Letting the Details Shine Through In Portland, OR

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The first inhabitants of a simple yet stylish Portland, OR home, Design Survivalist Rebecca and art director husband Mike Guss are glad to let its thoughtful architectural details take center stage. The couple doesn’t feel the need to populate their rental property with lots of stuff, preferring to display items that have personal history, practical function, and beautiful lines — even with a small child and cat in tow. The house, with its modern matte black framed windows, concrete floors, and centerpiece slatted staircase, demands pared-down, calm, and clean decor. Its austere furniture and curated artwork are always agreed upon by both Rebecca and Mike, or otherwise deemed unnecessary. “The picture rails in the bedrooms are a perfect system for us because we can change things out frequently,” she explains. “Washi tape and picture-hanging strips work well for rotating things like our daughter’s artwork. But for now, we like the white walls.”

Mike, who spent his formative years in Japan, and Rebecca, who enjoyed childhood summers in Montana, prefer an uncluttered aesthetic, in part due to their early influences. “Now that I’m older, I miss the wide open spaces, the visual clarity and pauses,” Rebecca reveals. “I think that’s part of the reason why I find myself attracted to our living space being so minimal.”

Carving out a place for Rebecca’s home office was another reason to make the free-flowing, organic vibe a priority. She and Mike gave their daughter the bigger bedroom, then dedicated a workspace nook in their own. Their daughter’s room stays organized because the majority of her toys, clothes, art supplies — and even her dresser — go right into the closet storage system. And luckily for the appreciative but discerning family, the landlord felt equally as passionate about providing excellent functionality in the original design. Their unit is built with eco-friendly features like a split-ductless heat pump system in each room of the house, a tankless gas water heater, energy-efficient appliances, and low VOC paints and finishes. Keen attention to detail encourages the tenants to expose the beauty inherent in these (and other) choices. According to Rebecca, “That really makes everything else possible.” —Annie

Photography by Rebecca Guss

  1. Emily says:

    Love this one! It gave me so much happiness that they color coded their books too, haha.

  2. silvana says:

    Where is the couch from? Is it comfortable?

    1. Rebecca says:

      Hi! The couch is from Crate and Barrel. And yes its very comfortable, its pretty much like lounging on an awesome giant pillow.

    2. I would also like to know the couch source!

  3. Rachel says:

    Haha, I love the animal-decorated floor. Squirrels walked in some wet cement in our yard, and we left the footprints for similar reasons. Nature finds a way ;-)

  4. Amy says:

    What a pretty home! I love the storage bed in your little girl’s room…would you mind sharing the source?

    1. Rebecca says:

      The storage under the bed? I think that’s from the container store. The bed is from Ikea. :)

  5. Love this home and also Rebecca’s work! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Mary says:

    Rebecca, your home is inviting and beautiful! Where are your kitchen shelves from? Also below the clock in your kitchen you have dark bottles and a jar with small wooden spoons, where did you get those utensils? And you have white shelves in several bedrooms, where are they from? Thanks!!

    1. Rebecca says:

      The kitchen shelves are ripped down doug fir boards with a water based sealer on them. The brackets are from West Elm. The bottles are grinders from Menu. Some of the wooden spoons are random finds but most of them are from the Japanese “dollar” store, Daiso, in the Seattle area.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Oh and the white shelves are all from Ikea.

  7. So sweet and comfy home! This is another example that simplicity is equivalent to style. This uncluttered and tidy house looks just perfect. Congrats Rebecca! I totally loved your home!

  8. Ali Lanenga says:

    What a lovely home. I especially am drawn to your open kitchen. I love your kitchen countertops! What material are they? I’d love to know more about them.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Hello! Thank you! The countertops are Pental Quartz Carrara. I’m not sure where the owner got them.

  10. oltyrrell says:

    What a gorgeous home you have. The title of this feature fits perfectly, the details really shine through. I love your minimalist and clean style. It’s very appealing and inviting.

  11. Trina says:

    Such a lovely and cheerful home! Love the houseplants! My favorite though is your kitty “Ms. Meow”!

  12. pam says:

    I’m really attracted to the blue color on your kitchen counter/island. Please tell me what it is! Thanks.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Hi! The blue color is actually bluish green (even though in pretty much every light we’ve seen it in it looks more blue). It’s Benjamin Moore Newport Green.

  13. Bea says:

    hi,I would like to know the app of that display clock on the mac. could you please tell me?

    1. Rebecca says:

      Hi, late to the game here…that clock is a Fliqlo clock. I actually just updated mine not to long ago to the Padbury. That one is equally nice.


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