This Portland Home is a DIY Dreamland

This Portland Home is a DIY Dreamland

Name: Maria & Family
Location: Portland, Oregon
The basics: Owned for 1 year | 2,574 square feet

We love Maria's fun and funky design. Her home is full of rich color and whimsical DIY projects that fill it with life and character. And the style doesn't stop when it comes to the kids' rooms as she's created spaces that are charming and functional.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: When my husband and I first entered the housing market in Portland, Oregon, we were set on purchasing an older home with lots of character. After a few failed attempts, our reality of owning an older home soon vanished. We were feeling beat down when my mom suggested we look at new homes. We landed in a town named Happy Valley and stumbled upon the most beautiful Craftsman style home but it was brand new. It was the complete opposite of what we were looking for but its location was ideal. Nestled between two parks, wetlands and the town's hotspot — the food trucks — we knew we had found it.

Once it was ours, we were determined to create the character it needed. Our new home was filled with "blah" tan walls, tan tiles and many builder grade materials. Our neighbors thought we were nuts for repainting our entire brand new home Behr's Decorators White, but came around when they saw the final product. Once I got my blank slate, I was able to add all the wallpaper I have been dreaming of since the mid 2000s.

In the kitchen, I added Cole & Son's Hummingbirds. It surrounds the breakfast nook as well as areas in the kitchen. It was my solution for not having cabinets that touched the ceiling. Eventually, the tops of my cabinets will be filled with wooden bowls and baskets from Zimbabwe, my wonderful sister-in-law and her husband travel there often and will be bringing some back. With twins and a new baby, the safest spot for them is on top of my kitchen cabinets.

In the cocktail room, I found a vintage blush silk wallpaper at a thrift store. It was an extra large triple roll that I just couldn't pass up. It went perfectly with my blush velvet fabric curtains and my super large pink Bohemian Gal art by Susan Brown. As you go through the rooms in our home, you will see how many items I have thrifted. My headboard in the master bedroom is a vintage fabric I found on Etsy. That headboard was a major DIY for me. In fact, most the items painted in my home are my very own projects. I love a good DIY.

What is your favorite room and why? It's a tie between my cocktail room and my daughter's room. I have a lot of my vintage furniture in the cocktail room. My French sofa with a chinoiserie print is to die for. I found it in mint condition at a thrift shop. I never thought I would buy a couch from a thrift store but when I saw this one, I immediately went running and yelled, "sold!" My buffet came to me with 10 layers of paint. I tried everything to sand it down to a smooth finish but once I got to this point, I stopped and looked at it and thought, "it's so perfectly undone." I also love my framed Gray Malin photo of Capri that I won over Christmas one year. It's really the only room with art in it.

My daughter Lovella's room was so much fun to do. I had her choose the wallpaper she liked the most and Flamingos from Cole & Sons was it. I built the canopy that hangs above her bed. I found the rattan table, baby doll crib and Rattan shelf at Goodwill. I sewed black ribbon onto IKEA curtains and purchased the valances from Pottery Barn. Her dresser was mine from when I was younger except I painted it Black and White with Benjamin Moore color suggestions from Celerie Kimball's book Black and White. All her little girlfriends say, "it's a princess room!" I love that they put her room in that genre because there isn't a Disney princess anywhere.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? As my daughter always says, Cinderella. She is her favorite character and feels as if she would love her room. My son would say Lightening McQueen.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Creating a home you love is easy. Only buy items that you love and know will serve a function in your home. If you don't have a large budget, thrift shops and vintage shops can get you the look you want. An important tip, chairs are super important in a home. Make sure they are comfortable and not too small. I am a petite person so I always gravitate toward super small chairs with lots of texture but whenever I get it home, no one can ever sit in it. Purchase chairs that are pleasing to the eye but are of normal size and height so that everyone can enjoy them.

Thanks, Maria!

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