Name: Nando, Linn, little Elsa and Walter the dog
Location: SW Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 1½
Usually when heading up to Portland's Southwest hills, one might imagine grandiose homes furnished by a decorator and lacking personal style (I admit, driving up to this house without ever seeing what it looked like made me a bit nervous) but once I had a glimpse of the exterior, I knew the inside was going to be special. From the minute I walked through the door, it was easy to see that this couple had impeccable style. Everything displayed in the living and dining area seemed to fit perfectly together. All the colors worked so wonderfully together with splashes of red leading me from one room to the next.
Both Nando and Linn have impressive backgrounds, which make it easy to understand how their home became such a work of art. Nando, originally from Brazil and Linn from Sweden are both talented illustrators/graphic designers, who are constantly working on new projects and i'm willing to bet that most of you are familiar with some of their past work. Currently, Linn is creating an image for the book, Memories, an important project that is working to raise money for cancer and Nando is working on his engraved landscape series for an exhibit in the fall.
Even with busy work schedules and raising a family, they still have home projects that they hope to get underway. Although their bathroom looks more like an "after" than a "before," they feel it does not match the general design of the house and are currently working to renovate it. However, starting any major reconstruction on this house might feel like a historic no no. The influential Portland architect, John Yeon created this house and Nando and Linn feel it is important to keep certain aspects well preserved. I have no doubt that they will always preserve those amazing windows. To have such abundant light in the hills of Portland is unheard of, they must wake up everyday with a smile.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My style: I have always been pretty eclectic, but with a very strong attraction for modern influences. Linn being Scandinavian has a really strong love for Danish, Swedish and even Dutch minimal, yet warm and personal design. Since we've been together our individual tastes have broadened and narrowed in different ways, making us more compatible.
Inspiration: Traveling and visiting the home of friends and acquaintances is really the strongest source of inspiration for us, but since we are both constantly connected to the internet for work, we also find a lot of interesting ideas that way.
Favorite Element: We really love the feeling of being surrounded by vegetation and we have the endless windows to thank for that.
Biggest Challenge: I think that for most people, it's very easy to outgrow the amount of space we have, so our toughest challenge is to find a balance between a functional family space, while still being able to accentuate it with elements that makes it ours. We both like to travel and bring our memories into our home, specially since both of our families are abroad, which makes it even more important to incorporate family possessions and collectibles from our cultures.
What Friends Say: Most people are really excited about the amount of light we have, which is very unusual in our area since we are right on the edge of Forest Park and the trees here tend to engulf the houses in shade. Friends also really like our artwork, which we have began collecting since we've been married.
Biggest Embarrassment: Both of our bathrooms don't quite match the rest of the house. Aside from being very, very small, they need a healthy remodel. We're finally taking the challenge and working with an architect to solve that issue.
Proudest DIY: Last summer Linn's father came over from Sweden and built us a gate for the entrance to the patio. The truth is we actually didn't do any work on it. However, we definitely take credit as art directors! Even though he makes a living as a lawyer, the gate was built with his craftsman skills, and it turned out so great that all our neighbors wanted to hire him to build theirs.
Biggest Indulgence: We would probably have to say it was our entertainment system. It was important for us to minimize clutter when it came to electronics, so we opted for a system called Control 4, which allows us to control audio coming from speakers installed in the bedrooms, living room and kitchen as well as access TVs, BlueRay player, video games and computer all with one single remote. All the cables are inside the walls, making it a really clean install and easy to upgrade in the future.
Best advice: Research, research, research before making big purchases. There are so many options out there for everything you need and you can often find much better deals online. However we often try to buy things locally as well to support businesses we like. Don't hire people on an hourly rate! Set a rate for your project upfront.
Dream source: Claesson Koivisto Rune, Beatriz Milhazes, Carl Hansen, Euroflues Gyrofocus, NYC, Amsterdam, Denmark.
Appliances: Dacor Range and downdraft, Miele Dishwasher, Liebherr Refrigerator
Living Room: Sofa by Natuzzi A494, FontanaArte Fontana Coffe Table designed by Pietra Chiesa, Hans Wegner ch29 Sawhorse chairs in soaped white oak, Dinner table is vintage Danish, Old wood cabinet and wooden cubes are from Brazil,
Bedroom: Reve Bed in Charcoal wool, Bo Concept dresser, red Pilaster shelf by John Kandell for Källemo.
Studio: tables from Non-Design, Bookshelf by Kartell, Chairs from Relax the Back (not pretty but comfortable!!), file cabinet by Safco, custom made bookshelf
Lighting: George Nelson Saucer lamps in the bedrooms, George Nelson Ball lamp in the studio, Poul Henningsen Original PH 5 lamp over the dinner table, Kathleen Hills cluster lights in the living room, Artemide Tolomeo Lamps in the studio and in the bedrooms.
Paint: Natura by Benjamin Moore and Active Wall magnetic paint.
Flooring: Original to the house, oak parquet.
Rugs and Carpets: Tufenkian
Window Treatments: Hunter Douglas® Brilliance® Pleated Shade Haberdasher
Livingroom: Jeff Soto "Alchemy", Amy Bennett "On Dry Land", Craig la Rotonda "I Am Nobody", Jacob Magraw, and Yellena James "Cay"
Hallway: Caitlin Kuhwald
Bedroom: Betsy Walton "wave", Geoff Lillemon Silkscreen Print
Studio: Mark Warren Jacques "What your doing to me now - I want done forever", Stephan Doitschinoff AKA Calma
(Thanks, Nando & Linn!)
Images: Ashley Sheping