A Pro Organizer Refreshed This 1970 Rental Bungalow on a Budget

published Aug 30, 2023

A Pro Organizer Refreshed This 1970 Rental Bungalow on a Budget

published Aug 30, 2023
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Devin VonderHaar says she came to minimalism accidentally, when she and her spouse, real estate agent and DJ Jess VonderHaar, had to downsize when they moved to Portland in 2016. Devin began her business, the modern minimalist, in 2019, and describes it as a “holistic home organizing and interior design” business, but also as “therapy for your relationship to home.” 

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“We first toured this rental home during the pandemic, when we had to find something fast. We were given 60 days to find a new place and there wasn’t a whole lot on the market in the summer of 2021,” Devin explains of the 1978 ranch house the couple — and their pittie, Sampson — rented for two years. 

“We really love north Portland, and wanted a small house with a garage and a yard. It had three bedrooms, plenty of space, and a great location in Kenton. We saw photos of the vintage aesthetic, mid-century original cabinetry, and the bathroom! The creamy white tile counters and vinyl yellow terrazzo-esque bathroom floors — I was in love. It was perfect.”

While perfect, there was still room for the couple to put their own stamp on the rental, which they did by painting the walls and adding new lighting throughout. They upgraded the paint on the kitchen cabinets and added new hardware, plus installed a temporary backsplash. They also upgraded the bathroom cabinet’s paint and refinished that hardware, too. 

And while Devin says that not being able to update the layout because it’s a rental was a design challenge, they’ve still “gone through a few iterations of the space. Originally we had the first bedroom as our primary bedroom, bedroom two as my office, and bedroom three as Jess’ office/ DJ room,” Devin explains. “Having an area to play music is always a thing, and I’m an HSP so making it work is always a challenge.”

“Later we painted the garage floors, made it a much more inviting space, and turned part of the garage into their DJ area. Because of noise issues from the street, we decided to switch the bedroom and office, and merge our offices together. Now we get better sleep in the middle room, and all the natural light in the office,” Devin continues. 

“We’ve also gone through three to four layout shifts in the living room. I love changing a room every time there’s a major shift, which usually happens every three to six months. I love evolving a space as long as I live in it.”

Jess and Devin’s home life continues to evolve: They recently made their first house purchase, in Vancouver, Washington, and they’re already starting to put their stamp on it



  • Entire Home — “Timeless” by Clare 
  • Kitchen Accent Wall — “Money Moves” by Clare
  • Bath Accent Wall — “Good as Gold” by Clare 
  • Jess’ Accent Wall — “Golden Hour” by Clare 


  • Contact Paper Flooring — Etsy
  • Rug — Citizenry (no longer available) 
  • Ceramic Light — Cedar + Moss (color no longer available)


  • Sectional — IKEA
  • Pillows — Etsy, Target 
  • Ash Wishbone Chairs — Vintage
  • Side Table — Vintage 
  • Travertine Coffee Table — Crate + Barrel 
  • Pendant — IKEA with custom paint 
  • Jute Rug — IKEA 
  • TV — Frame TV
  • Wall Mounted Console — Etsy 


  • Pedestal Table — IKEA
  • Stools — IKEA
  • Rug — Citizenry (no longer available) 
  • Pendant — Cedar + Moss (color no longer available)
  • Swag — Rejuvenation (no longer available)
  • Backsplash — Etsy
  • Hardware — Etsy




  • Light — Etsy
  • Curtain — West Elm 
  • Curtain Rings — Target

Thanks, Devin!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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 Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said this rental home is a 1978 ranch house. It’s actually a 1970s era rental bungalow. Their NEW house that they just purchased to fix up is the 1978 ranch house. We’ve updated it to be more accurate.