Charley & Jessica's "Patina Clean"

Charley & Jessica's "Patina Clean"

Leela Cyd
Mar 15, 2012

Name: Jessica and Charley Wheelock (and their two kids)
Location: Southeast — Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 6 — owned

Charley and Jessica moved from New York to South East Portland about six years ago and haven't looked back. Their 1920's era home took a lot of love and care to fix up, but now it is the perfect canvas for their laid back, perfectly imperfect, handmade style. This home is lived in and loved wholeheartedly.

Charley and Jessica have worked in the visual world for many years; Charley as an industrial designer and Jessica serving multiple stints at style magazines such as Martha Stewart. Collectively they have great taste and their home perfectly merges their unique talents. Charley is a wonderful woodworker with a talent for building things with practical elegance (as well as ridiculousness, but that's another story). Jessica sews and styles little touches that give the house real personality.

The couple remodeled their kitchen with almost no budget, with great effect. They opened up a small, hall/like galley kitchen into an airy space where they can cook and be apart of family life at the attached dining and living areas. The white subway tiles, salvaged shelves and Ikea butcher block come together seamlessly to create a homey, social vibe that is both modern and timeless. It's good they figured this part of the home out because Charley and Jessica create their bean–to–bar chocolate line, Woodblock Chocolates, in this very space. They are in the process of moving to a commercial kitchen, but for now they are able to work, create and parent all from this wonderful kitchen and dining room.

This home gets plenty of natural light and the greyish tones of most of the walls reflect and change with the patterns of clouds throughout the day. The effect is most lovely, giving each room a slightly different feel depending on what time it is. In grey Portland, this balance of color and light is so critical and Jessica and Charley have come up with a great solution.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style:
Patina Clean. It is a new movement. It is where wabi sabi meets palimpsest with some Scandinavian sensibility but grounded with some American girth.

Raw material, process, craftsmanship, budget.

Favorite Element:
Fire! We have a fireplace in the dining room!

Biggest Challenge:
Landscaping has been no gimme. We were apartment dwellers for years so when we got a yard we made a bunch of hasty decisions that have not worked out. When you put a chair in the corner, it stays there. It doesn't grow Oregon huge.

What Friends Say:
Mmm Smells like roasty chocolate in here.

Biggest Embarrassment:
I am probably the main source of embarrassment in our household.(-Charley)

Proudest DIY:
Kitchen remodel. We took out the old boxy cabinets, took out an inexplicable wall and made the kitchen a bright, warm, functional, social area. We managed to make our new kitchen without spending much money at all.

Biggest Indulgence:
Until we made some adjustments to our fireplace, we would always smoke out our whole house, causing the fire alarms to go off every time we lit the fire. We wanted the fire so badly that we would hide the fire alarms in the basement and open all the doors, letting our expensive heat escape, but allowing us to have dinner by a crackling our jackets.

Best Advice:
Get cool, used furniture! Don't get seduced by Ikea! Of course we have some Ikea stuff but be better than us!

Dream Sources:
Craigslist score! We love getting stuff from Craigslist because along with the thing, you get some story. History is a good catalyst for an emotional connection between humans and stuff.

Resources of Note:


    • Glidden: Southern Shadow (entryway)
    • Yolo: Leaf (kitchen)
    • Yolo: Leaf (master bedroom)


    • coffee table and shelving unit: I (Charley) designed and built
    • chair: Eames


    • shelves: made from wood extracted from upstairs bathroom remodel
    • counter tops: refashioned Ikea butcher block


    • bedside tables: Brooklyn Flea
    • bench: My Dad made it in High School
    • Japanese prints: Jessica's Grandmother's

• Visit Charley and Jessica's Chocolate company: WoodBlock Chocolate

Thanks, Charley and Jessica!

Images: Leela Cyd Ross

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