helped us move in two months ago are amazed at how we turned the place around. When we moved in, the walls were seafoam green with a dark green trim.

(Image credit: Submitted by Danny)

Biggest Embarrassment: The inside of one of the closets is still puke green.

Proudest DIY: Danny made the magazine racks hanging in our living room. Since he started working for The Collective Quarterly, we’ve accumulated many amazing magazines, but never had anywhere to store them. So Danny made these simple magazine racks for about $80. They’re now on display in a beautiful way

Biggest Indulgence: Not much. We did everything on a budget and got the majority of our things from IKEA. We avoided the particle-board furniture, so our home doesn’t look too iconically IKEA.

Best Advice: Don’t go overboard with decor. Not every wall has to have something hanging on it :).

Dream Sources: Schoolhouse Electric, More & Co., Allied Maker,

Get the look! → Humble & Clean Scandinavian-Inspired Style

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Thanks, Danny and Lyndsay!

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