When potter Ayumi Horie was looking for a new space, she decided to return to her home state of Maine to settle down. Ayumi wasn’t searching for just a home, but for a property that would also accommodate her studio and kilns. She’d lived in other homes on the East Coast and knew winters could be brutal, so finding something with a studio building close to the home (to prevent long, snowy commutes) was a huge priority. When she saw this house, a brick Greek Revival with a crabapple-lined driveway, she knew she was home. “I’ve lived in many places and knew that this move would be my last — that I’d grow old in this house and would invest in it in more than just a material way,” she explains. And now, along with her fiancée Chloe Beaven and their dog, Clover, Ayumi has worked to not just restore their family’s historic home, but to invest in their home city of Portland, ME in a way that more deeply connects them to their space, community and the history of the town.
“I firmly believe that warm homes come about through years of looking, collecting, and gathering, just like identities take shape over time,” Ayumi says. “Nothing matches because nothing is more boring to me than matching sets. Things ‘match’ because we like them. Every object has a story to tell, whether the story is instilled by the maker or by an anonymous past the object has carried for years.” When asked about the best part of living in an old home, Ayumi says, “You can ask me again when I’m 80, but the rewards of living in an old house are worth it. The wavy way that early morning light is refracted through leaded panes of glass and the groves of massive, old lilacs and crabapples make an indescribable scent around the house when they bloom. We get a little piece of country pie while being able to get into the middle of Portland in 10 minutes.”
Read on to see their full home tour and hear more about the renovations and history of Ayumi and Chloe’s beautiful home. xo, grace