Laura's Patchwork Style Apartment

Laura's Patchwork Style Apartment

Leela Cyd
Sep 6, 2011

Name: Laura
Location: North East — Portland, Oregon
Size: 525 square feet
Years lived in: 2 — rented

Laura's one bedroom apartment is full of thrifted, flea market and vintage finds. She soaks in lots of natural light with large windows in each room and when she's not grading her students' writing assignments, Laura can be found rearranging all of her beautiful objets d'arte. Her attention to detail and attuned sense of all things fabulous make this apartment just darling.

Laura, a Texas native, came to Portland by way of New York City. She's been in the Northwest for several years now, but has picked up stylish treasures from all over the country. Her apartment has beautiful bones and not a lot has changed structurally since it was built in the 1930s. This lovely place, with its wooden floors, moldings and ornate radiators, sets the perfect stage for all of Laura's collected items. My favorite item is the large, vintage map of Oregon hanging above Laura's bed, which she found in the trash can at the school where she works.

Laura has a great eye for repurposing found/secondhand images and artwork. She framed an old diptich of a farm house which hangs next to a sketch of several bunnies alongside her family photos. Laura tells a story by way of seeking out the special within the mundane. She reminds us that great, frame-worthy artwork doesn't necessarily come from an art gallery or traditional "artist".

Lastly, Laura's original kitchen is very cute. With glass cabinets lining one entire wall, Laura displays her collected curios, china, little bowls and canned goods with style. She's a great cook with a passion for wholesome summer produce, so you never know what might be served on a tiny, pretty plate.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage mixed with a little modern and a lot of found objects.

Inspiration: Undiscovered treasures, objects with history, meaningful design.

Favorite Element: The original features of the apartment — the glass-paned kitchen cabinets, the floors, the moldings,the radiators, etc.  I also love the openness of the apartment and the floor plan — it really allows for natural air flow and lighting.

Biggest Challenge: The patchwork updating of the apartment — lots of things are old and need to be replaced.  The kitchen floor is pretty gross and is long overdue for a change.  The bathroom is 13 shades of white and 12 of them are peeling.  But as a renter, I'm only willing to invest as much as I can take with me.  Much of what I've done is an attempt to complement or, sometimes, to cover up the state of the apartment at this moment.

Proudest DIY: Honestly, the entire ensemble is something I'm proud of.  The apartment evolves with my preferences and style.  I'm really proud of how far we've come together!

Biggest Indulgence: I don't tend to spend a lot on things (and can't really afford to either on my teacher's salary) so the sofa was a big purchase for me.  

Best Advice: Obtain what you love.  It's more important to commit to objects that are meaningful and important rather than just stylish.  Choose things you love and they will fit together somehow.  Also, embrace the imperfect.  

Dream Sources: Anthropology, Design Within Reach

Resources of Note:


    • Lack Coffee tables from Ikea
    • Chair from a vintage shop
    • Teak Dining Table from a friend
    • Dining Chairs from Ikea
    • Orange woven rug from Ikea
    • Lamp from Target
    • Oil painting by David Lochtie
    • Daniel Johnston screen print by Small Stakes
    • Papercuts and prints inherited
    • Sylvia Sofa from Macy's
    • Wool throw by Avoca

    • Yeah Yeah Yeah screen print by Andrio Abero
    • jams made by friends

    • Bookcase from Ikea
    • Desk from Ikea
    • Acrylic TV stand from eBay
    • Night stand (child's dresser) thrifted
    • Rabbit print by Dee Beale
    • Photograph by Joseph O. Holmes
    • Map salvaged from the school garbage
    • Other objects/furniture thrifted

Visit Laura's Cute Etsy Shop: Goods and Plenty

Thanks, Laura!

Images: Leela Cyd Ross

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