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 doesnt 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 daughters 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 Im older, I miss the wide open spaces, the visual clarity and pauses, Rebecca reveals. I think thats part of the reason why I find myself attracted to our living space being so minimal.
Carving out a place for Rebeccas 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 daughters 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