A Wonderful Remodeled Portland Home Embraces Wabi-Sabi

A Wonderful Remodeled Portland Home Embraces Wabi-Sabi

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Heather Keeling
Aug 22, 2017

Name: Angela and Wubbi the Bulldog
Location: SE Portland, Oregon
Size: 2,500 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

When Angela purchased her turn-of-the-century home, the kitchen was literally falling off the back of the house. "After moving in, I learned the original 1906 kitchen was moved from the center of the house onto the BACK PORCH! That little tidbit explained the slope of the kitchen floor! I had myself a genuine indoor/outdoor kitchen. For that reason and more, everything was ripped out down to the studs, a solid foundation was poured, and all new everything was installed..."

During the extensive remodel, which also included opening up walls and adding exterior doors in Angela's bedroom, Angela lived around the corner and would walk by and check on the progress each day before leaving for work.


"This old house has a lot of soul. It has its aches and pains and its cracks and scars. But I love this house, and when you bring love and life to a space, it's kind of like you're holding up the house."


Shortly after the remodel was complete, Angela knew that she wanted to spend even more time in her house and her home studio, which she calls her "happy place." She stepped down from a coveted Director of Design position at Nike, and started her own brand, inspired by her love of dogs — and the feeling that there weren't pet products on the market that looked like something she would want in her home.

Angela's home has a modern aesthetic and is filled with art and objects that are meaningful to her, but she has also created a space that functions well for her rambunctious pup Wubbi. Angela identifies with the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi — the acceptance of imperfection, and the idea of finding beauty in things that are flawed — and applies this philosophy to her home as well as the people and things in her life. "This old house has a lot of soul. It has its aches and pains and its cracks and scars. But I love this house, and when you bring love and life to a space, it's kind of like you're holding up the house."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: 1/2 WABI SABI + 1/4 MODERN + 1/4 ECLECTIC

Inspiration: Simple + Beautiful + Imperfect things

Favorite Element: The PERFECT WHITE. Landing the perfect white wall color on your first try is like finding a four-leaf clover (the estimated statistical odds of finding a four-leaf clover on your first try is 10,000 to 1....according to somebody on the internet). It's definitely not as easy as it seems. I sampled 15 white tints on each wall before finding the one that didn't keep me up at night. I like that it adds perceived space and it's the canvas that brings everything together in a relaxed and refreshing way.

Biggest Challenge: Hanging anything on walls that can not be hung from the picture rail moulding. Ever try to hammer a nail into lathe and plaster? It fights back and you will lose...every time.

What Friends Say: The house feels inviting, peaceful, and creative.

Biggest Embarrassment: I decided to use "temporary" frosted film for privacy on the windows when I moved into the house. A couple months later, when I started to remove it, there was a moment I seriously considered replacing the window panes instead! The film was a beast to remove! It must have become "permanent" from the heat of the Portland SUN! (Yep, there's Portland sun...eventually!) Anywho, almost two years later, I'm still looking at three out of four frosted windows. #frostedfilmfail

Proudest DIY: I purchased a couple of vintage fixtures and replaced the old cording to bring them up to code.

Biggest Indulgence: The KITCHEN REMODEL. After moving in, I learned the original 1906 kitchen was moved from the center of the house onto the BACK PORCH! That little tidbit explained the slope of the kitchen floor! I had myself a genuine indoor /outdoor kitchen. For that reason and more, everything was ripped out down to the studs, a solid foundation was poured, all new everything was installed...and Pinocchio became a real boy!

Best Advice: Don't rip out an essential part of your house in the rainiest, iciest, coldest, muddiest season of the year! It may end well...but you will cry a lot.

Dream Sources: Vintage stores and flea markets in any city (Tokyo has been my favorite so far!), artisan markets, and friends who don't want the old Eames chair because it doesn't match their new sofa.

Resources:

PAINT & COLORS
Exterior walls — Benjamin Moore Graphite walls + Benjamin Moore Black Onyx trim
Interior walls/trim/shelves/cabinet — Sherwin-Williams White Duck SW7010

ENTRY
Wooden Coat hooks — CB2
Large leather tote — By DESIGND
Vintage straw tote- Etsy
Mohair tote — Etsy
Large striped scarf — Zara

LIVING ROOM
Sofa — Restoration Hardware
Coffee Table — Lounge Lizard, Portland, Oregon
Low Metal Locker Cabinets — Ikea
Vintage leather / wood arm chair — vintage store in Oakland, California
Light Fixtures — West Elm
Floor lamps — Ikea
Leather Pouf — Tazi Designs / SF, California
Tall Mirror — IKEA

ON THE BOOKSHELVES
Large Calligraphy brushes — China origin unknown
Ceramic glove hands — Pacific Galleries
Landscape photograph — Silvia Rodriguez, Valencia, Spain
Photos printed on wood — Keba Konte, Oakland, California
Reclining male photograph — Bethany Hines, Oakland, California
Black ceramic bowls — by Lilith Rockett, Portland,
"RECHARGE" metal sign — Grand Ave. Marketplace, Portland, Oregon

DESIGN STUDIO
Large work table — Grand Marketplace, Portland,Or.
Tall Metal Lockers — Pacific Galleries, Seattle, Wa
Vintage Lounge chair — Alameda Flea Market /Alameda, California
Modern Dog bed designs — by DESIGND

KITCHEN
Over Counter Pendant Lighting — WiresNJars
Overhead Pendant Lighting — West Elm

BEDROOM ONE
Teak Wood Platform bed — Pottery Barn
Vintage Leather Sofa — Vintage Pink, Portland Or
Vintage Ottoman — Lounge Lizard
Vintage armchair — vintage store in Oakland, Ca
Overhead Pendant Light - Amazon
Floor Lamp: Lounge Lizard 100 year old Japanese Boro — Flea market in Tokyo

BEDROOM TWO
Teak Wood Daybed — LA, California (cant remember store)
Chicken wire pendant light — Grand Ave Market, Portland, Or
Painting — by Angela Medlin (from the "The Undressing" series)
Leather/feather dream catcher — handmade by Keryn Francisco; Bay Area, California

BEDROOM THREE
Low antique rosewood tables — Chinese Antique store/ Portland, Or (store no longer in business)
Pendant Light — Ikea

Thanks, Angela!


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