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Interiorssneak peeks

A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine

by Sabrina Smelko

For years my sister has rented homes, never really taking ownership over the space and enjoying it. Only recently, with her current place, has she thrown caution to the wind and made an effort to make her temporary rental space feel like home by investing in decor, art and furniture that make her happy and feel at home.

Like my sister, it’s not common that the people behind these sneak peeks own their homes. But whether you own or rent your space, having a place you can call “home” is oh-so important. After all, there’s no place like it — wherever that may be, for however long. So it was refreshing when leather goods maker Meg Farrell said of her gorgeous rental, “Well, honestly this isn’t the one. But this place had a lot of things we really liked!” Meg has lived in the beautiful 1920s home with her partner Greg Mitchell and their dog, Remy, for the past year. Though it took a while for it to feel like like it, it’s the place they happily hang their hat. Greg is co-owner of the Palace Diner and Meg runs Farrell & Co, so after a long day of work, the name of the game is relaxation; whether it’s making a good meal together, enjoying the company of their friends, playing with Remy in the backyard, enjoying a drink on the porch (there are two of them!) or listening to records. Meg and Greg’s home is akin to walking inside a well-curated antique shop; the kind where you wish you could buy everything in sight and recreate it in your own space. They’ve done such an amazing job making this 1,200-square-foot space feel like a home that’s been lived in and loved for years and prove the message that home is wherever you want it to be; that “home” is a feeling. Though they’re still in search of “the one,” Meg and Greg say “for now, this place makes us pretty happy.” Sabrina

A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg and Greg made their dining room table out of IKEA saw horses and an old door they found in the attic. It fits up to eight people, which makes it perfect for their weekly dinner parties with friends. "Sometimes working with what you have can be best part of decorating," says Meg. The crow print on the wall is actually a vintage target they found at a flea market in Maine.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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A lovely bouquet of dried eucalyptus leaves and Sea Holly on their dining table.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Greg made the etching of the two men while he was in college. It's been a staple in their home(s) ever since they met. "It reminds me of when we first started dating," says Meg. The small gold frame is a picture of her Grandpa Bing in World War II. On the back it says "Christmas day 1944. The Germans break through. One of the coldest days we had."
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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One of Meg's favorite pastimes is making fresh flower arrangements. The vintage cocktail glasses were a gift to Meg from one of her very good friends.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Greg and Meg made this shelf and coat rack out of old, salvaged barn wood and screw-in hooks. It makes for the perfect storage spot for their motorcycle helmets. The vintage bench is a piece Meg has had for a decade and the leather bags are pieces from Meg's own line, Farrell & Co.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Greg and Meg's kitchen.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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On warm days, they keep the door open from their kitchen to the back porch to let the light in.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg and Greg's kitchen wares are all mismatched pieces with a simple color palette of light colors. The glasses are a variety of vintage etched and painted glassware.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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One of their favorite features of the home (and a huge selling point when apartment hunting) are the glass kitchen cabinets, which make for a great display of their myriad cookbooks.
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Greg and Meg use an old chamber pot as a compost bucket.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Greg collects vintage kitchen gadgets like this Hamilton Beach milkshake mixer/juicer. The dip-dyed apron was a gift to Meg from her sister Kaity of Fare Isle.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg and Greg's bathroom oozes with beautiful light that shines in all day. The little stool, which she's had since she was a little girl, was made by Meg's Grandpa Bing.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg had such a hard time finding affordable large rugs so she made this one by sewing six small rugs together. "We hate it," laughs Meg, "Greg says it looks like a college dorm rug!... It took me a long time to make it and it wasn't as cheap as I was hoping, but hey - you win some, you lose some!" The drawing on the right is a family heirloom that was made by Meg's Grandpa Charley. Oh, and that big black lump in the middle of the room is their adorable dog, Remy!
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Meg has been on a recent eucalyptus kick, but I can't blame her, I am as well! She made the tripod lamp out of an old art easel she found at a thrift store for $2. The "side table" is just an upside down old crock.
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Their coffee table is an old wooden trunk and the chair, donning sheepskin, is from IKEA.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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One way to really make a space feel more like a home is to hang artwork, which is exactly what Meg did.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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These two pieces are very special to Meg: The top piece is a framed slide of her Grandmother Mary, an incredible woman who raised 10 children and was the mayor of her town for close to 25 years. Below it is a piece of her personal stationery from when she was mayor.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg and Greg's sunny, yellow bedroom.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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The dark leather weekender bag hanging on the door is made by Meg's own Farrell & Co.
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This is Meg's side of the bed. The little vase is made by one of her good friends, Ariela Kuh, who's a ceramist making kitchen and housewares with her company, ANK Ceramics. The print on the wall is a medical drawing of a leg, which they found at the Alameda Flea Market when they lived in San Francisco.
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Meg's dresser was a hand-me-down from a cousin who lives in NYC. "I had been living with her for six months and when I moved out she practically forced it on me!" And Meg's pretty glad she did. Beside it are a few of her favorite baskets, which she collects.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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The picture in the birch frame is of David's Folly Farm where Greg and Meg once lived. "I loved that house and it's a little reminder of those days", Meg says, "The picture is from the 40s and I found it in a secret cubby in the attic when we lived there."
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg is proud of their bedside lamps which she made out of IKEA mirrors and clamp-on industrial light fixtures. The water carafe and cup set are also from Meg's friend Ariela of ANK Ceramics. The coaster is made by Bay and Josiah of Ironwood Designs.
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Greg's guitar is a great piece of wall art, sitting below Meg's very first weaving she ever made, which she attached to a beaver-chewed branch she found alongside a local river.
A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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A Place To Call Home For a Chef and Leather Goods Maker in Portland, Maine
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Meg and Greg enjoy spending time on their back porch when it's sunny and warm out. "It heats up quite nicely," says Meg, "making it a great place to have plants."

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